By Matthew Young, RealWV
LEWISBURG, W.Va. – “To run unopposed after my first term, I am so humbled by the support I feel from our citizens. I take that as an indication that we are doing a good job, and we’ve made some changes and some differences in the lives of our citizens. I continue to be blessed by what we’ve accomplished in the first four years of my administration.”
That’s what City of Lewisburg Mayor Beverly White said while speaking with The RealWV Wednesday evening. White – as well as with council-members Sarah Elkins and John Little – is running unopposed in her quest for re-election on Tuesday.
Due to the lack of opposing candidates, Lewisburg’s 2023 campaign season has been uncharacteristically quiet. However, while the re-election bids of White, Elkins, and Little are all but guaranteed to be successful, there is another matter still to be voted on – one which White hopes residents will show their support for on Tuesday.
In a recent letter to the citizens of Lewisburg, White wrote: “Not only are we on the ballot, our levy is on there as well.”
The levy that White referred to is the five-year levy which provides supplemental financial support to the city’s police and fire departments, as well as street maintenance and repair.
In her letter, White noted, “It’s (the levy) income that we need to supplement our budget. The rates have not changed in any way, and that is one of the reasons this levy has passed each time there has been an election to ask for your continued support.”
“We need your support in this election cycle, as well,” White goes on to write. “You are the reason the city is doing so well. You are the reason people love it here. It’s because all of you shine and show your pride in a city that is proud to call you her citizens.”
Another unusual component of the 2023 Lewisburg municipal elections is the lack of any fundraising effort on behalf of the candidates. White – as well as fellow Citizens Party candidates Elkins and Little – believes this was the right decision, explaining that fundraising ahead of an unopposed election would “not be fair” to the citizens.
“How do you ask for money when nobody is running against you?” White asked, before adding, “We just didn’t feel that was the right thing to do.”
Of her time in office thus far, White hangs her hat on the now finished sidewalks which run along both the northbound and southbound sides of 219, as well as the six pickleball courts she says were completed “with the help of the citizens who believe in Lewisburg.” In her letter, White notes that Lewisburg’s parks “have been enhanced,” and City Hall has been “renovated inside and out after almost 20 years.”
However, what White believes to be her administration’s biggest accomplishment to date was acquiring the $64.3 million needed for the water treatment plant project.
“We’re focused on measured-growth, we know we have to do that,” White said. “People think that because we’re getting this huge water treatment plant that we’ll just take on everybody, and that’s not what that is – it’s to sustain what we have, and make sure that we can grow in a way that doesn’t affect everything that’s already accomplished.”
As far as priorities for her next term, White discussed plans to construct a new fire station. Recently, the city acquired land on which the station will be built. White anticipates that it will be another multi-year project.
“We’re really excited to get the new firehouse built,” White said. “We’ll be looking for funding to complete the project.”
Early voting will continue through Saturday. Election day in Lewisburg is Tuesday.
RealWV will provide updates regarding Lewisburg’s municipal elections as additional information is made available.