Three in running for Mayor of Vienna

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VIENNA, W.Va.-(WTAP) Randy Rapp says, in his first four years as Mayor of Vienna, there have been major improvements in infrastructure, as well as a difference in the city's appearance.

That's especially in the city's main business district.

"I think when you drive down Grand Central Avenue," Rapp says, "and you see how fresh and clean and safe our town is, I think in my last four years I've had an active part in that."

But city council member Tom Azinger says the improvements have been the result of too much spending.
Azinger is a former West Virginia delegate, and believes that background would serve him well.

"The city will have to interact with the state in certain ways," says Azinger. "Having been (in the legislature) 20 years, I think I know a lot about state government, and I think it would be a plus."

And when it comes to costs, the two differ on the redevelopment of the former Johns Manville plant, especially site cleanup.

The city has applied, so far unsuccessfully, for grant money to pay for that remediation.

"It's going to cost a half million dollars to remove the asbestos; at least a half million dollars to get rid of the concrete," Azinger charges. "And we don't know some of the other costs that will be involved, because of environmental considerations."

"There is a lot of debris down there," Rapp acknowledges. "But once we get through the permitting from the state, we hope to work on that very quickly. We are applying for the Brownfield grant one more time this year, and If we're successful in getting that, it speeds the process up."

Mayor Rapp says the area near the Manville site, used for youth recreational activities even when the plant was still operating, has had no environmental problems.

He adds the city purchased the property with cash on hand, and without borrowing money.

Lawrence Wilson, a city government critic, also is on the ballot for Vienna Mayor.

Wilson first agreed to, then declined, an interview with The News Center for this story.

There are also 15 candidates for seats on Vienna City Council:

Bruce Rogers
Rod Shuman
Harry Helmick
Roger Bibbee
Norman Harris
Victoria Sopranik
Mike Elam
Rick Phillips
Larry Godfrey
Jim Miracle
Jon Cain
Gail Gaines
James R. Leach
Roger Conley
Brian Rader