Uncontested election today in B’ville
BERRYVILLE — Three seats on Town Council are up for election today, but the incumbents are the only candidates.
Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Grace Episcopal Church Parish Hall, 110 N. Church St.
Seeking re-election are Town Recorder Harry “Jay” Arnold Jr., Ward 2 representative H. Allen Kitselman and Ward 4 representative David Tollett.
Arnold said he is seeking his third term because “I enjoy helping the town.”
His public service began years ago, he said, when he followed his father into the John H. Enders Fire and Rescue Company — where he has served as both chief and company president.
As the owner of Berryville Auto Parts on Main Street, he has worked with the Berryville Main Street organization to promote shopping downtown.
On council, Arnold is chairman of both the Budget and Finance and Capital Improvement Plan Committee and Personnel Committee.
Noting that the town raised its real estate and personal property taxes this year, Arnold said no one likes paying higher taxes, but that a small town is limited in its ability to absorb costs.
The state-mandated sewer plant upgrade means the town has a lot of long-term debt.
“We’re kind of limited in what comes in and what goes out,” he said. “We don’t have a lot of fluff. And we have to balance our budget.”
Kitselman was first appointed to council in 2001, and then ran successfully for the seat in 2002. He is seeking his fourth four-year term.
Kitselman, who is a partner in Main Street Architecture PC, in Berryville, said he hadn’t planned to run again, but several people asked him to stay on.
There are projects that he’s interested in promoting.
“We need to get the town and county plugged into a tourism effort,” he said.
Kitselman is chairman of the Town Council’s Community Improvement Committee.
He is also chairman of the Berryville Area Development Authority, the joint body with Clarke County that administers future annexation areas around town. The BADA is currently going over the plan that governs that growth, and will possibly recommend changes to it.
Kitselman said the two jurisdictions need a plan that allows Berryville to grow and still “holds up our bargain for what makes Clarke County a great place.”
Coming out of such a bad recession, Kitselman said he’s optimistic.
“The future looks bright,” he said.
Tollett, who was first elected to council in 2010, is seeking a second term.
The retired state police officer serves on both the Police and Security and Streets and Utilities committees.
Tollett said he was disappointed that no other residents stepped up to seek the seats, leaving the incumbents unopposed.
“It seems like there’s nobody that interested in running, he said.”
He said he feels there is plenty of work to be done on the Town Council.
“We need to get some more businesses” in town, he said, adding that more houses would also be good to spread the cost of government over more people.
Tollett also said he was disappointed council had to raise taxes this year, but added that the budget was cut 16 percent and town employees went yet another year without a raise.
“We had to make the budget balance,” he said.
Berryville town councilors receive $250 per month. As town recorder, Arnold makes $275 each month.
— Contact Val Van Meter at email@example.com