(Editor’s Note: Five questions were distributed to each of Wheeling’s 23 candidates and incumbents running for a council seat or for the mayor’s position, and the men and women were invited to offer their answers for publication free of charge. As explained to them, the articles will appear in the order the replies were received.)
Wendy Scatterday, Candidate, Ward 4
Although her professional life keeps her busy, Wendy Scatterday has engaged her community multiple times since returning to the Friendly City in 1998. Scatterday has worked as an architect for more than 20 years since her 1995 graduation from the University of Tennessee and now owns and operates her own firm, Scatterday Architecture.
Born and raised in Wheeling, Scatterday is a 1990 graduate of Wheeling Park School. The Woodsdale resident has served a number of boards and committees, including Wheeling Heritage, the Greater Wheeling Homeless Coalition, and for the Friends of West Virginia Northern Community College. Scatterday played a pivotal role with raising nearly $500,000 during the Ohio Valley’s “Be the Blessing” campaign for the faith-based, international non-profit Free Wheelchair Mission.
It was in 2013 when Scatterday helped organize the Woodsdale United community organization, an informal coalition of concerned citizens and property owners. The group’s focus is the proposed development for the hilltop that separates the Woodsdale and Greggsville sections of the city.
The fourth ward is one that is bordered by all of Wheeling’s other five wards, and it includes the Woodsdale, Clator, Pleasanton, Greggsville, Forest Hills, Oglebay, and Leatherwood neighborhoods.
Why have you chosen to run for City Council at this time?
I have contributed to my community my entire life, but never through formal public service. I’m a registered Independent, believing until now the most productive use of my time and effort was through my professional and volunteer commitments.
However, the lack of a comprehensive, holistic approach and vision for our reinvented Wheeling has led me to run for city leadership. Wheeling is at a unique moment in its history because our community can remake its identity and physical place all at once. I offer my 20-plus years of architectural expertise and community building experience to help Wheeling reach its greatest potential by design, rather than by default.
What do you feel are the most critical issues in your ward at this time?
We are blessed to live, work, and play in the friendly and safe neighborhoods of Ward 4. How neighbors relate to one another on a daily basis and how each of us uses our property impacts the people and places around us. We hear often the stories of neighbors helping neighbors and caring for one another in “good neighboring” ways, and those kinds of stories make us smile. Providing an example of civility and leadership in “good neighboring” is one of the cornerstones of who I am personally and professionally.
There are three issues that concern me regarding Ward 4. First, we must reign in commercial developments that are incompatible with our Ward 4 neighborhoods. It is vitally important that the city and state enforce the ordinances and processes by which commercial development occurs in our community. I will remain YOUR voice, the voice of reason, where unchecked commercial developments seek to impinge upon our right to peacefully and safely enjoy our personal property and daily lives.
A second concern is maintaining the character of our neighborhoods. As councilwoman I will work hard to ensure our city and residents have the tools and resources to properly maintain the historic character of our neighborhoods. I will ensure that our city enforces property maintenance ordinances equitably and find ways to encourage absentee landlords to be better neighbors.
The third concern is for the safety of our residents. I will work hard to see that the neighborhoods of Ward 4 remain safe and friendly for everyone. I will work to improve the efficiency, preparedness, and protection provided by our police, fire, and public works departments.
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How do you feel you can improve the city of Wheeling by representing your ward?
As a practicing architect since 1995 and as a small business owner since 2013, I offer a unique skill set to help Ward 4 and Wheeling reach its highest potential while protecting our most treasured assets. In service to my clients, I have spent my entire 21-year career providing proactive project management. I have helped them successfully complete their projects under budget and on time. I am offering my demonstrated design and creative problem-solving abilities to help define our city’s priorities and execute the best solutions.
If elected, how do you plan to communicate with your constituents?
I am committed to consistently seeking the input of my all of neighbors near and far throughout Ward 4 and Wheeling. I am facilitating citizen engagement utilizing both “high tech” and “low tech” methods. Social media is just one of my communication strategies; however, more important to me personally is “post-it note democracy.” I carry a pen and a stack of post-it notes everywhere I go. I ask folks to write down their ideas of what they’d like to have happen in Wheeling, and I tack it to my wall at home. Wheeling’s residents have helped me discover many common themes of concern and hope for our future. If elected, I will continue to actively seek and engage residents for their ideas in these ways, as well as conducting regular community engagement meetings and individually communicating by telephone or in person.
The city of Wheeling must also find new ways that allow all residents to better communicate with the city departments and elected leaders. Pittsburgh has recently implemented a user friendly work order system/phone app ( http://pittsburghpa.gov/mayor/release?id=5803 ) that can improve efficiency, effectiveness, and customer service while ensuring the city works for them.
We live in an age where receiving citizen input is easier than any time in history. We must use every form of communication and tool available to ensure each citizen feels included and empowered. Every person matters. Every person’s voice matters.
What is the main message you wish to convey to the voters in your ward?
In order for Wheeling to be our most successful and reach our greatest potential as a community, the habit of exclusive, closed, and hidden governance and leadership must end. The residents of Ward 4 and the citizens of Wheeling have in many ways been left out of the decision-making process in recent years. Choices regarding city-owned property, taxpayer monies, and economic development have often omitted active input and participation of the residents. These are public resources, and public input must be considered.
I am committed to providing leadership that pursues the highest level of transparency, creativity, and innovation in problem solving. We are nothing if we are not inclusive. I have provided leadership in our neighborhood and in our community for many years through volunteer involvements. I look forward to the opportunity to serve Ward 4 and Wheeling in a more direct way. Wheeling is at its best when we work collectively toward a vision we have created together.