Endorsement: Horcher for Wheeling village president
In the campaign for Wheeling village president, developer Steven Mark Smith is mounting a challenge to one-term incumbent Patrick Horcher, based largely on a desire to promote economic development and complaints the village waited too long before implementng programs to help local businesses hit hard by COVID-19.
Smith strikes us as a competent leader and an earnest candidate with some promising ideas for the village. But he doesn't make a strong case that he would exhibit those qualities better than Horcher, who served on the village board for 16 years before ascending to the role he holds now.
Horcher, too, wants to work more closely with businesses and especially eateries in the town's vaunted Restaurant Row to help them emerge successfully from the COVID-19 crisis. Regarding complaints about the village's response to COVID-19, he quickly clicks off actions the village has taken, while acknowledging that officials could and should try to do more. As the owner of a prominent local nursery, he understands the challenges local businesses face. Beyond that, he is intimately steeped in the details of issues facing the village, from flooding to budgeting and state and federal resources.
Horcher speaks about issues with the confidence of someone who has dealt with them closely for many years and has the energy and vision to use what he has learned to help advance the village's goals. He is endorsed.