Six vying for vacant area school board post

WELLSBURG – Six Brooke County residents have declared their candidacy for a vacant seat on the county’s school board in the Nov. 4 general election.

The six are Paula Boram of 1454 Grand Ave., Wellsburg; Pamela Dudley of 60 Third St., Wellsburg; Michelle R. Mitchell of 2008 Commerce St., Wellsburg; Ronald J. Ujcich Sr. of 1522 Main St., Wellsburg; Douglas S. Wagstaff of 119 Hukill Run Road, Wellsburg; and William “Bill” Williams of 1501 Marianna St., Wellsburg.

The field of candidates could expand because certificates of candidacy may be mailed in with a postmark no later than Tuesday. Potential candidates had until 5 p.m. Tuesday to file in person at the Brooke County Courthouse.

The seat became vacant with the July 16 death of Frank Ujcich. Ujcich had been re-elected to a four-year term in May. He and fellow board members Jim Lazear and Chad Haught were unopposed.

Because the term began July 1, the winner of the seat will serve the remainder of Ujcich’s term.

Jim Piccirillo, president of the Brooke County Board of Education, said state election officials advised the board to put the seat on ballots in the next regular election.

He said the winner will fill the seat soon afterward.

On July 28, the school board appointed Richard Pannett, a former school board member, to fill the seat until the election.

Piccirillo said he and other board members felt appointing a candidate to the seat would have given that person an unfair advantage in the election, and Pannett said he wouldn’t seek election.

State code calls for the five-member school board not to consist of more than two residents from the same magisterial district, so the seat must be filled by a resident of the Weirton or Wellsburg districts.