MORGANTOWN – One third of the candidates on the ballot for Morgantown City Council are vying for the 5th Ward seat.
It’s one of only three contested races — including the write-in only 3rd Ward — and the only race with more than two candidates as Marly Ynigues, Tony Setley and Danielle Trumble each aim to step in to the seat filled the last four years by Ron Dulaney, who did not seek reelection.
Trumble, 37, has lived in Morgantown for 17 years, the last 11 of which have been in the 5th Ward, where she runs a home-based business.
She’s been active with the MOMS Club, both locally and nationally, and serves on BOPARC as well as the city’s traffic and health and wellness commissions. She revitalized the Woodburn Neighborhood Association and has served as its president the last three years.
Trumble said she’s actively followed city council and the issues facing the city during her time here. She added that her service on the city’s various boards and commissions have allowed her to establish valuable relationships within city council and administration.
“When I see an issue that’s important and is affecting our city, I have always been willing to get in there and contribute and put in the work. I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty. I’m a person of action. I don’t say what should be done or what I will do, I ask what I can be doing and how to get started and I jump in and take part in it,” Trumble said. “I think that sets me apart from some of the other candidates.”
Setley, 35, moved to Morgantown in 2017 to become a campus pastor for the Lutheran Campus Ministry at WVU.
He said his interest in local government came honest as the son of a municipal attorney. He’d often tag along to various meetings and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science . During a brief stint in Ohio, Setley was appointed to a mental health and recovery board serving Erie and Ottawa counties.
“This is a tremendous city. I love Morgantown. We have great parks. BOPARC is fantastic. You have all the amenities at your fingertips that you could possibly want from a city of 30,000 people, but there’s been longstanding issues, simmering issues and new issues that have grown and popped up pre-pandemic and during the pandemic,” he said. “I just want to do everything I can possibly do, with whatever experience and knowledge I have, to assist the city in becoming the absolute best it can be.”
Ynigues, 35, works in communications and marketing. She’s lived in the 5th Ward the last two years, during which she’s taken on roles with the Mountain Line Transit Authority, the Woodburn School Redevelopment Commission and the Morgantown/Kingwood NAACP.
Prior to that, she served two years on Elkins City Council where she coordinated a downtown revitalization and drafted the city’s emergency communication plan.
“I’m passionate about local government. I love working with people and working with big ideas. I’m just excited to bring a fresh perspective. I think a lot of times in Morgantown we look at some of our closest neighbors, like what’s going on in Fairmont or Bridgeport, or maybe some of the other larger cities, like Charleston or Huntington, but I feel like I can bring some ideas from other parts of the state,” she said. “I’m ready to dig into the details.”
Ynigues, is one of three candidates on the ballot backed by Morgantown Can’t Wait, the local offshoot of West Virginia Can’t Wait.
She said homelessness and affordable housing are critical issues facing the city. Additionally, Ynigues said she’d like to see the city develop a community space downtown as well as a park for seniors. She also said she’d like to see more public art and help create a legal definition of “West Virginia made art” is support of art community.
“I support public art and I also want to, from an economics perspective, we need to support the art economy. I think there’s a lot that we can do to grow that as a sustainable profession in Morgantown. I think it’s good for our community culture and I think it’s good as a way to support people who live here. If we want to have more artists here we need to make it a viable option,” Ynigues said.
Setley said he’s concerned about the rise of property crime downtown and in the neighborhoods. He also said he believes the city has mishandled its relationship with its firefighters as well its dealings with property owners and finds itself involved in far too many lawsuits.
But the issue he raises first is trash.
“We’ve been dealing with inadequate trash pickup since I’ve moved here. I’ve never lived anywhere where you have so many missed trash days throughout the year. They just don’t come,” Setley said. “I’ve heard people on council and others talk and talk and talk about addressing this, but the closest we’ve ever gotten is having Republic Services come in and talk to council. That’s been it, and there’s no real accountability on that issue.”
Trumble said she would like to bring a business-owner’s perspective to council and focus on supporting economic development downtown. She went on to say that she’s excited about the redevelopment of 9.5 contiguous acres along Richwood Avenue.
“In the 5th Ward, specifically, we’re about to do the lover Richwood redevelopment project, which will be a planned unit development, meaning city council will have strong say in what’s able to happen there. I think being so connected to my ward and my neighborhood will really give us a leg up on having a say on what we want to see in our neighborhood. I really feel like nobody else can represent the 5th Ward or Woodburn in that situation quite like I can.”