Reminder: Tuesday, May 19 is the last day to register to vote if you plan on voting in the June 9 Primary Election.

Please see the candidates' information from the Jackson Newspapers Meet the Candidates tab in the March 27 issue of The Jackson Star News.

Additional information on the candidates running for Ravenswood City Council:

RAVENSWOOD CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES

Amanda Slaven - 

Tell our readers a little big about yourself:

I am Amanda Slaven. I grew up in Murraysville and I am a class of 2000 graduate of Ravenswood High. My husband Troy and I have spent the last 20 years together and have three great kids between us. 

When I decided to run for your local city council in 2018, I was simply convinced that I could do more for my city. I wanted to show my kids that you need to be involved and care what is going on around you. I love Ravenswood and for the first time our local government felt inviting to new ideas. It seemed to have a vision for our future and I wanted to be part of it.

If you have held office, what projects have you worked on that have made a positive impact in the community? 

I have been a council member now for nearly two years. We have worked hard to get some major things accomplished. Fixing ordinances that are long outdated, upgrading equipment for our maintenance, street paving is always a must, new city hall was a big deal, home rule will open a progressive new list of possibilities, and of course our water and sewer project. Our mayor and council were already working towards this when I was elected. A project of this magnitude cannot be done over night. I am proud of our work and I am grateful to be part of a encouraging and forward thinking team.

I have been on your Historic Landmark Commission for four years. We’ve been meeting for months to plan a celebration for George Washington’s November visit here 250 years ago. It’s in planning stages for sure, but it is something on our radar. 

I have been on your Harvest in the Wood committee four years this September. It truly takes a team to pull of such a large event but we are enjoying the growth. 

Last year I became a board member for your local neighborhood watch program. It is growing leaps and bounds and unifies our neighbors.  

I also serve as a council representative for your Board of Parks and Recreation. You can find me working at art shows, decorating the river for Christmas, music events, or just enjoying our parks. Along with their help, Council member Nick Fox and I will be bringing back the city Easter egg hunt. The current COVID-19 situation may delay it but even if late—we will get it done. 

I enjoy meeting people and giving back to our community.  

I am planning projects to beautify our town as well as activities to get our people out and about. I still volunteer wherever I can—I’m passionate about it. I am a people person--I just have to stay involved. 

What are your goals if elected/re-elected?

There are still so many things that I would like to see if re-elected. First, I hope we start this next term off at four years allowing us to keep chipping away at things neglected for far too long. Secondly, keep rebuilding our infrastructure to strengthen our town and make it safer for those who live here. It is also important for us to keep continuing to clean up our town and make it more inviting to new businesses and residents. I want our downtown buildings to be fixed up and used. Finally, I love our history but I still want to look forward to our future. I will work on having the museum and the Sayre log cabin open again this summer. They are both really important to our town and everyone needs to be able to enjoy them.  Not many towns have museums and we do.  I’ve volunteered there and I can’t wait to see the improvements. The list is endless.  

However, my focus is for this city to be somewhere people want to be. Whether they want to commute from here, raise their children here, or retire here. I cannot speak for everyone. I truly feel we are all on the same page with that and our current council make a good team. Again, it will take time and Rome wasn’t built in a day. Working together I truly believe we will get there. 

What is one thing that you most want the people to know about you?

I think it is pretty simple. I am an open book, if you don’t know me--feel free to ask me anything. As always I work hard and love this city. I always will. Hustle and heart.

Dee Scritchfield - 

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself:

I have been married for 38 years to Kim Scritchfield, a retired general contractor, and we have two children and four grandchildren. My son, Jeremiah, is a steelworker at Constellium and his wife is a teacher’s aide. My daughter, Kelly, is a professor at University of Kentucky and her husband is a professor at Bluegrass Community and Technical College. We are proud graduates of Ravenswood High School and I am a fourth generation resident of Ravenswood. 

I am employed by WVU Health Systems Jackson General Hospital as the Practices Administrator. Prior to that I served as the CEO for Coplin Health Systems and was proud to bring River Valley Health and Wellness Center to Ravenswood. I have always worked in health care in varied areas as a prevention specialist, substance abuse counselor, employee assistance, and administration for the past 24 years.  

