Citizens of Davis,
I am grateful to be elected as your next mayor. I am humbled and it is an honor and a privilege. I will serve you to the best of my abilities. I would like to share a little about myself.
I was not born in West Virginia; my parents were refugees from Estonia and I was born in New York City. After West Point, I served our nation for forty years with the Army and have traveled to all fifty states and over sixty countries. My wife of 46-years, Mary Anne, and I could have retired in any of those locations, but we fell in love with the warm people and atmosphere of Davis. For 12 years we been working on remodeling our home so now, I am from West Virginia!
I want to share my objectives. I love Davis, its charm and its character. I don’t want to change any of that. My main goal is to work diligently to keep our community much as it is today. For that, I will need your support and the tools with which to fight growth and change.
We have challenges including a serious issue with stormwater which causes a critical problem for our wastewater. This has been going on for decades. Our daily sewer discharge limit is 120,000 gallons. During nice weather, we typically put 80,000 gallons into the river and we are below our limits. When it rains the stormwater enters our sewer system. We end up discharging over 300,000 gallons PER DAY –resulting in heavy fines by the WV DEP. We must address and fix this situation.
We have started an area-wide sewer feasibility study. Once we know the solutions, we will work to find Federal and State funding to implement a workable resolution for Davis. What does that mean for residents? First, we can no longer have our gutters connected to the sewer. This is not negotiable. The whole town, will need to implement this mandatory separation. Second and most troubling is that our sewer rates will increase. We don’t know how much but will try to keep it small, and spread out over time. This is being required by the State. We have had very low rates but now must join the rest of WV. Both the State and Federal governments understand our dilemma and have committed to assist. We will not have to fund this project alone.
I promise that I will always tell you the truth, give you the facts, listen to you, and then make an informed decision to the best of my abilities. I do not have all the answers. Managing our town is a team sport and we each need to do our respective part. I will work hard to do mine. I am available to each of you and can be reached through the town hall offices.
Mayors Joe Drenning and Doug Martin and their respective town councils has made Davis what it is today.