OHIO COUNTY (WTRF) – In preparation for November 8, the race for Ohio County Commission is between Wheeling Councilman Dave Palmer and incumbent Randy Wharton.

Wheeling Councilman Dave Palmer is taking a step towards the county level by running for Ohio County commission against its current president, Randy Wharton. 

“Forty years ago, three county commissioners took a chance on Dave Palmer and hired him as a twenty-year-old deputy sheriff. That led me on a career path of public service, and you know, forty years later, here we are, and I’d like to be able to be that person to find that twenty-year-old or find that diamond in the rough to send on to their future.”

Dave Palmer – (R) Ohio County Commission Candidate

Wharton has sat on Ohio County commission for four six-year terms, and he is currently seeking out his fifth. 

He says that he hopes that his previous work will allow him to build upon what he has already accomplished as Ohio County commission president. 

“It’s a big job and it takes a lot of time and I enjoy it, and I think after all these years I’ve gotten fairly good at it and that’s where the experience comes in. I know what they need. I meet with these people on a regular basis. I know them and they know me.”

Randy Wharton – (D) Incumbent Ohio County Commission

Both candidates can agree that collaboration between the city and county governments is an important factor in the success of Ohio County. 

Palmer says that he is running to make sure that all of Ohio County is represented. 

“I’ve been on council for six years, and I’ve not seen that cooperation until recently ironically, but there hasn’t been the cooperation,” said Palmer. “I feel like with Wheeling being the county seat and not being cooperated with – what about the smaller towns and villages? What about Valley Grove, Triadelphia, West Liberty, Clearview, Bethlehem? You know, what’s going on there? What’s not happening there?”

However, Wharton says that this is a misconception, and that he feels that the county is always taking steps to be directly involved. 

”We’ve done that by pacing the Mayor Glenn Elliott on our development authority, so he has a first – he sits right at the table and has a firsthand view of all the development and everything that goes on in the county, which includes The Highlands,” Wharton emphasized.

“The mayor of West Liberty is on the Fire Board where I serve. One of the council people from Clearview is also on the fire board, so the commissioners are engaged in every possible aspect of the county that we could be.”

Wharton says that something new we will be seeing is “Recruitment and Retention” within the business community, and as a business owner himself, he says that Ohio County has places to work, eat, and play, but not enough places to stay. 

He hopes to bring affordable, single-family housing to our communities. 

The Highlands is also a topic of discussion between both candidates. Wharton says that although many people believe that they focus too closely on The Highlands, there is still much work to be done.  

Palmer has a differing opinion to increase traffic for businesses in Triadelphia, Valley Grove, and Elm Grove. 

“Instead of spending $700 million on an interchange at the bottom of 2 Mile Hill for traffic at The Highlands maybe a few times a year, I’d like to see us look into the possibility of building a two-lane, local traffic only road from the back of The Highlands where Ohio County commission currently owns the property, down into either Triadelphia or Valley Grove.”

Dave Palmer – (R) Ohio County Commission Candidate

So, what do they want you to think about on election day?  

“There is a lot of work left to do and I’m very excited about partnering with a lot of different people, different communities, and different stakeholders in the communities to improve on everything we’ve done, and as I said in the beginning, improve on what we’ve already accomplished.”

Randy Wharton – (D) Incumbent Ohio County Commission

“I want to be the fresh set of eyes, the fresh set of ears, the fresh set of ideas that come to Ohio County.”

Dave Palmer – (R) Ohio County Commission Candidate

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