Auxer, Cotgreave to vie for mayoral seat
SHEPHERDSTOWN — Two local residents have filed to compete for the Corporation of Shepherdstown’s seat of mayor in the upcoming primary election.
Incumbent Jim Auxer has filed to retain his seat as mayor. Auxer has served from 2000 to 2004 and then from 2008 to present.
“I love Shepherdstown and I am honored to be the mayor,” Auxer said, mentioning he hopes to continue to serve his community.
Also seeking to serve his community is Todd Cotgreave, a resident of the town since 1992. Although he has not held an office before, Cotgreave said he chose to run for the seat to bring change to the town.
“Jim has done and is doing a great job,” Cotgreave said, “but I would like to provide some positive changes.”
Both candidates expressed their love for Shepherdstown and expressed their concern for the town’s future, including its businesses.
“Businesses are struggling. Parking is always an issue, as are high rents downtown that push small businesses out,” Cotgreave said. “We need more shops and I would hope to diversify businesses and make a stronger business community.”
Auxer also expressed the need to continue his support of the town’s small businesses.
“We need to continue to support our businesses. I have and will continue to make every effort to help with all events that draw people to Shepherdstown,” Auxer said, mentioning these events attract tourists who then patronize the town’s businesses.
“We [the current town council] try to always put the best foot forward in keeping the town clean,” Auxer said. He added he leads by example in as many ways as possible, from picking up trash to patronizing businesses.
Cotgreave has always worked in community-centered arenas, including running Shepherd University’s radio station and founding Town Run Tap House & Community Pub, where many community members come to gather.
Both candidates spoke on the issue of town water and sewer as a top priority.
According to Auxer, the town is currently working on a water improvement project at the water plant to assist with the quality of water and with capacity.
Cotgreave agreed with the needs, saying seeking direction from the Water Department staff is the best course of action, because they are familiar with the water issues.
According to Auxer, he will also devote time, if he is re-elected, to other infrastructure issues.
“Infrastructure needs are always an issue, especially in a town as old as Shepherdstown,” Auxer said.
Both candidates commented on the need to maintain a good working relationship with Shepherd University.
“The university is integral to the town,” Cotgreave said, mentioning he originally moved to Shepherdstown to attend Shepherd College, and understands the value of the town’s close relationship with the university.
Auxer shared that, throughout his time as mayor, he has worked to develop the town’s strong relationship with the university. The evidence of this relationship can be seen by looking at the collaborative efforts between the town and university to bring a variety of activities to the town, from concerts to movies to art exhibits.
Both Cotgreave and Auxer expressed their love for Shepherdstown and desire to give to their town.
“People are Shepherdstown-centric and have a love for the town,” Cotgreave said. “In a small town like this, you have to have people with true love for the town. If elected, I will make decisions that are for one hundred percent of the well-being of this community.”
Auxer hopes to continue to serve his hometown.
“People know I love Shepherdstown,” Auxer said. “I have and will continue to work to do what’s best for the town. I’m not afraid to ask people for help to take care of issues in the town.”