What projects have you worked on that have made a positive impact in the community?

I have served on city council for the past two years and we have worked together for the betterment of Ravenswood. I am most proud of the city’s financial viability. We have been good stewards of our budget that has a surplus. We have been able to generate sufficient revenue to meet operating costs, debt commitments and allowed for growth and improvements to infrastructure, city streets, hydrants, dilapidated buildings torn down, old cars and mobile homes removed, new city hall that we can be proud of that houses the water dept. and needed space for our police dept. and in doing so expands space for the fire department while providing opportunity for revenue by leasing space. 

It would be not fair to say I worked on a specific project as the work of the city is a joint effort of all city government officials. I will say my passion and focus is inclusion for all. My brother was disabled from birth and his opportunities were very limited. I am pleased that our parks, our pool, and events are now accessible for kids and adults to enjoy regardless of their physical limitations. This was done by donations and grants obtained for the Board of Parks and Recreation. We are currently seeking grant funding to make the NYA Hall ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible. 

During the last two years I have worked to make an impact on our community by volunteering my time.

Jackson County Developmental Center Board of Directors. JCDC’s purpose is to assist people with disabilities. My role as board member is to ensure prudent use of all assets, including facility, people, and good will; and provide oversight for all activities that advance the nonprofit’s effectiveness and sustainability.

Steering Committee and treasurer for WE CARE, a grass root faith based community volunteer effort that organized in response to the Sandy Hook school shooting to provide safe schools in Jackson County. In just two years we have raised over $45,000 to install secure door locks for every school in Jackson County, developed a mentoring program of adults and teens to reach out to students in the trenches, paid for teens to attend Young Life Camp which has resulted in Young Life groups that meet weekly in Ravenswood and Ripley to provide fun activities, a sense of belonging and a safe place to talk about what really matters, provided security assessments, emergency response training and provided training on the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences. It is a comprehensive approach that works with school administrators, teachers, community, churches, law enforcement, businesses and our state leaders.

Member of North United Methodist Church where I serve on the Administrative Council, Evangelism Committee, Missions Committee and Chair for Safe Sanctuaries for Youth.

Treatment Team member that is working to find options to bring a drug addiction treatment center to Jackson County. 

My family volunteered to bring Luminary back to Ravenswood that has taken place at Christmas for the last two years.  It is a fund raising effort as well for the Charles Shaver Memorial Scholarship (my father) that provides two seniors with a scholarship while bringing beauty and pride to Ravenswood. 

President of the Mid Ohio Valley Rural Health Alliance which is a group of 16 organizations  from hospitals, health centers, higher education, workforce, behavioral health, health departments and senior citizens advocates that focuses on community health improvement in our communities that represent seven counties.  Our projects are too many to mention but have addressed issues of domestic violence, drug addiction, employment training programs, suicide prevention, ATV safety and many more, We received a $1.3 million dollar grant that developed and implemented a chronic disease management program for uninsured and underinsured adults and we just applied for a transportation grant to address barriers of transportation in our rural communities. 

What are your goals if re-elected?

The number one priority is our water and sewer systems that we have to upgrade and replace. It is not an option. We have to adhere to the EPA laws. We received criticism from some because we raised the water rates to help offset the cost of the water project and yet our rates are still too low to receive federal funding. We have implemented plans for the water project and working on the sewer system but this is not a short term project for anyone in the office.

Our focus certainly has changed in the last few weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we are now focused on keeping our residents safe while supporting our small privately owned businesses.   

What is one thing that you most want the people to know about you?

I am a proven leader with proven outcomes. I get things done by working in collaboration with others. I give my time and skills to help meet needs of my community. Running a city government takes more than a love for Ravenswood. I believe we all have that in common, but our approach and our skill set is different. My motto has always been “Don’t compete, collaborate.” You get things done by working amicably with others. You can trust that I will always listen to your concerns and ideas with an open mind and I will always treat you with respect and dignity.  

