MASON — A recently retired Mason County director is now hoping to take the helm in the Town of Mason.
Chuck Blake, who retired as the county’s 911 and EMS director on Dec. 30, is the lone mayoral candidate after the first of a three-week filing period for the municipal election. The election will be held June 13.
Blake is not new to public service in Mason, however. He has previously served as a council member, municipal judge, chief of police, fire chief, and EMS chief.
Incumbent Mayor Donna Dennis has not filed for re-election. Dennis stated earlier that she is unsure if she will seek the office again.
There have been no candidates filing for recorder as of noon on Friday. Ciji Casto presently holds the position.
Four candidates have thrown their hats into the ring for council positions. They include incumbents Becky Pearson and Sharon Kearns, and newcomers Ricky Kearns, Jr. and Misty Young. Other current council members are Emily Henry, Marty Yeager and Bob Wing.
Salaries for the office holders in Mason are $200 a week for the mayor, with a required minimum of 12 hours of work per week; $450 a month for recorder, with eight hours required per week in the office during regular business hours; and $25 per meeting attended for council members.
The Town of Hartford will also be holding its election on June 13. According to Recorder Cheryl Oldaker, no candidates have filed for any office as of Friday morning. Oldaker stated she is planning to seek re-election to her position, which she has held for nearly 20 years.
Current office holders in Hartford are Mayor Gordon Spencer; Oldaker; and council members Carol Spencer, Patty Neil, David Burris, Charlotte Kimes and Natalie Staats.
The Hartford mayor has a monthly salary of $100, while council members are paid $50 per month.
The filing period ends Jan. 28. Forms can be picked up in Mason at the town hall, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In Hartford, forms can be obtained at the town hall, Tuesday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. According to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, mailed candidacy papers must be postmarked by the U.S. Postal Service no later than midnight Jan. 28.
Both towns will be electing a mayor, recorder, and five council members. The officials will begin their term on July 1.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who can be reached at email@example.com.