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Two run in village mayor’s race

HANGING ROCK – Two candidates will face off Tuesday in the Hanging Rock mayor’s race.

Monday, November 01, 1999

HANGING ROCK – Two candidates will face off Tuesday in the Hanging Rock mayor’s race.

Incumbent Wayne Pennington said he is proud of how far the village has come in the four years he has presided over the village.

"We’ve computerized everything in the clerk’s office, the mayor’s office and the police department, purchased two cars and have gained fully paid hospitalization for the law officers," he said. "These are just some of the things we’ve accomplished in the last four years. There is still much more to be done."

If re-elected, Pennington said his plans for the village include more street improvements as soon as possible.

"I want to put up new street signs for next year and do some paving on North Second Street and Geswein Street," he said. "We’ve gotten the intersection fixed over there, and we had to do that before we could get to the paving, but I hope to be in office to continue with the project."

With his first term as mayor behind him, Pennington, whose other job is as a union health and safety representative for Marathon Ashland Petroleum, said he believes the next four could be even more productive.

"I’ve become familiar with the job," he said. "I have other projects that I really wanted to get done, and now that I’ve started, I really want to see them completed."

Although paving, adding street signs and improving intersections might not seem like large undertakings, working in a village is much different than working in a city, he said.

"They seem like minuscule jobs when you’re talking about a city, but when you’re talking about a village, they are big jobs," Pennington said. "A couple of thousand dollars for new guardrails is a lot of money out of the budget in Hanging Rock."

A resident of Hanging Rock for more than 28 years, Pennington said he cares about the village as a community in which families are raised.

Pennington and his wife, Carol, are the parents of twin daughters Tomi Nicole Pennington and Jami Dawn Sisler, both 25, and the grandparents of Steven Michael, 6, and Bentley Nicole Sisler, 5.

"It’s a good community, and it’s growing," he said, adding that the village has gained a new business during his administration, the Fleet Fuel Depot.

Hanging Rock’s image in the county and surrounding areas also is of concern to Pennington. If re-elected, he said he will continue working to rid Hanging Rock of the "speed trap" image.

"We’ve worked hard to get rid of the label that we’re nothing but a speed trap down here," he said. "That’s not at all what our police force is about."

In addition to regular mayoral duties, like other village mayors, Pennington has carried several titles and juggled many duties during his four years in office, such as judge in the mayoral court and building and flood plain administrator. But, experience will help him in his second term, he added.

"It’s been difficult, but I’ve managed to do them while working a full time job," he said. "It’s not impossible to do; you just have to be dedicated to getting it done. I think I’ve done well, and I hope the voters thinks so, too."

Pennington’s challenger, Vic "Butch" Hopper Jr. did not respond to repeated requests for an interview.