Mary Lewis is running for the Martinsburg City Council of Ward 4, currently held by H.D. Boyd Jr. Additional challengers for the council position include Mark C. Baker and Doug Reid. Ward 4 contains a sizable section of downtown, and extends along Queen Street to the northern City limit. The municipal elections for Martinsburg will be held on June 14th, with Early Voting running through Saturday, June 11. Miburg contacted each of the candidates running for office and sent them the following Questions:
What motivated you to run for office, and specifically for this position?
I have a commitment to community, NOT just any community but a passion for this place we ALL call home. For me, that is Ward 4, a diverse group of neighborhoods, including our business district – EACH unique and with its own character. Ward 4 is indeed the heart of our city. Simply stated, my motivation is: commitment, passion and much needed “TLC” for our heart – Ward 4!
What is the biggest issue facing Martinsburg today?
I have 5 issues on my short list; however, improving and maintaining the quality of life and safety in our neighborhoods and business district is a key issue in Ward 4.
Over the past few months, I have had the privilege of working with Chief Richard’s stakeholders’ committee addressing issues of real safety. Action has “been put into place” in our neighborhoods and business center re: police visibility. Foot patrols, parked police vehicles and interaction with community members have been implemented. Further police training will soon be instituted as well as expansion of the bike patrol. Ordinances, recently passed, dealing with criminal activity in specific properties in areas of our city will assist our police department in curtailing such activity – a further step toward improving quality of life and safety issues in our ward and our city.
What does community mean to you?
Positive people and positive attitudes are the driving force for any community. I listen, pay attention and want to improve our community wherever and whenever possible. I want Martinsburg to be a better place to live and a better place to visit. For me, community is people and history and honoring the best of our past and acting smartly toward the future.
What is your Vision for the future of West Virginia?
My vision for the future of WV??? My dream: to NOT see WV towards the bottom of categories. Another dream: revamp the state’s tax department. WV has a lot to offer and I would like the state’s tourism department and film office be expanded – advertise our natural resources and recreational activities in ALL counties and continue to recruit the film industry by continuing the state’s tax credit program.
How can the Martinsburg City Council promote a healthy and sustainable community?
Ward 4’s future and Martinsburg’s future depends on economic stability. My goal has always been to promote our city center and neighborhoods, to help our people and our businesses thrive. Improving quality of life, addressing safety/drug issues and supporting thoughtful development creates a healthy, vibrant and prosperous community.
What do you want people to know about you?
I love this community and I have never shied away from standing up and speaking out for my ward and my city. Through my community work (MainStreetMartinsburg, The Arts Centre, city’s Shade Tree, the Martin Luther King Scholarship Committee, the Promise Neighborhood and the former AIDS Network) I have worked with diverse groups of all ages to bring services to undeserved areas in our community.