BETHANY - Seven have declared their candidacy for five seats on Bethany Council in the town's June 11 general election.
They are incumbent Linda Chivers of 113 Main Street, challenger Thom Furbee of 99 Logan Court, incumbent Helen Moren of 202 Pendleton St., incumbent Ted Pauls of 117 Roosevelt Ave., challenger Kerry Shaulis of 142 Pendleton St., incumbent Patrick Sutherland of 101 Point Breeze Drive and incumbent Gray Williamson of 105 Point Breeze Drive.
A graduate of Bethany High School, Chivers has worked in the food industry for 44 years. She has coached girls softball and been involved in spaying and neutering feral cats and seeking homes for them.
She said if re-elected, she would work with other officials to attract new businesses that would benefit people of all ages, involve residents and the college community in efforts to draw tourists and work for the town's beautification.
Chivers said she would seek activities for Bethany's young people as an alternative to bicycling and skateboarding on streets at night and push for enforcement of the town's curfew for those age 16 and under.
Furbee has been a Bethany resident for 10 years and employee for 12 years of Bethany College, where he has been a professor and director of media services and classroom technology. He has served on the town's sanitation board for several years, during which he helped oversee improvements to the wastewater treatment system.
Furbee said if elected, he hopes "to bring my voice to the table in a helpful, collegial and community-centered way that will foster confidence in town government and move Bethany forward as a community at a pace that is comfortable to both progressives and conservatives."
"This is a pivotal time in the Northern Panhandle, and I am excited at the prospect of being part of the process of navigating the complicated and sometimes bumpy road ahead for our town as it experiences the growing pains associated with natural resource development and the economic and social impact it is having on our small town," he said.
A graduate of Bethany High School and West Liberty State College, Moren is a retired clerk for the postal service and worked in the local post office.
She served as town recorder for 14 years and as council member for eight years.
An active member of the General Federation of Woman's Clubs, she served as president of the Bethany Woman's Club for years, three separate terms as president of the GFWC- West Virginia Northern District and currently is state secretary.
Moren is a member of the Bethany Order of Eastern Star and secretary-treasurer of the Bethany Community Recreation Association.
She said if re-elected, she would push for the removal of dilapidated buildings, help to secure grants for sidewalk replacement and the enforcement of ordinances against overgrown grass and other property issues and to attract new businesses.
Pauls is a graduate of Brooke High School and West Virginia University, where he earned bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration and a doctorate in education.
A college professor for 20 years, he is chairman of the business department at Wheeling Jesuit University. He was employed as a marketing director for Greer Industries and as a stockbroker and is a member of the Brooke County Solid Waste Authority.
He said he brings to council exceptional understanding of financial and budgetary issues and if re-elected, would push for improved infrastructure in the town.
Pauls said, "Issues come and go without predictability; council must be able to face and make difficult decisions in the most fair and reasonable manner."
A Brooke High School graduate, Shaulis has lived in Bethany since 1974 and was an emergency medical technician and member of the Bethany Volunteer Fire Department.
She has been employed for about six years at the Bethany College Enrollment Center and worked in the mental health field for about 16 years prior to that.
Shaulis said she remembers more community events being held when she was a child and if elected, would help to organize events for families and seniors and tied into West Virginia's anniversary this year. She said they could be held at the town's new community center, which she said is an asset, and she would recruit volunteers to help keep costs low. She added she will be open to new ideas from residents and bring their complaints and concerns to the attention of the proper officials.
Sutherland has been a Bethany College professor since 1989. Prior to that, he worked on air or in sales in radio and television for 21 years at stations in Wisconsin, Alaska, Florida and with Armed Forces Radio and Television in Europe. He is a veteran of the Army and National Guard.
Sutherland has served on Bethany Council since 2003 and on the town's planning commission, serving as president twice; its Main Street improvement committee, chairing it for three years; and its zoning appeals board.
He said if re-elected, he will push for sidewalk repair, additional landscaping, picnic tables and benches along Main Street; work with others to attract more retail businesses, such as coffee or pottery shops; continue to address abandoned and dilapidated buildings; and develop and promote community events to enhance the quality of life for residents and students and draw more visitors. He said with that in mind, he's developing a website to promote Bethany Park, the town's community center and local trails.
Now retired, Williamson taught English and communication at West Liberty University for 40 years.
Since moving to Bethany in 2003, Williamson served three terms on Bethany Council and chaired and coordinated the committee for the town's 150th anniversary celebration. He was an emergency medical technician, firefighter and president of the Bethany Volunteer Fire Department and acted as a liaison to the Federal Emergency Management Agency during the 2004 flood.
Williamson said if re-elected, he will work with other town officials "to improve street and sidewalk conditions while maintaining property values by developing and enforcing housing standards.
He said it's important that "the town fosters community development and business opportunities and maintains fire, emergency and safety at high standards. Bethany Council should continue to seek out state, local and federal grants to fund such endeavors."