MARIETTA, Oh.-(WTAP) "I've had a couple of bouts with cancer," says Marietta Mayor Joe Matthews. "I'm now cancer-free; I feel very well.
And Matthews wants to keep the job he's had for the better part of three decades. He's looking ahead to the future, with the possible openings of new businesses such as Starbucks, and the development of new water, sewer and street projects.
"We're going to do a waterline on Lancaster Street. Also. we're going to do another project there, which we'll be paving as soon as it's done. And we've been doing so many miles of water every year."
Matthews is running for his sixth term in office. But the other two candidates are no strangers to Marietta, or to its voters. After running in past elections as a Democrat, Matthews this time seeks a new term as an independent.
The Democratic candidate, Harley Noland, is a business owner and former Marietta councilman. He believes the city can move forward by finding new uses for old buildings.
"By doing this adaptive reuse, we have tax credits available," Noland says, "and other programs that can help with the financial restoration, reusing these old structures."
Josh Schlicher has been City Council President the past six years. He believes Marietta can benefit from having a comprehensive operations plan, involving a reorganization of departments overseeing infrastructure maintenance.
"That would be planning the projects, planning the day-to-day operations of the city," said the Republican candidate. "Right now, that's kind of crisis management type of style. That's more reactive rather than pro-active. I'd like to be more pro-active with department operations."
Noland also believes the city can do a better job of attracting younger people, to grow and to reduce the average age of its population.