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Josh Stella files for council, no other filings, all candidates unopposed

By Staff | Mar 12, 2010

Josh Stella - Staff file photo by Michael Theis

Church Street resident Josh Stella, a current member of the planning committee and vocal opponent of the recent annexation of the West Campus dormitories, has filed to run for a Town Council seat, saying that he wants to reduce the power of the Town Council.

Stella’s filing brings the total number of Town Council candidates to four, one short of filling the five seat council. No one filed to run against incumbent Mayor Jim Auxer, nor against incumbent Town Recorder Lori Robertson.

Barring a write-in campaign, everyone is running unopposed.

Write in candidates have until April 20, 2010 to file for elected office. Their names will not appear on the ballot.

Stella, in an interview Friday evening, said that he was motivated to run because of his distaste for how the Corporation of Shepherdstown has managed the budget and how the new Town Hall project has been handled. Most importantly, Stella takes issue with the Town Council’s recent decision to annex Shepherd University’s West Campus dormitories into the town, where Stella saw a gap between public opinion, and the decision of the Town Council.

“that was the last straw for me, to see that go through, despite the fact that the town strongly protested it by my measure at least six or seven to one,” said Stella. “Pretty much everyone one I knew and on High Street opposed it, with a few exceptions and Council is supposed to be listening to the people, so the law didn’t work. Because those hearing were supposed to resolve that.”

Stella says that he wants to reduce the power of Town Council, and says there’s a lot more the Town Council can do to involve the community in a substantive way.

“I don’t really have a strong agenda on particular policies. I think we’re a small community, we could do a lot more to involve…the people who live in the town,” said Stella “I don’t think it’s councils role for, again, for five or six or seven people to make these big decisions for the whole town. Really, that should be up to the Town,”

Shepherdstown’s municipal election is on the first Tuesday in June.