WESTOVER — The city of Westover will have all incumbents running as candidates in its municipal election this year.
According to Westover city clerk Sandra Weis, there are four positions up for election — the three ward council members and the mayor — all running unopposed in the June 12 election.
“We had someone who filled out a certificate of announcement to run against [Mayor David Johnson], but they never showed up with their petitions,” she said. “They didn’t get their petitions in.”
Weis said she spoke to the Secretary of State’s office about the election and asked if the election was still necessary due to the expense and time involved, but she was told it was still a necessary process.
Weis said early voting will begin Wednesday and run through June 9 at City Hall.
“Early voting starts on May 30,” she said. “It’s a Wednesday. We also will be open for both Saturdays [June 2 and June 9] through June 9. The Saturdays, we will be open from 9-5. The weekdays we will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“Election day is June 12 and the polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Because it is a ward election, we will have two polls downstairs in the Senior Center and one here in council chambers. First Ward will vote up here, Second and Third wards will vote downstairs. Everything will be marked.”
Weis said there had been a few changes to the wards, but if residents needed to know what ward they are in, they could call city hall or call the county clerk’s office.
“The county clerk’s office also helped us get some workers,” she said. “We only had six of our usual 12 that were able to do it this year, so we were able to get some new people on board. We had another eight that we got from the county list, and we will be doing training on June 5.”
Weis said the at-large seat occupied by former councilmember James Elvis Austen, who resigned effective May 22, will have to be appointed by the mayor and the city council members.
“They have 30 days to appoint someone, they meaning council and mayor,” she said. “Since that is a council-at-large position, the person has to be a resident of the city. They don’t have to be any particular ward. A resident who is a registered voter in Monongalia County.
“They are seated until the next municipal election. So, that would actually be for his term, but sometimes it doesn’t turn out that way because every two years we have an election. The mayor’s seat is only good for two years, but the council members are good for four years. They are staggered. Say it had been one of the ward council members, they would have to run in the at-large municipal election because they have to run in the next election no matter what.”
Weis said in this case, it would most likely be the balance of Austen’s term.
“Say they chose somebody today,” she said. “They would actually have to run on June 12 because that’s the next municipal election. But, it’s kind of too late to do that. … Hopefully they will wait until after June 12 to appoint someone. I’d have to get all new ballets, etc…”