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Two seek Brooke County Commission seat

WELLSBURG — Brooke County voters will choose from two Democratic candidates for a seat on the Brooke County Commission.

They are challenger Timothy “Tim” Hooper of 75 Abbey Lane, Colliers, and incumbent Stacey (Hukill) Wise of 108 Collins Lane, Follansbee.

Hooper has served for 22 years as a local government specialist for the state Treasurer’s Office. During that time he launched the West Virginia Achieving a Better Life Experience program, through which residents with disabilities can establish tax-free savings accounts for related needs without affecting their eligibility for federal assistance; organized training for businesses, agencies and others in reporting unclaimed property; and worked with county school boards in implementing the state’s supplemental retirement plan for public employees.

Hooper also has worked with school officials to bring to schools the state Treasurer’s Bank at School, Get a Life and Networth programs, aimed at teaching financial literacy to youth at various ages.

He has been a member of the Democratic Executive Committee, Brooke County Economic Development Authority and Brooke County Rotary.

Hooper said if elected, he would push for improved radio communications and safety for all of the county’s first responders, support more funding for services provided through the county’s senior center and explore the creation of a county administrator position to pursue economic development and new jobs.

“I will promote and strive to keep quality historic buildings and promote renovation over destruction,” he added, alluding to the commission’s decision to raze the former county museum to accommodate a planned addition to the courthouse.

He said, “I am a motivated individual with a solid commitment toward providing excellence. One core belief of mine is to lead by example. It’s important to foster an atmosphere that is tolerant, cooperative and unified. Additionally, I possess a strong work ethic and uphold equity within the workplace.”

In her fourth year as a county commissioner, Wise has more than 20 years of experience in senior housing services and rentals and is office/site manager of Colonial American Development, which operates Rockdale Village Senior Living Community.

She is former co-owner and treasurer of Wise Enterprise, a housing and recreational vehicle park rental company.

Wise said as commissioner she prepared the applications for nearly $300,000 in grants received from the state Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority to make the main courtroom handicap-accessible and improve security for the jury room; install LED lighting, sensor lights that shut off when a room is empty and other energy-saving measures; and ongoing upgrades to its heating and air conditioning systems, including moving the boilers from the building’s basement in the floodplain.

Wise said if re-elected, she will work with the other commissioners to pursue a courthouse addition to house all of the county’s court facilities without raising taxes. She said bringing the courts together will improve their efficiency and allow the county to receive funds from the state Supreme Court for the use of county space.

Wise said she will continue to work with other officials and local economic development groups and public service districts to improve the county’s emergency 911 center, make high-speed Internet service available to residents and businesses and extend water and sewer lines to unserved areas.

“As a commission, we have tried to be good financial stewards by being financially responsible in all day-to-day operations,” she said, adding she will continue to take that stance.

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