Denise Toler - 

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.

My name is Denise Toler, born and raised in Ravenswood. First and foremost I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister. I am married to Ricky Toler and we have two children, Alesandra, 11, and Adyson, 3. I am a member of Saint Matthew's Catholic Church and I am in Marketing and Public Relations for WVU Medicine / Jackson General Hospital.

I have been on the Ravenswood City Council for four years and this will be my third term running. 

What projects have you worked on that have made a positive impact in the community?

I am currently the president of the Ravenswood Development Authority and in my role with them, we as a council were able to fix the sidewalk for the walking at the Riverfront Park. I on the Harvest in the Wood festival, and I have worked with the City Council on the Water and Sewer Project. 

What are your goals if re-elected?

If re-elected I plan to see the Water and Sewer Project to fruition. I plan to work with all the local, committee groups and community boards, such as BOPARC. I do the Homecoming parade for the high school each year. It takes everybody working together to make it work. You have to have that type of passion and care about your community. 

I would like to put something into place to help the elderly or disabled in our community with issues such as taking out their trash or mowing their lawn.

What is one thing that you most want the people to know about you?

I am an extremely hard worker that has one speed that God gave me. Everything I do, I do at 110 percent.

Nick Fox - 

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself:

My name is Nick Fox. I grew up and have spent the majority of my life in Jackson County. After graduating high school I enlisted in the Marine corps where I was a Combat Engineer. 

I currently work at Constellium as a Millwright. I'm a dues paying member of our local United Steelworkers union and of Ashton Lodge No. 12 here in Ravenswood. 

My beautiful wife (and best friend) Emily and I got married here in Ravenswood in 2013. We have raised our young family here. I've proudly been on your City Council since 2016 and I've enjoyed every minute of it. The unity and focus that we have now, as a team, is something that I believe Ravenswood has been praying for for a long time. 

What projects have you worked on that have made a positive impact in the community?

I'm very proud of the progress that we've made in improving our parks for our citizens, as well as the plans that we have for updating our water and sewage infrastructure in the near future. It's been long overdue. 

What are your goals if re-elected?

If re-elected to your City Council, I plan to continue focusing on events in our town for young and older families alike. It's important to me that we don't just focus on improving and updating our infrastructure, but also that we give families something to do here. We have made a lot of improvements with events like Harvest in the Wood, music at the Mac, and our sensory friendly Halloween event, just to name a few. 

What is one thing that you most want the people to know about you?

My family is the most important thing to me. The main reason that I first ran for City Council in 2016 was for them. My wife and I have two beautiful daughters and we want to give them every opportunity that we possibly can. Every decision I make is made with them and their generation in mind. When we pass the torch to the next generation I want them to be thankful for the decisions that we're making now. I love this community and I love the people in it. 

Steve Tucker - 

Tell me a little bit about yourself:

I am 56 years old and have lived in Ravenswood / Jackson County for more than 22 years. I served in the West Virginia State Police for 25 years and retired in January, 2010. By the time of my retirement I had served as a Lieutenant Colonel for six years and the Deputy Superintendent for four years. My administrative and managerial experience in the State Police was focused on Human Resources, Financial Matters, and Logistics. 

I am currently employed as a Security Manager at the United States District Court in Charleston and I am responsible for the court security officer program for the Southern District of West Virginia. 

I have been married to Carmen Tucker for more than 32 years and I have two sons who were born in Jackson County and graduated from Ravenswood High School. Logan is 24 years old and will graduate from New York University this spring with a Masters Degree in Musical Theater and Voice Pedagogy. Lakin is 20 years old and a Sophomore at Fairmont State University majoring in Civil Engineering and Air Force ROTC.

What projects have you worked on that have made a positive impact in the community?

I was a member of the delegation that re-negotiated our water sale/purchase agreement with the Northern Jackson PSD. The matter had been ignored for years and the water we were selling to NJPSD was being sold for less than our cost to produce it. 

