Commonwealth Journal

October 25, 2012

Council holds last meeting before vote

by Heather Tomlinson
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —  

Monday’s Somerset City Council meeting was about as short and sweet as it could get, with one councilor extending his best regards to his fellow city officials in the upcoming election. 
Councilor Jim Rutherford, Ward 1, filling in for Mayor Eddie Girdler, who was out of town, wished the best to his fellow councilors in the upcoming election, many of whom have opposition for their seats. 
 “I certainly want to extend my best wishes for everybody ... this is our last meeting until the election. 
“This is the way democracy’s supposed to work,” Rutherford continued. “The public gets to choose who sits to represent them.”
Rutherford, Ward 2 Councilor Linda Stringer, Ward 3 Councilor Jerry Wheeldon, Ward 4 Councilor Mark Beasley, Ward 5 Councilor Jerry Girdler, Ward 8 Councilor John Ricky Minton, Ward 9 Councilor Jim Mitchell and Ward 10 Councilor Pat Bourne will battle against others to retain their seats come November 6.
Marvin Allan Coomer is running against Jim Rutherford for the Ward 1 seat, James Clarence Floyd is running against Stringer in Ward 2, Brent Fleming is running against Wheeldon for the Ward 3 seat, James C. “Jimmy” Eastham is running against Beasley in Ward 4, Claude “Jr.” Philpot is running against Jerry Girdler for the Ward 5 seat, David Blevins is running against Minton in Ward 8, Ricky Wilson is running against Mitchell in Ward 9, and Jim Rutherford’s brother, Tim Rutherford, is running against Bourne for the Ward 10 seat. 
Councilors Mike New, Ward 6, Donna Hunley, Ward 7, Jerry Burnett, Ward 11, and Tom Eastham, Ward 12, are running unopposed. 
In other news from Monday’s Somerset City Council meeting:
• Beasley expressed appreciation for the city’s quick action in lowering the speed limit on Speedway Drive from 35 mph to 25 mph. 
• Wheeldon, Burnett and Hunley said they enjoyed the League of Cities meeting they attended recently. 
• Minton asks if more work will be done on Ogden Street Bridge because “it still knocks the front off your car.” The bridge had been closed during the overnight hours for ongoing work there. Somerset City Attorney Carrie Wiese said she would check into it. 
• Minton also noted that Somerset gas prices still appeared to be higher than surrounding areas. Minton and several other councilors have been vocal in their frustrations with the prices, and they’ve even asked that Mayor Girdler look into selling gas publicly. Wiese on Monday said she’s still checking into complex legal issues involved with selling gas publicly.