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Ten vie for commission seat

April 28, 2012
By WARREN SCOTT - Staff writer , The Herald-Star

WELLSBURG - Ten candidates are competing in the May 8 election for a seat on the Brooke County Commission.

They are: challenger James Andreozzi of 727 Skyline Circle, Follansbee; incumbent Marty Bartz of RD 3, Wellsburg; and challengers John Bertram of RD 1, Wellsburg; John Casinelli of 1015 Virginia Ave., Follansbee; Leonard E. DeWitt III of RD 1, Follansbee; Roy E. Givens of 251 Hillcrest Drive, Wellsburg; Burton K. Jennings II of 121 Elmhurst Drive, Wellsburg; Richard W. McCullough of 715 Skyline Circle, Follansbee; Janice McFadden of 308 Northview Road, Wellsburg; and Steve Tennant of 910 Washington Pike, Wellsburg.

All are Democrats. No Republican candidates have filed for the office.

The seat must be filled by a resident of the Follansbee Magisterial District, but anyone may vote for the individual to fill it.

The election also will determine a race for the unexpired term on the county commission of the late Bernie Kazienko. The winner of that race must be a resident of the Wellsburg Magisterial District.

Those unable to cast ballots that day may vote early at the Brooke County Courthouse between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday through May 5. April 17 was the last day to register or make changes in one's voter registration.

Candidates for sheriff, county prosecutor, two county magistrate seats, two seats on the county school board and several state and federal offices also will appear on ballots.

Andreozzi has served since 2004 as Follansbee councilman at large and was Brooke County dog warden from 2004 to 2010, during which he also served at times as interim director of the county's animal shelter.

Prior to his retirement in 2002, he was employed for 30 years by Weirton Steel Corp. and a member of the Independent Steelworkers Union, serving for 12 years as steward and executive committee member for 11 years as business manager, a position that involved setting budgets, conducting audits and overseeing daily operations.

He said if elected, he will attempt to address the wages of county employees, many of which are at minimum wage, he said, possibly drawing on revenue generated by the natural gas industry.

He said the industry will be a major economic boost to the county but he also will promote other development in the county through the Internet and personal contact with potential businesses.

Elected commissioner in 2006, Bartz holds a bachelor's degree in education from West Liberty State College and master's degrees in related areas from West Virginia University and Marshall University.

He has been employed by Brooke County Schools as a teacher, assistant principal, facilities supervisor and assistant superintendent.

Bartz said he wants to dispel a rumor he receives two salaries from the school board for the latter two positions. He said the two were merged as a cost-saving measure for the school district.

He said he's worked hard to fulfill his duties as school board official and commissioner but if re-elected, will retire from the school position so he can serve as commissioner full time.

Bartz said as commissioner, he has pushed for the extension of water and sewer lines to unserved residents, improvements to the county courthouse and the development of the county's new animal shelter and will continue to work for such goals as well as economic development and a new Ohio River bridge.

Bertram was administrator of the Brooke County Health Department for 37 years, a founding member and first president of the Brooke-Hancock Family Resource Network, founding member of the local Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and founder and president of the West Virginia Local Health Association.

He said he worked with Wellsburg officials to bring the Bayer Wellness Program to the city and expand it to Brooke County schools and businesses; and worked closely with state legislators to secure millions of dollars for the county and public health issues, including a $10 million increase in funding for all local health departments in the state.

Bertram said if elected, he will push for proper monitoring of natural gas drilling operations, develop a program that would recruit business leaders to serve as mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and promote the county for economic development.

Casinelli served for six years on Follansbee City Council and as a member of the city's water and sewer boards, worked with others to establish a new wastewater treatment plant.

He served as Brooke County Commissioner from 2001 to 2007, during which he worked with other county officials to eliminate budget shortfalls, make the county's ambulance service financially stable and update equipment at the county's emergency 911 center.

A purchasing manager at Follansbee Steel, Casinelli is chairman of the Brooke County Economic Development Authority and a member of the Brooke Hills Park board.

