73 years old; Lifelong resident of Jefferson County; Democratic Party candidate
Community Service Experience — Chairperson, Day Report Board; Chairperson, Teen Court; Vice Chair, Kiwanis; Vice Chair, African-American Community Association; Board Member, Jefferson County Animal Welfare Society; Board Member, Jefferson County Parks and Recreation
Work Experience & Education — I worked 33 years as an elementary school teacher in Jefferson County. I previously served for 16 years [8 terms, 1988 – 2004] as a representative in the West Virginia House of Delegates and 12 years [2 terms, 2005 – 2016] as a member of the Jefferson County Commission. Received a BA degree from Shepherdstown College and MS degree from Shippensburg University.
The candidate’s responses below were edited only for clarity & spelling.
What made you decide to run for County Commissioner?
I see a need to restore open and transparent government to our County Commission. Citizens need to be given the opportunity to be a part of the deliberations on issues that impact them. We need to provide public hearings on the budget, establishing and nullifying ordinances, and other matters of importance. I would like to push to make a greater effort to notify the public of upcoming action by the Commission and provide shareholders the opportunity to be involved in studies from the beginning. Most importantly, I will listen to the citizens and remember that democracy depends on citizens’ participation.
What experience and expertise do you bring to the role of County Commissioner?
I served in the West Virginia House of Delegates for 16 years and served 12 years on the Jefferson County Commission, which provided me with a wealth of knowledge on state and county government and how they work. Further, my involvement in the Jefferson County community through leadership roles in the Day Report Center, The Council on Aging, Teen Court, and Kiwanis has provided insight on the needs of our county’s citizens.
How do you plan to engage with county residents to ensure that the decisions of the Commission reflect the interests and concerns of all residents?
I have been committed to listening to the citizens of our county throughout my years of public service. I will continue to hold public hearings, town hall meetings in rural areas, and will strive to listen to the voices of our community and transform their ideas into actions.
What are the most important issues you expect the Commission will need to address in the next few years?
The ambulance crisis is the most important issue and could have been handled more effectively from the beginning. Firefighters, emergency medical personnel, and the public needed to be involved in the process from the outset. The underlying problem is the need to finance the fire service, and this problem will persist until resolved. The Commission will need to provide a revenue stream to finance our firehouses.
Building maintenance and additional space for county services is another problem that is currently facing the commission. Commissioners will need to consider bringing a bond before the people for vote to gain support to meet these needs.
Lastly, when appointments are made for county boards and commissions, we need to reach out to all of our county residents for input. We need to recognize that we have a huge amount of knowledge and expertise within many residents of our community.
What changes would you make to how the Commission conducts its business?
Commission agenda items that require a vote will be on the agenda for more than one meeting giving citizens additional opportunities to have their voices heard. Commissioners need to show greater respect to the citizens of our county and listen to what they have to say.
At the end of your term, what is the one thing that you would hope people remember most about your service on the Commission?
I hope that the public would remember that I advocated for them to be involved in their government and that I served with honesty and integrity.
The County’s comprehensive plan will need to be reviewed and updated during your term. How would you suggest the Commission approach this review process?
This process should allow for citizen participation. The commission should set up public meetings at each magisterial district with a great deal of prior public notification. As the plan progresses, it should be made accessible to the public for review and comment.
Why should voters elect you?
I feel that you should vote for me because I strongly believe that local government has a significant effect on a citizen’s everyday life. While serving as a Commissioner, I would strive to make choices that benefit our citizens. I will make our citizens feel comfortable communicating with me as their elected official by making myself available to answer questions and provide all necessary information on the current issues. I will also continue to prove my commitment to the community through my involvement with citizens’ organizations including the Day Report Center, Kiwanis, Parks and Recreations, Animal Welfare Society, and more.
Dale Manuel – Jefferson County Commission Candidate (Charles Town District)
Facebook: Dale Manuel for Jefferson County; Email: DaleManuel49@gmail.com; Tel: 304-671-7820
In 2022, there are three candidates running for the Charles Town seat on the Jefferson County Commission (voters can select 1):
Clare Ath is the Republican Party candidate.
Dale Manuel is the Democratic Party candidate.
David Tabb is the Mountain Party candidate.Staff Contributor