Follansbee mayor, chief return; new council faces

FOLLANSBEE – Following Tuesday’s election, David Velegol Jr. and John Schwertfeger will continue to serve as Follansbee’s mayor and police chief, respectively, while the 1st and 2nd wards will have new representatives.

Velegol received 289 votes while challenger Ben Arthurs received 97 votes. Schwertfeger received 287 votes, while challenger Paul Arthurs received 112 votes.

Paul and Ben Arthurs are father and son.

All totals are unofficial until ballots are canvassed at 5 p.m. Monday at the Follansbee City Building.

Unofficial totals for the council races are:

1st Ward: Vito “Skip: Cutrone, 52; and Tom McMillan, 10.

2nd Ward: Dave Secrist, 66; and Helen “Honey” Hedmond, 31.

The incumbents for both wards chose not to seek re-election, leaving the seats open for the newcomers.

Velegol thanked voters for their support and Ben Arthurs for his participation, wishing him luck in the future. He added he’s looking forward to his next two years as mayor.

Schwertfeger also thanked his supporters, sharing credit for his win with “the good group of officers” in the police department. He said he and they will continue to work to deter drug dealing, breaking and entering and other crimes in the city.

Cutrone expressed appreciation to his supporters, adding, “Hopefully I can work with everybody and be a good representative of my ward.”

He added he would like to get residents of the 1st Ward more involved in city government.

Secrist said, “I’d like to thank all of my supporters. I won’t let them down. I campaigned on fiscal responsibility and accountability and respect for all citizens and I will strive for that as a council member.”

(Scott can be contacted at