Shepherdstown voters go to the polls

Election West Virginia

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. (WDVM) — It was postponed because of the the coronavirus, but Shepherdstown voters went to the polls Tuesday for their town election.

Mayor Jim Auxer faces one challenger from Shepherd University graduate Todd Cotgreave, who has made Shepherdstown his home for nearly three decades. Six candidiates are vying for seats on town council. Incumbent Councilwoman Cheryl Roberts chairs the Council Parks and Recreation committee and hopes to build on her four years of elective service to Shepherdstown.

“Voters worry about things operating efficiently, you know, about the finances of the town,” says Roberts. “The business owners are important. What are we doing to help the businesses in town? And the university is huge.”

Gabrielle Tokash is active with the Contemporary Arts Theatre Festival (CATF) in town. She takes her right to vote seriously and is grateful for citizen access to Shepherdstown’s leaders.

“You can bump into the town council members on the street almost everyday,” Tokash says, “and you can say, ‘hey, can you tell me about x, y and z. Your perspective on this?'”

And it could be an overstatement to say there might be some volatile issues in this election.

“Everything just seems to be running smoothly,” says James Stitely. “It seems like a happy, nice town.”

The job of mayor comes with a lot of responsibility, overseeing the administrative, police and public works departments. The reward? Well, it’s a volunteer position with a small stipend.

Because mailed-in absentee ballots will need to be counted, officials say it may take the better part of the week before all the votes are certified.

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