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Five seek four seats on Strasburg council

By Alex Bridges

Strasburg voters can choose four people among five candidates vying for seats on Town Council when they go to the polls Tuesday.

John M. Hall Jr., Donald M. Le Vine, Seth John Newman, Scott E. Terndrup and Edith R. Wallace are on the ballot. Councilwoman Sarah Mauck did not seek re-election to serve a third term. The four candidates with the most votes win at-large seats on council. Winners take office June 1.

Each candidate responded to questions by phone. Wallace did not return calls seeking comments for this story.

Le Vine, 70, is married and has three children. Le Vine is serving his second term on Town Council.

Asked why he feels he should serve on council, Le Vine cited the town's economic development and noted his involvement in laying the foundation for that effort, including the annexation of the North Shenandoah Industrial and Business Park. Le Vine said the town needs to attract employers and good-paying jobs to the park.

"If that happens that will revitalize downtown and I think I've helped with this transition, this last eight years of preparation, and now I'm intrigued by how we can get economic development to become a growing, prosperous community." "I should be on the council because I've done the background work and have that experience and can take advantage to help the town develop itself economically."

Asked what he would do differently on council, Le Vine said would try to persuade more residents to become involved with shaping the town's future.

"I want to make a much more vigorous effort than I have in the past, because I will admit that I haven't done it as well as I could have done it, to try to incorporate these people to reach out to them and involve them in the process of developing this town so they feel they can contribute," Le Vine said.

Newman, 51, is married. Newman serves as the chairman of the Architectural Review Board and sat on the Planning Commission for about three years.

Asked why he feels he should serve on council, Newman said he would like to help shape the town's development.

"We have the Unified Development Ordinance that we're trying to get passed by council," Newman said. "If that opens up development opportunities for developers here, I just want to be on to help navigate that and help the town of Strasburg get the best development possible.

"I want to try to preserve that small-town character and I just want to make sure we build smart, not just build."

Asked what he would do differently on council, Newman said, "I don't know that I would do things differently. I think that ... a majority of them have a really good philosophy and I think that they're all headed down the right path. I think that I just add some experience and expertise in areas they may be lacking a little bit. Hopefully I can help."

Scott E. Terndrup, 61, is married with children. Terndrup is seeking election to his third term.

Asked why he should serve on council, Terndrup said: "I think I have some experience and we're kind of right in the middle of a lot of different projects that are ready to come to fruition now after the last kind of eight years of planning and getting them in place, and now they're ready to be built and to be implemented."

"I kinda would like to just finish the job I started."

As to what he would like to do differently if re-elected, Terndrup said, "I think the focus is different now from I think we spent a lot of time looking at how can we save money and how can we look at staff and maybe restructure this to make it more efficient.

"I think our personnel and our leadership is in excellent hands now," Terndrup added. "Now it's kind of looking at the operations and the maintenance, particularly with the industrial park -- that's going to be the real focus now, that's where we hope to find some living-wage employment opportunities for our citizens.

Terndrup noted that council, with input from residents, should decide Strasburg's role in the Corridor H project -- a major road project through parts of West Virginia planned to connect in Virginia near Strasburg.

Hall, 69, is married with children. Hall joined council in 2012 in a special election to fill the remaining portion of a four-year term.

Asked why he should serve on council, Hall said: "I am there to represent the people that I feel are always left out and also the people who can't come to the council meetings because they get too upset and too angry and they feel the same way I've always felt over the years -- nobody pays any attention to them and [council members] just do what they want to do."

As to what he would do differently on council if re-elected, Hall said: "I would like to see us manage and spend our money better, wiser, more conservatively, and I hope that reflects everything I'm doing now even though it seems like it doesn't happen, but that's me.

"But I'd like to see our town operate more business-friendly in my opinion than it does," Hall added. "We have made one giant step forward, in my opinion, in working to reduce the water and sewer access fees but I still feel the town is spending too much money."

Hall said the town should buy new vehicles rather than borrowing money to make the purchases.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com

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