By Cory Smith
Ruby Ogden Clark defeated Monica J. Dock Tuesday in the race for Glasgow mayor.
“I am sort of stunned right now,” Clark said in a phone interview.
Clark received 52.9 percent of the vote and Monica J. Dock 44.6 percent. The two were vying for the office being vacated by incumbent Samuel H. Blackburn. Blackburn is retiring after 48 years with the town’s government, first with town council and then as mayor.
But three candidates with no previous political experience were elected to the council. Andrea R. “Andi” Bradley, John H. Hill and the Rev. Jeremy R. “Jerry” Kilgore were the top vote-getters for the three positions. Curtis D. Preston came in fourth. There are six seats in the council, but terms are staggered so that only half the seats are up for election each year.
Issues the candidates face include a water line improvement project, local EMS response times, storm water runoff, attracting visitors and new businesses to Glasgow, and increasing recreational activities.
The water line improvement project is underway after months of planning and finding funding. The project will replace the current, aging pipes and cost close to $4.7 million, according to the News-Gazette. The state-funded project is expected to be completed by March 2015.
“After learning that we’re losing 60 percent of our water a day, I said, ‘Well, something’s got to be done because that’s water that’s being wasted and we’re going to need it someday,’” she said.
Critics of Glasgow’s fire department and rescue squad say an ongoing feud has led to higher EMS response times, and other squads from Lexington and Buena Vista have been taking calls for Glasgow as well.
All the candidates say that cooperation between the two volunteer squads needs to happen, and that communications between the two needs to be better.
“The response times are kind of ridiculous, especially if Lexington has to come and they have the paid EMS, so that hurts our citizens,” Bradley said.
Flooding has also been a problem historically. Glasgow is “a bowl,” Bradley said, and draining water after storms can be troublesome. The Central Shenandoah Planning District is conducting surveys to try to find a solution.
Kilgore suggests that the town look at how towns in similar situations drew in new businesses and model their efforts after those towns.
“We need to maximize our strengths and diminish and minimize our weaknesses,” Kilgore said. “If the best thing we have about Glasgow is being near two rivers and the Blue Ridge Parkway, then let’s take advantage of that.”
Each of the candidates has different ideas about how to better utilize the recreational facilities and bring more recreational activities to the town. Candidates say increasing options in Glasgow would help to keep residents from having to travel outside Glasgow for recreation.
Kilgore would like to see a swimming pool built in Glasgow, while Preston said that installing a swimming pool would be a “disaster” for the town financially.
Clark is confident from previous meetings with parks and recreation officials that “something will take place”.
Glasgow has been a chartered town since 1892 and is home to about 1,100 residents. It has 575 registered voters.
In the 2012 election about 64 percent of the 883 registered voters in the Maury River Precinct, which includes Glasgow, came to the polls.