He said if elected, he will work to bring jobs to the county through the natural gas industry and other fields, work with others to extend public water and sewer service to unserved areas and improve roads and with emergency officials to ensure police, firefighters and ambulance personnel have the equipment they need.

DeWitt has been president, vice president and member of the Brooke Hills Park board and the same positions in the Brooke County Pioneer Trail Association.

He has been employed for 43 years at ArcelorMittal Steel, formerly Weirton Steel, where he is an electrical maintenance technician in the tin mill.

DeWitt said if elected, he will work to bring more jobs to the area, possibly in the growing natural gas industry; promote the county's parks and recreational trails, work for the Brooke County trail's extension to others in Weirton and Pennsylvania and attempt to address the abundance of Canadien geese and the waste they leave at parks and trails, exposing area youth and others to bacteria.

Givens represented Brooke County in the state House of Delegates for 13 two-year terms and served on the Brooke County Board of Education for nine years before that.

As a state legislator, he chaired committees on veterans affairs and health and human resources; a task force on juvenile foster care, detention and placement and a 2010 House select committee on coal mining permits.

Between two terms, he served as a volunteer project coordinator for the Brooke County Commission and secured state grants for a new roof and other improvements to the county courthouse and the county's new animal shelter.

He is a retired employee, with 41 years' service, of the Standard Slag Co.

Givens said if elected, he'd work with regional and state officials to bring new businesses to the county and help existing ones to grow, and secure grants and other funds to help the county make improvements and provide services without creating a heavy burden on taxpayers.

Jennings is a safety specialist for the Pittsburgh Port Authority and served on a safety inspection and review committee involved in the design and construction of the port authority's North Shore Connector, a $550 million project.

Prior to his current position, he was a bus driver for the PPA, a Weirton Steel employee and Brooke County sheriff's deputy.

He was a volunteer firefighter for 32 years, serving as an officer and firefighter for the Franklin Community and Wellsburg fire departments.

Jennings said if elected, he will work with the sheriff's office and local police to curtail illegal drugs, with county ambulance and emergency management directors to ensure their departments have the best equipment and staff, with courthouse department heads to adopt modern technology to speed services and lessen costs and with fellow commissioners and others to encourage economic development.

McCullough is lead engineer for the maintenance department of the Weirton ArcelorMittal Steel plant, where he's involved with various projects and addressing outages.

Prior to that, he was associate engineer of Weirton Steel's logistics department, manager of its transportation department, where he worked with a $24 million budget and oversaw about 200 people; a project engineer for the Ohio Power Co., and a supply corps officer for the Naval Reserves, serving in Afghanistan.

McCullough said if elected, he will establish office hours at the courthouse, focus on creating new jobs and keep residents informed through a website and newsletter.

He said the commission could pursue a partnership with the natural gas industry that could lead to a natural gas fueling station to fuel county vehicles, cutting costs for the county and improving the environment by reducing the emission of pollutants.

McFadden is manager of Brooke Hills Park and has volunteered as president of the Brooke County Committee on Aging, vice president of the Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau and member of the county's planning commission and economic development authority and Brooke County Fair Board.

She also has been involved in such groups as the Weirton Area Board of Realtors, Weirton Business and Professional Women, Brooke County Easter Seal Society, Follansbee 20th Century Club, Wellsburg Women of the Moose, Eastern Star and Franklin Women's Club.

McFadden said if elected, she will ensure Brooke County residents' concerns are heard by state legislators, work with the EDA and other county officials to attract new businesses and work to make county government fiscally responsible for all of its activities.

Tennant is co-owner of a Wellsburg barbershop and works part-time for an outdoor advertising company, a position he said he would quit to serve as full-time commissioner.

He has held sales and management positions in outdoor advertising and worked in various Weirton Steel departments as an ISU member for 17 years.

Tennant also is a member of Animal Advocates Brooke County, a group that aids the Brooke County Animal Shelter in finding homes for its occupants and with materials and medical expenses.

He said if elected, he will vote against special projects that have no or little benefit to Brooke County and for which there's little accountability, establish a roundtable of young adults who have returned to the county and have new ideas for improving its economic outlook and encourage more involvement from newcomers in the county's boards.

(Scott can be contacted at

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