WHEELING, W.Va. –The second term as mayor of Wheeling for Glenn Elliott will feature both familiar faces to work with on the city council and new ones.
Elliott and six members of the city council took their oath of office on Wednesday at Independence Hall in Wheeling following election victories in June.
Ohio County Circuit Judge Michael Olejasz administered the swearing-in of a second term for Elliott, Ward 1 Councilman and Vice Mayor Chad Thalman, Ward 5 Councilman Ty Thorngate, and Ward 6 Councilman Dave Palmer.
Ward 2 Councilman Ben Seidler, Ward 3 Councilman Rosemary Ketchum and Ward 4 Councilman Jerry Sklavounakis are the newcomers on ‘The Friendly City’ council.
Elliott told MetroNews he looks forward to working with the council members in the upcoming weeks to figure out where everyone fits in.
“When we have our first meeting next week, we are going to form the new committees and give everyone a chance to stake out where they want to make a difference,” Elliott said.
The first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday where Elliott will decide on the new city council committees and a vice mayor. The council’s first order of business will be the old OVMC property downtown, which the council voted to acquire in a previous meeting.
He said he wants the second term to be a “multi-track approach” of continuing on those downtown projects while focusing on the quality of life aspects for citizens.
“One of the lessons from the most recent election is we have to spend equal time focusing on issues across the towns and neighborhoods,” Elliott said.
“Issues like flooding, issues like dilapidated buildings, issues like street paving that need to get more attention and those have to be priorities.”
— Mayor Glenn Elliott (@MayorWheeling) July 1, 2020
As for his decision on vice mayor, Elliott said he anticipates to rename Thalman to the post.
“Vice Mayor Thalman has been my vice mayor for the last four years, I think he has done a very good job,” Elliott said.
“He and I have a relationship where we can each share each other with us, very blunt assessment of how we are doing. He tells me if he thinks I am right and most importantly, he tells me if he thinks I am wrong.”
The swearing-in ceremony on the third floor was historic on multiple fronts including the limited crowd, masks requirements, and health screenings upon entering.
When Ketchum took the oath she became the first out trans person in an office in West Virginia.
Elliott called it a proud moment for the city. In his first term, the city passed a non-discrimination ordinance based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
“Rosemary is someone who brings a lot of energy, a lot of knowledge and a lot of courage for what she does,” Elliott told MetroNews.
“Bringing that to city council is a breath of fresh energy coming to us. I look forward to working with her. I think she has a great future ahead of her. Whatever she sets her mind to, I think she can do.”
The charter for the city allows only two consecutive terms for a mayor. Elliott said eight years is plenty for him and would not seek reelection to the city council which would still be allowed.