By: Lydia Crawley
The Parsons Advocate
Parsons City Council held a special session to interview three candidates vying to fill the remainder of a four year term vacated by the appointment of Tim Auvil to the post of City Recorder. The appointment will fill the Ward Two seat until June 30, 2026. Seth Rosenau and Kathy DiBacco appeared before the Council in person with candidate Richard “Rick” Lemons appearing via telephone.
Each candidate was interviewed using a pre-selected list of questions so that each person would be asked the exact same questions. The questions ranged from name and address, how long the applicant has resided in Parsons, occupation and educational background, to governmental and committee experience and whether the applicant has any relatives currently in government. Other questions centered around the candidate’s goals and how they plan to communicate with constituents.
Only on applicant at a time were in the council chambers during the interview, with the remaining applicants waiting outside the chambers. “It is an open meeting,” Mayor Bruce Kolsun said. “One applicant will be in here at a time. The others will be dismissed.”
Candidate Seth Rosenau was the first to be interviewed by the Council. Rosenau said he had resided in Parsons for 39 years and is the son of Tucker County Commission President Mike Rosenau. Rosenau is a graduate of Tucker County High School and attended WVU and Fairmont State. According to Rosenau he has extensive coaching experience and said if appointed, his main goal would be to give the youth a voice. “Everyone has something they could bring to the table,” Rosenau said.
The second interview was via phone with Candidate Rick Lemons. Lemons said he had been a resident since 2019, but had lived in Parsons previously from 1996 to 2003 before being moved to the eastern panhandle for work. Lemons said he has extensive governmental experience from his work with OSHA through the State of West Virginia and his 15 year service in the WV Army National Guard. Lemons also said he attended the WV Police Academy and was a graduate of Buckhannon High School. Lemons said he would like to see the City prosper again and would like to try to bring back industry and help retain a workforce population. “I would like to see our town grow back to what it used to be,” Lemons said.
Candidate Kathy DiBacco was the final interview of the evening. DiBacco said she had been a resident of Parsons for 22 years, but had been a Tucker County resident her entire life. According to DiBacco, she was on the Board of Education for six years and has had a seat on the Parsons City Council since 2022. DiBacco said her objectives were to listen to the people and be fiscally responsible. DiBacco said her main goal was to see the City was run properly and she felt the most important services the City could offer were proper water and sewer. “The two most important things our residents have in the City are adequate water and adequate sewage,” DiBacco said.
During the regular session following the special session, the Council voted for DiBacco to fill the unexpired four year term as an appointment pending her resignation from her current two year seat. The requirement for DiBacco to resign prior to official appointment is required by West Virginia law, according to City Attorney Tim Stranko. The official resignation from the two year seat by DiBacco will be taken up at the next Council meeting. “If you chose Council Member DiBacco to fill that seat, it would be a conditional appointment,” Stranko said. “Conditional upon her resigning her current seat. She cannot hold two seats at a time.”
The two year term that is to be vacated by DiBacco will remain unfilled by the Council and will be placed before a vote by the City as part of this year’s elections in June with filing in April. Both Rosenau and Lemons were encouraged to apply to be placed on the ballot by City Administrator Agnes Arnold. “I would recommend, let the public decide,” City Recorder Tim Auvil said. “We’ve got several good applicants here.”
The next meeting of the City of Parsons Council will be held Tuesday, February 20 at 6 p.m. at the Charles W. “Bill” Rosenau Municipal Building located at 341 Second Street in Parsons.