MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Morgantown City Council will be made up of familiar faces when candidates take office in July.
Jay Redmond, replacing Mike Fike who did not run for re-election in the city’s 6th ward, will be the only newcomer to serve the city of Morgantown.
Redmond, who ran in the previous city election, said he ran again because he didn’t like current council’s direction.
“I think we’ve lost our way. The leadership has been poor. The selection of priorities has been poor. And, we need to expect more from city council and more from city administration,” Redmond said in a pre-election interview on WAJR.
Morgantown Together, characterized as a political action committee, had supported Redmond’s challenger Noel Hoffman. But, Redmond carried the ward unofficially winning the race by 147 votes.
Incumbents Nancy Ganz and Bill Kawecki will both enter their second terms in office this summer.
Ganz will continue to serve the city’s 7th ward after defeating write-in candidate Bill Graham by 524 votes, unofficially.
She said she will be better able to tackle the city’s dwindling budget which will be $3.5 million short of the current budget.
“For me, being second time on city council, I’ll be able to address that in a better fashion because I maybe know the ropes a little better,” Ganz explained. “That’s an area I feel I have some expertise that I can push forward a little more.”
Ganz and 2nd ward candidate Bill Kawecki were both backed by Morgantown Together. Kawecki recaptured his seat leading his challenger, Al Bonner, a write-in candidate, by 367 votes Tuesday. Kawecki said he’s been encouraged by continued support.
“We had people who said, ‘You’re in a position now where you can take this on we’d like you to try.’ And, we did,” said Kawecki.
City councilor Ron Bane, running for his 8th term serving the city’s 1st ward was challenged by George Papandreas and write-in candidate Rachel Fetty. She was Bane’s closest challenger in the race. Bane defeated her, unofficially, by 132 votes.
Bane said his concern with re-election is challenging those Morgantown Together candidates, including Marti Shamberger of the 5th ward and Jenny Selin of the 4th ward. Shamberger and Selin ran unopposed.
“They don’t have the ideas, they don’t have the leadership skills in my opinion that this town needs,” Bane claimed. “I’m hoping that Wes and I and Jay can bring something to this council and make them understand some of the things that may need to be happening for the future of this town.”
Wes Nugent ran unopposed for re-election in the city’s 3rd ward.
Results will be canvassed and finalized May 4 at 3 p.m. in council chambers.