They have some big projects ahead of them
Images courtesy of City of Morgantown and Council Members
A new Morgantown City Council will be seated at the Tuesday, July 6, meeting. Our 2021–23 Council is a mix of experience and fresh faces.
Among the new Council’s first orders of business will be filling the vacant First Ward seat—see below—as well as deciding when to begin holding public sessions at City Hall again. Beyond that, it has a long list of priorities: shepherding the airport runway extension and business park, carrying out ice arena and pool upgrades and renovations, new streetscaping on Walnut and Pleasant streets, and more.
If you’ve never attended a City Council meeting, it’s a great way to get more connected with local government. Council deliberates at 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month and meets last Tuesdays in work sessions where no formal action is taken. Anyone can watch online or on Comcast Channel 15. Residents can submit written comments for Council to the city clerk.
Our new Council members are serving two- and four-year terms as we transition to the staggered four-year regime we chose by referendum in the April election.
Meet your new Council
First Ward This seat was vacated almost as soon as it was filled, when councilman-elect Patrick Hathaway decided to leave town directly after the election. By city charter, the remaining six Council members have 30 days to fill the seat—after that a special election would have to be held. The First Ward councilperson will serve a two-year term.
Second Ward Entering his fifth term on Council, retired graphic designer Bill Kawecki served as mayor 2017–19. Kawecki has served on the Historic Landmarks Commission, the Housing Advisory Commission, the Morgantown Monongalia Metropolitan Planning Commission and others. He will serve a four-year term.
Third Ward First-term Council member Ixya Vega has lived in Morgantown since 2016. She is interested in grassroots organizing to create change, and on Council she plans to advocate for young people and people of color. She supports outdoor recreation and parks, small businesses, and community beautification and diversification. She serves a two-year term.
Fourth Ward Going into her eighth term, Jenny Selin served as mayor 2013–15 and is the Council elder, so to speak. A mediator by profession, Selin has served on the Health and Wellness Commission, the Morgantown Monongalia Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Airport Advisory Commission, the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners, and other boards and commissions. Selin serves a four-year term.
Fifth Ward First-term Council member Danielle Trumble re-energized the Woodburn Association of Neighbors. She serves on the Main Street Morgantown Events and Promotions Committee, the Board of Parks and Recreation, the Health and Wellness Commission, and the Traffic Commission. Her campaign focused on business and downtown, neighborhoods, parks and greenspace, and improved collaboration with other entities. Trumble’s term is two years.
Sixth Ward Entering his second term on Council, wellness professional Dave Harshbarger helps people and organizations make strategies for increasing safety, health, and well-being. He has long served on the board of the Mon River Trails Conservancy. On Council, Harshbarger looks at policy initiatives through the lens of improving community health and well-being. He has a strong interest in pedestrian and cycling issues, including sidewalks. Harshbarger serves a four-year term.
Seventh Ward A musician and a father of two sons, Brian Butcher is interested in the arts and in making Morgantown a great place to raise a family. His top issues are homelessness and increasing the stock of affordable housing. He’s also interested in effective access to treatment for drug addiction, inclusion and equality of all minorities, affordable transportation, and accountability for elected officials and law enforcement. He serves a two-year term.