Several run for Beech Bottom council

BEECH BOTTOM – Beech Bottom voters will have several choices for council members when they cast their ballots on Tuesday.

Vying for five at-large seats in the non-partisan race are challengers Judy Lewis of 100 High St. and Debbie Murdock of 6 Clendenen Ave. and incumbents Robert Sadler of 443 Hill St., Greg Sheperd of 510 Fourth St. and Ted Westfall of 30 Second St.

Lewis, the wife of Mayor George Lewis, operated a daycare center in her home for several years and in recent years has applied her love of working with youth on community projects.

They have included planting flowers and the village’s veterans monuments and collecting litter, including aluminum cans redeemed with a recycler to raise funds for improvements to the Third Street Park.

She also has organized the village’s Christmas party, soliciting donations of gifts for children attending the event and poinsettias and treats for residents of a local nursing home. Such efforts won her the Beech Bottom Citizen of the Year award from Beech Bottom Council in 2008.

Lewis said if elected, she will suggest forming a youth council to suggest youth-oriented activities to council and help to intiaite a 4-H chapter there.

Murdock has served on the village’s water board since October. Her efforts with the annual Christmas party, collecting canned goods for a local food pantry and working with youth in the village’s community cleanups won her the 2012 Citizen of the Year award.

A former preschool aide for the Head Start Center at Beech Bottom Primary School, she served as site supervisor for the state’s Summer Youth Work program, teaching youth to create resumes and prepare for job interviews.

Currently employed as a substitute aide by Brooke County Schools and in the deli at Mark’s Carryout, she is working on a degree as child development specialist at West Virginia Northern Community College.

Murdock also would like to form a youth council as well as pursuing the development of small playgrounds at the village’s north and south ends and drinking fountains at its existing parks.

In his eighth year on council, Sadler chairs the village’s streets and maintenance committee and safety committee and is vice chairman of its water board. A former Beech Bottom water superintendent, he has been employed for more than 20 years by the Hammond Public Service District, serving as its superintendent for the last four years.

After high school graduation and service as a Marine, he worked on land and offshore drilling rigs in three states and in oil fields in Pennsylvania before returning to his native Beech Bottom.

Through his roles with Hammond and Beech Bottom, he has worked with other officials to secure grants and contributions for emergency tie-ins between water systems serving the village, Wellsburg and the Hammond district.

Sadler said if re-elected, he will pursue the pavement of High Street, repair and replacement of sidewalks and as a longer term goal, the establishment of a new filtration plant to improve the quality of the village’s water.

Sheperd is a graduate of Bethany College, where he majored in computer science and economics; and Wheeling Jesuit University, where he earned a master’s degree in business administration. He has been employed at WJU as a computer support analyst and computer support manager.

As chairman for the village’s grant committee, he has written grant applications for projects ranging from the public deposit bin for recyclable materials to the addition of solar panels to aid in heating the Municipal Building.

He said if re-elected, he would like to head up a committee on dilapidated structures, possibly seeking funds to aid owners in repairing their buildings, and continue to support efforts by the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle to bring new businesses to the former Wheeling Corrugating Plant.

In his fifth year on council, Westfall served a year of the unexpired term of a resigning council member, then was elected to his current four-year term. He chairs the village’s zoning commission and serves on the water board and information technology committee.

A state-certified journeyman with the United Steelworkers of America, he earned an associate’s degree in information technology from Eastern Gateway Community College and works as an instrumentation technician at Mountain State Carbon.

Westfall said he worked with other village officials to pursue the resurfacing of the Municipal Building parking lot and addition of solar panels to make it more energy-efficient, widening of very narrow streets and improvements to its two playgrounds.

He said if re-elected he will push for the development of riverfront property in the village and addition of new businesses, which he said would help to reduce taxes for everyone by broadening the village’s tax base.

Voters also may enter on their ballots any of the following official write-in candidates, incumbent Mary Linda Clelland of 20 Third St. and challengers Sharon Kay Jordan of 36 Highland Ave., Melissa Galene Smith Kemp of 437 Hill St. and Theresa Ann Shafer of 6 Second St.