CHARLES TOWN – Four residents have applied to be appointed to the City Council’s open Ward 4 seat — a construction industry supervisor, a retired government official and school teacher and two business managers.
The Ward 4 council seat became vacant after Councilman Bob Trainor was appointed in June to serve as mayor after Scott Rogers resigned midway through his first term. Trainor had been serving his second term as council member when he was appointed to be mayor.
The City Council is charged with selecting the council member to fill the vacancy. City Manager Daryl Hennessy said the council has wide discretion to appoint someone to the position, so long as the person is a Ward 4 resident and a registered city voter. The council could select among the four people who asked to be considered or choose another person. The council could discuss what process it plans to follow to select someone to fill the council seat at its next meeting on Monday.
The candidates are:
• Steve Rogers, a resident of the County Green subdivision near Citizens Fire Co. fire station. Rogers campaigned for the Ward 4 seat in 2017 in what was his first bid for public office, but he came up short against Mike George, who won the election.
A lifelong resident of Charles Town and a Shepherd University graduate, Rogers is a project manager for a glass-glazing contractor.
In a letter of interest in the council position, he wrote that he wanted to help revitalize the city’s downtown and build walking and bike paths to connect all the city’s neighborhoods.
“I deal with project budgets and construction schedules on a daily basis, so I believe it is important to have someone on the City Council with this experience when the city is reviewing construction documents and blueprints on revitalization,” he wrote in his letter of interest.
Rogers praised the current efforts of City Council as thoughtful and effective.
“My involvement and contributions on the Council would mean moving the work [of the council] forward while bringing a fresh perspective to the table, along with my passion and energy strive for the continuous improvement of the city and its residents.”
• Andie Sugrue has lived in Charles Town for 17 years and works as a compliance analyst for the American Public University System. She is a single mother to two Washington High School students.
“My whole life and heart is invested in seeing Charles Two thrive and grow to meet the needs of our diversified and ever-changing community,” she wrote city officials.
A resident of the Crosswinds development, Sugrue hopes to encourage other residents to become active in the community. She said she first got involved in local politics three years ago while volunteering to campaign for the Jefferson County Democratic Party and represented the party during the 2016 state convention in Charleston.
“I got to meet incredible folks,” she said. “I just feel so incredibly inspired that I had to come home and do something locally.”
As a council member, Sugrue said she would address the city’s homeless issue, work to foster local tourism and improve downtown parking.
“The downtown today does not look like the downtown of three years ago,” she said. “It’s incredible. I would like to keep that trajectory going.”
Sugrue said she wants to continue efforts to embrace diversity and inclusion toward minorities and those in the LGBT community.
• Rikki Twyford is a resident of the County Green subdivision and a manager for Costo Wholesale retail store. She is a mother of three children and has lived in Charles Town for 14 years. She has served as a volunteer parent advisor for the school improvement councils for Page Jackson Elementary and Wright Denny Intermediate schools. She also runs a multi-million-dollar program for Costo serving Children’s Miracle Network.
“I care about Charles Town and I want to see it grow and prosper,” Twyford wrote in a letter of interest to city officials. “I am fortunate that this position comes at a point in my life where I have the knowledge and time to devote to this important position.”
Twyford wrote that she would promote community safety, fiscal responsibility, education and industry growth if she is chosen for the open seat. She wrote that she has lived in six different cities across the country, an experience that gives her different perspectives that would assist in evaluating multiple points of view.
“I appreciate the additional businesses that have come here over the past decade and I look forward to being a part of Charles Town’s modern future, while maintaining its historical significance,” she wrote.
• Michael Agunsday has been a resident of Charles Town since 2004 and lives in Norborne Glebe. He has been employed with the U.S. Treasury and State Department and is a retired special education, history and government teacher for Fairfax and Loudoun counties in Virginia.
In his letter, Agunsday cited his management experience in government and the private sector as qualifications to help make him an effective council member.
“I am also a quick learner and a good listener as well as a team player,” he wrote.
Whoever is appointed will serve for two years of an unexpired four-year term. In the May 2021 election, voters will be asked to elect a council member to finish the two remaining years for the Ward 4 seat.