John D. "Hoppy" Hopkins was elected Mayor of Paden City last Thursday, declaring victory over three other candidates, including incumbent William B. Fox.
Hopkins appeared on the ballot with Fox, Cindy L. Slider, and Clyde Hochstrasser. After the ballots were tabulated, Slider received 14 votes; Hochstrasser received 98 votes; and Fox received 163 votes.
Hopkins, who previously served two terms in office, received an outpouring of support from his community. On Election Day, his supporters organized a rally at Pineapple Park, located across the street from WesBanco in Paden City. Hopkins reported that approximately 100 people attended to wish him well. "I appreciate all the help and support I received in this election," he commented.
His victory comes on the heels of allegations that the former administration unlawfully ran the license plate of a Paden City resident. As a result, a complaint was filed for abuse of crime information records. Hopkins remarked, "If there's a complaint or issue, it needs to be turned over to the police department, and the Chief of Police can handle it."
The newly-elected mayor will assume his responsibilities as Mayor of Paden City effective July 1 and will preside over the July 2 meeting of the city council. His first order of business is to repave some of the city streets, an issue that has dominated the council's public forum recently. He also plans to update the city's aging sewer system. "There are still problems with the system. It's a very, very old system - over 100 years old."
Additionally, in a recent survey of the candidates, Hopkins stated he felt it was time to codify Paden City's ordinance book. "I believe the last time it was codified was over 20 years ago." he noted. "It is the duty of the municipal government to maintain its ordinances and see that they are comprehensive, up-to-date, and in an easy to read form. By compiling all of the ordinances and amendments into one document, the need to refer to separate documents is eliminated. There are state codes changes that would affect our ordinances and this could also be addressed. There are firms that specialize in doing this and they would present their findings to council for final approval. Our codes are used daily and need to be more user friendly for our enforcement officials to use them with confidence. Once the ordinances are codified they could be stored electronically and thus easily updated."
As for his position in general, he said, "I'm ready to get in there and get down to business. I will do my best to live up to the expectations placed on me, and be available to the citizens of Paden City."
Also, on the ballot were the following uncontested candidates: Glenn "Bob" Casteel, 1st Ward Councilmember, 131 votes; Tom Trader, 2nd Ward Councilmember, 153 votes; and Larry Potts, 3rd Ward Councilmember, 166 votes.
Hopkins, Casteel, Trader and Potts will serve two-year terms in office.