Star City approved to seek charter change to move municipal elections

STAR CITY, W.Va. — The schedule for the municipal elections in the Town of Star City, will now be on the ballot in the 2022 General Election.

A request to put the measure on the November ballot, was approved by Monongalia County Commission Wednesday, an effort that has been in the making for over two years. Star City mayor Herman Reid submitted the request after talking with the Monongalia County Clerk’s Office.

“I just think it’s a money saving thing for us,” said Star City Mayor Herman Reid. “Carye (Blaney) really wants to do it, she wants everybody to come on board and I think it’s a no-brainer,” he said.

The reasons for the Town of Star City’s requests for a change in their municipal election calendar were twofold, according to Mayor Reid. First, aligning the elections would allow Monongalia County Clerk’s Office to administer it at a cost savings of $5,000. Next, Reid hopes aligning the elections would increase voter participation.

“We get maybe 100-110 people vote,” said Reid on voter participation in municipal elections. “In our county elections, like it is here in November and the next presidential election, we get 700 to 800 people in Star City that vote,” he said.

If the measure passes, Mayor Reid stated that the Town of Star City will make adjustments to the terms of elected officials to align with the 2024 General Election. This would include one year terms that would be up for a vote in 2023 that would later be adjusted in 2024, so the term limits for officials would align with bi-annual elections. The change would allow for a clean transition to prevent complications for the Monongalia County Clerk’s Office.

“Carye will supply everything for us,” Reid said. “We know that we just have to tell them who’s running and then she puts it on a ballot,” he said.

The Town of Star City, is one of the only local municipalities that has worked with the Monongalia County Clerk’s Office to align their municipal elections. The City of Morgantown, City of Westover and the Town of Granville, each host their own off-cycle elections, with voter participation much similar to the elections in Star City.

“This is a money saver for Star City and I wish Morgantown, Granville and Westover would do the same thing,” Reid said. “Then you don’t have these small elections where a lot of people honestly don’t get out and don’t really know about it,” he said.

Representatives from both the City of Morgantown and the Town of Granville have stated that they have no intentions on bringing up election charter changes on future ballots. Westover officials could not be reached for comment.