We commissioned an engineering study of our water system and are in the process of making improvements which will maintain the system’s capacity and high quality for many years to come.  The vital improvements required rate increases which are never popular but are absolutely necessary for our systems to remain fully functional.

We commissioned an engineering study of our sewage system and will be following the same path to make the necessary improvements. One goal of those improvements will be the elimination of the sewage treatment lagoons near the riverfront park and their replacement with a sewage treatment plant in a less conspicuous area.

We have implemented longevity pay and other incentives for our city employees providing a path for them to progress and create a career with the city rather than just a job.

We applied for and were granted Home Rule status under the state law. By achieving that designation we will be revising our tax structure to modernize the city’s revenue stream. The Home Rule designation gives us more powers to address dilapidated and abandoned structures, which has been a focus of our current mayor and council.

What are your goals if re-elected?

I want to finish what we’ve started with the water and sewer projects and the Home Rule project.  I am hopeful we can make some much needed improvements to the High School Baseball Field in the near future and continue with the street resurfacing program that we have undertaken.  Obviously attracting new industry and business is always a high priority.

What is one thing that you most want the people to know about you?

I could go on at some length about what this council and mayor have done but, undoubtedly, the most important accomplishment has been bringing a sense of professionalism and dignity to city government. When I was first elected four years ago, our city government had become an embarrassment to me. Petty bickering and various controversies were playing out at meetings, in public and on social media. The cliques and infighting had made the council dysfunctional. Over the last four years we have restored some dignity and some respectability.

Brandon Shinn - 

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.

My name is Brandon Shinn and I am 32. My grandfather Charles “Huck” Shinn was supervisor for the city and worked at the plant for a while. My grandmother was Josephine Fleming Shinn. They attended United Methodist Church throughout their time in Ravenswood. 

The last five years I have gotten interested in politics and being a voice for people who don't really stand up for themselves. 

What are your goals if elected?

There really isn't a clear vision for Ravenswood, that's why my campaign slogan is “Win the future.” I hear people talk about the “good ole days,” which are no longer here. I want us to be able to have a clear vision. 

I want to help people and make them realize they have a life purpose. I want to help remove the stigma that goes along with things like drug addictions. I want to do a campaign, a Wave and Smile campaign. Teaching people to be nice to others, teaching empathy.

I would also like to offer a program to help people in town who do not have a car; be able to get to and from the grocery store and where ever they need to go. The city would buy a car and use city workers to drive people where they need to go. People would pay a pick up charge, mileage, and set fee per minute. 

I am really excited about my recycle idea. Stores could stamp items with a special recycling stamp that indicates it is a recyclable item. Residents would have recycle bins with barcodes on them that when the city came to collect the items, they would scan the barcodes and the resident would earn a credit towards future purchases, just for recycling. They would receive a code to use on their next shopping trip that would save them money. 

For kids, you could start a selfie campaign of kids recycling. They would take a selfie of themselves putting items in a community recycle bin. A winner would be selected each month. 

I would also like to see a community garden, possibly by the city pool. 

Finally I would keep the City Council meetings on Tuesday evenings, but then have a resident's meeting the following Thursday. A council member could attend and they would rotate each meeting. The council member would hear from the people and take that back to the mayor and rest of the council for discussion of what the town is most concerned about. 

What is one thing that you most want the people to know about you?

I want people to know that I have a purpose. I feel everyone should have a life purpose. 

Jim Ihle - 

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself:

I am Jim Ihle and I have never ran for office. I was raised in Ravenswood and have lived here all my life. My son Michael Ihle was Ravenswood's Mayor for four years. My dad worked for the city for 22 years, and I myself worked for the city for 23 years. 

I am a former member of the Ravenswood Fire Department and former member of the Ravenswood Jaycees. 

In my early years I worked at the Ravenswood News, starting in the press room and then working in the camera room processing film and making offset plates. 

I also worked at Rite Aid in Ripley as assistant manager for short time. 

What projects have you worked on that have made a positive impact in the community?

