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Two candidates vie for Wintersville mayor spot

WINTERSVILLE — Wintersville voters on Nov. 2 will choose between two candidates for mayor: Robert Martin Sr. of 360 Canton Road, and Mike Petrella of 114 Woodland Park.

After Bob Gale resigned as mayor in April, Martin, as council president, was appointed to fill his seat. The winner of the election will serve the remaining two years of Gale’s term.

Martin has served on council for 20 years, 10 of them as council president.

He was a member of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 246 for 42 years and operated an electrical contracting business for 10 years and Park Avenue Clothing in Steubenville for seven years.

Most recently he sold home security and other equipment online through American Communications Network.

Martin is on the Jefferson County Board of Elections and has served on the county’s drug and alcohol board, among other county committees. He has served on the Jefferson County Christian School board for eight years and on the Indian Creek Schools scholarship board.

As chairman of council’s recreation committee, Martin worked with others to develop three parks and establish the tot lot summer program and a community Halloween party and is working on grants for an amphitheater, ice hockey rink and fountain near the village’s entrance.

“Wintersville’s police, fire and public works departments are second to none. During the last 20 years, I’ve been very supportive of them,” he said, adding that while the village hasn’t always provided raises, it continues to cover 100 percent of its employees’ health care premiums.

He said he “won’t allow commercial businesses to operate in residential neighborhoods without a fight, in order to preserve residents’ peace and quiet” and would oppose the opening of new medical marijuana dispensaries, which he said would impact the village’s reputation as a peaceful bedroom community.

Petrella has owned the Gaslite Restaurant since 2013 and is manager of Economy Lawn Care and owner or co-owner of the Village Sleep Center, Ohio Valley Natural Relief, East Ohio Asphalt and Petrella Enterprises.

He said he’s developed problem-solving skills as a small business owner and learned leadership skills through the Lead America program.

A graduate of Wheeling Jesuit University, he said through its Semester at Sea study abroad program, he learned about the global economy and how it can be transformed, which can help guide business development in Wintersville.

Petrella said if elected, “I would like to address fair wages for village employees. We need to start with compensating our police officers properly. If we retain the officers we currently have and start new officers with fair wages, then we can keep Wintersville safe. We can do this without raising taxes.”

He said, “We need accountability within the village. We pay contractors with taxpayer money and don’t check that their work is completed properly or in a timely manner. Village residents shouldn’t have to worry about their property not being returned to the way it was before a project starts.”

Petrella said he will work with others to obtain grants for new playground equipment and other things to attract people to the village and attract new businesses to vacant buildings and unused land.

“We need more business and less government control over small businesses trying to open. We can guide businesses in the right direction to getting loans and negotiating rent, being business friendly,” he said.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com.)

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