A couple of weeks ago, Town of Bath Mayor Susan Webster walked into Roy’s Service Station in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia and saw about ten political rack cards of Scott Merki, her opponent in the June 9 mayoral election.
Spur of the moment, Mayor Webster took all of them and left.
Now she says that was a mistake.
“If I were to do it over again, I would have taken only two of them, not all of them,” Mayor Webster said.
At first, Mayor Webster denied that it was inappropriate to take the rack cards of a political opponent.
“I told Scott that I was handing them out for him,” Mayor Webster said. “I also told him that I would pay for what I took — and I wanted to buy more, because I’m handing them out. I want our citizens to know what he stands for.”
But when pressed, Mayor Webster admitted that it was a mistake to take all of Merki’s cards from Roy’s.
Merki has been a Town of Bath Council member for seven years.
His rack card asks — What Will Scott Merki Do?
And answers — word hard, support our police, stand up to crime and drugs, better oversight of utilities to lower our bills, keep taxes down and property values up, strengthen local business, welcome new ideas, make room for volunteers, listen to property owners, businesses and residents, work with the town council and county commission, and work for open, responsible and respectful government.
Mayor Webster says that over her 22 years as Mayor, she has worked hard to develop relationships with state and federal officials to secure grants, including recently for the water pipe project, the Streetscape project, the Train Depot project, the Rail Trail project and the Greenway cemetery project.
The Mayor’s salary is $500 a year and salary of the members of the Town Council is $300 a year. But Webster says that none of them take their salaries because of a budget crunch. The town’s budget is about $600,000 a year, according to the mayor.
There are about 500 registered voters in the Town of Bath, but in recent mayoral elections, 200 or fewer have voted, Mayor Webster said.