Of the 23 years I worked for the city, I worked 18 years in the Water Department, reading water meters and doing repairs on waterlines. I rebuilt water meters, replaced meters, as well as doing turn off's and turn on's of water service to our customers. My other five years with the city I did just about everything, from mowing, weed eating, trash truck, to chipping and snow removal. I helped check sewers and clean out man holes.

Over the years I learned where water and sewer lines are located. I know problem areas of the city and what needs to be done to keep our water flowing. I know what needs to be replaced. 

What are your goals if elected?

My goal for the city is to get our water project started and completed in the next two years. I also hope to get more streets paved after having waterlines replaced. There is no point to pave streets if they are going to be torn up for line repair, do one street at a time as the water project is done. 

What is one thing that you most want the people to know about you?

Of the 23 years I worked with the city,  I alway had a paycheck and insurance, and was never laid off. It's time to say Thank You and do my part for the community.

Mike Parsons - 

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself.

My name is Mike Parsons. I worked for the Jackson County Sheriff's Department for 22 years and then spent nine years at the Ravenswood Police Department. I have been working full-time with the Jackson County EMS since July of 2019. 

I am engaged to Diane Patterson and between us we have four children. 

Diane was the one who encouraged me to run for City Council. We were discussing the town and how we would like to see something new, something that would bring life back to the town, and I think I might have some new ideas. 

What are your goals if elected?

We need something for the kids to do. I would like to see a Skate Park and will pursue that if elected. 

What is one thing that you most want the people to know about you?

I want people to know that I will do everything I can for them and for the town of Ravenswood.

CITY RECORDER

Jared Bloxton - 

My name is Jared Bloxton. I'm 29-years-old and am the current Ravenswood City Recorder. I have served on City Council for six years, as as City Recorder for going on two years. I am an Account Manager for Team Environmental, LLC in Millwood. I also work as a sports broadcaster for WMOV Radio in Ravenswood.

I got my start with the city by serving as a member and eventually chairperson on the Ravenswood Recreation Commission (now BOPARC) nearly a decade ago. In the past I also managed and was a CPO for the city pool for three years and have served as a contact person for the pool in the years since. I have also served on the Ohio River Festival (formerly Octoberfest) committee for nearly a decade, as well as the Ravenswood Alumni committee for several years (now serving as president of the Alumni. 

During my time on City Council / Recorder, I have worked on a wide variety of projects. Of recent, I worked with Police Chief Lance Morrison on the layout, planning, and office furnishing project for the new City Hall building (second floor police department and third floor council chamber). I'm also currently working with Supervisor of Parks and Recreation Katrena Ramsey on a massive tennis court upgrade project.

In the spring / summer months, I co-manage (with Luke Murray) the Ravenswood Volleyball League at Riverfront Park. We have had four teams participate in a weekly league throughout the lat spring / summer months for the past two years. I have also co-run (with Amanda Slaven) the cornhole tournament at the Harvest in the Wood festival the past two years. With the Ohio River Festival I have managed the yearly bocce tournament, run the duck drop on the river, and have helped with countless other projects under the direction of ORF president Lucy Harbert. And on the Ravenswood Alumni Committee, I work alongside a group of volunteers to put on the yearly Alumni Banquet and scholarship selection. 

I am running unopposed for City Recorder this term, and my goals for Ravenswood remain the same as when I first ran for office back in 2012. My motto has been “Ravenswood Strong,” and it stems from a vision of our entire community working together towards a positive future for our town. Sometimes people get caught up in unproductive negativity, rumors, etc., and there's just no place for that in Ravenswood. We have to be better than that and push forward. 

I'm excited to continue working on the development of our water / sewer project in the coming years, as well as the continued paving of more city streets. I'm also so proud that our parks system is flourishing, thanks to tons of volunteers and donations from so many people in our community. I am looking forward to being a continued part of the growth of theses spaces in town.

I want people to know that I serve them and am always a phone call or message away. I have folks contact me weekly with questions, complaints, clarifications, etc., and I am always willing to hear every single person out and do everything I can to assist them. Thanks to everyone for their support, and I look forward to continuing to serve the people of Ravenswood as their City Recorder.