Archived Story

Incumbent takes Chesapeake mayoral post; Proctorville administrator will now lead village

Published 8:00am Wednesday, November 9, 2011

CHESAPEAKE — With 52 percent of the vote, Dick Gilpin won his second term as mayor of Chesapeake, defeating for a second time longtime mayor Jimmie Justice.

Four years ago, Gilpin ended the five-term tenure of Justice. This fall Justice wanted the job back and lost, taking 36 percent of the votes cast, according to the unofficial results.

Gilpin ran hard on a record of improving the village’s infrastructure from a massive road overhaul at North Huntington Heights to starting to clean up the eyesores along Rockwood Avenue.

“I couldn’t have done it without the support and encouragement of the people in town,” Gilpin said. “I am really happy that it is over and we go on with life.”

Gilpin cited his visibility as mayor as the reason for his win.

“I hope it is because I have been a very active mayor, very visible in the community, trying to accomplish making our town better,” he said. “I can’t say that it is all me. I had help from my council and we had a good staff at the village hall.”

During the campaign Justice took a wait and see approach as far as plans for the village.

“I wouldn’t want to promise a whole lot until I got in there and looked at the financial situation,” Justice said in a campaign interview. He cited repairing the road behind the former jail and spearheading the creation of the Veterans Memorial and Gibson Memorial parks as accomplishments he was most proud.

Also running was Terry Griffin, who had served on the village council with Justice and with Gilpin as clerk/treasurer. Griffin had offered himself as a viable alternative, declining to level criticism at either man.

Griffin came in third with 31 votes or 11 percent of the total

In Proctorville, a Kentucky Derby-esque size field went after that mayor’s race, left vacant by the death of Charles Stapleton.

Taking the top prize was Rick Dunfee, the current village administrator, with 90 votes or 43 percent. Dunfee vied for the post with two councilmen, two political newcomers and the long-time administrative aide for the village.

“I am happy,” Dunfee said. “It was a well-fought race. There wasn’t any backstabbing. I have been the administrator for 14 years. I know the village and the people know me. I know what we can do, what we need to do.”

At the top of his agenda are getting police cruisers and finding funds for new water lines in the village.

“Money is so tight,” he said. “You just can’t do a lot of things that you’d like to.”

  • Poor Richard

    Chesapeake is the only other town, besides Ironton, that has actually retained the appearance of a town. Chesapeake is laid out nicely with residential neighborhoods and main street as the business area. There is still a community connection with the citizens. The Village is a river community most of which is out of reach of flooding so no flood walls block the river view. Montys was always the big hang out after school football games and the downtown was busy — what happened?

    Chesapeake needs some new blood as mayor, someone that works aggressively for the village, someone with fresh ideas, a business sense, and a vision — Gilpin does not fit that mold. A new mayor would likely think about things such as landscaping the park, keeping main street for business and not cheap housing development, keeping the residential area for residence not business, would try and increase parking for visitors on main street, would beautify the village, would purchase land to expand the park with a possible walking path leading to the community center or schools, would appreciate and preserve the few remaining historic buildings, would expand the village boundaries, perhaps start an acquisition fund so the village could purchase properties, would work to get the abandoned gas station tanks removed, would enforce village ordinances, maybe even pass a few that would clean up some of the messy properties, a leader would be of high morals and honest and would not allow the police to harrass citizens they didn’t like, an experienced leader would try and retain the architecture and culture of their community with any new businesses adhering to the building criteria (including franchises), perhaps they would publish the history of their community in a book, hold fundraising dinners for the park or to purchase new benches, trash cans, or other village needs, the mayor would think about replacing the 50 year old sewer lines and apply for grants, would try and get rid of the spider web of electric lines, and would do something about the smell from the sewage plant, a forward thinking mayor might even talk to energy companies about alternatives or future needs for the village, possibly design some brochures for the village, and the list goes on.
    Chesapeake citizens should expect more from their mayor and the village council.

    (Report comment)

  • bw1961

    Congratulations Mayor Rick Dunfee!!!

    (Report comment)

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