Competition slim in eastern village races

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 29, 2003

Two veteran mayors in eastern Lawrence County face opposition in this coming election, but in both villages, the competition for the council seats is non-existent.

Chesapeake Mayor Jimmie Justice and Proctorville Mayor Jimmy Buchanan will both seek reelection this year. Former Chesapeake Councilman Terry Griffin will challenge Justice and citizen Robert Boston will challenge Buchanan.

In the council races, two seats are available on each council. Incumbent Proctorville Councilman Charles Carson has filed for reelection. Councilwoman Lisa Nutter, whose term expires, did not, nor did anyone else. Nutter's position on the council will either be filled with a write-in candidate, or someone appointed by a majority vote by council, Buchanan said. In the case of a tie vote, the mayor would break the tie. Village clerk/treasurer Darrell Legg is running unopposed.

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Buchanan will seek his third term this election. Besides his two elected terms, Buchanan served half a year of former mayor Doug Clark's term after he resigned. Buchanan had spent six years on the council and was council chairman when he became mayor.

Buchanan, the 26-year owner of Jim's Gun and Tackle in Proctorville, said he is proud of his accomplishments as mayor.

"We have a new water plant, new water tanks and new water lines," he said. "We have a full-time police department and we have a third-lane project here in town."

Incumbent Chesapeake Councilwoman Joyce C. Stollings has filed for reelection and Joseph Bevans has filed for the other seat. Councilman Paul N. Hart, whose term expires, did not file for reelection. Clerk/treasurer Peggy Houston is running unopposed.

Justice will seek his fifth term this election, and he first ran for mayor after serving on the village council for four years. He is the maintenance supervisor at Westview Manor in Huntington, W.Va.

After 16 years in office, one of Justice's accomplishments of which he is the most proud is the continuing improvements to the village park. While some people said before it was built that no one would ever use the park, Justice said some people will use it every day, with three to four groups reserving it every month. Some of the improvements include adding blacktop and more playground equipment.

"I love our community and I love working in our community," he said. "Many people do enjoy our park and I want to strive to work and make it better."

Another improvement project Justice wants to see continue is street repair. The village has secured approximately $170,000 to $200,000 for repairs in North Huntington Heights. He wants to see more paving and street repairs and hopes to secure Issue 2 funds to do this. However, getting the funding may be a challenge.

"I don't think some people understand that every day, things are drying up and we're getting less funding," he said.

The Ironton Tribune attempted to contact Griffin and Boston as well as other Chesapeake and Proctorville candidates, but none could be reached at press time.