Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

June 14, 2013

City board-elect selects Tom Cole to serve as mayor

by BILL ARCHER
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — Tom Cole, the at-large candidate who received the most votes in the June 4, Bluefield municipal election has been unanimously selected to serve as mayor by the directors-elect according to Bobbi Kersey, Bluefield city clerk.

“The vote of the directors-elect was unanimous,” Kersey said. “The (directors-elect) also voted to have a vice mayor, and Barbara Thompson Smith was selected to serve in that position.”

Cole said that he was honored that the in-coming board was unified in selecting him to serve as mayor. “I look at it the same way as my father looked at it,” Cole said of his father, Paul Cole who served three-plus terms as Bluefield mayor. “I just think of it as service from a citizen who is concerned about the city he lives in.

“I’ve never looked at community service as being a political thing,” Cole said. “I don’t have any other political ambitions.”

Cole said that the board-elect learned that it had 10 days after the election was certified to select a mayor. “We had until June 20, but once we met, we went ahead and selected,” he said. “The secretary of state didn’t say anything about selecting a vice mayor, but we decided to do that too.”

Cole said that he is in favor of having a business-friendly city. “Property value is a big deal for me,” he said. “I would like to have more people and businesses moving into the city.” He added that he hopes to maintain a good working relationship between the board and the media.

“I am very honored having the support of the group,” he said.

Smith also expressed appreciation for the unanimous vote of support she received from board-elect.

“I was elated that I was chosen by the members of the newly-elected board,” Smith said. “It was clear to me that it wasn’t something that the group was required to do, so I was pleased to be selected,” she said. “I also know that Tom was elated too.”

The new board will take office on Aug. 1, but Cole said that it is possible that the sitting board could administer the oath of office to the new board earlier than that.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com