Webster named ‘Mayor of the Year’
The West Virginia Municipal League has named Town of Bath Mayor Susan J. Webster West Virginia Mayor of the Year for 2010. The award was presented at the Municipal League’s annual banquet in Wheeling on August 4.
“I am humbled by being recognized and honored by my peers who understand the challenges facing municipal leaders in our state,” Webster said upon receiving the award.
Webster was selected from 13 nominees by an anonymous panel of mayors from around the state.
“This award reflects more than just my leadership but also the many great things happening in Bath where people feel empowered to explore
every idea toward making our city a better place to live, visit and invest,” Webster said.
This past year Webster served as president of the Municipal League and saw the league achieve 100 percent membership for the first time, with all 232 municipalities in the state now members.
Webster was appointed by the Bath Town Council to the position of mayor in 1996 after a resignation. She previously served as the town’s recorder.
Since then, Webster has been elected to seven consecutive terms as Bath’s mayor.
Asked why she threw her hat into the political ring, Webster said, “I have always been interested in politics and when I was asked to run, I thought I would give it a try. I have always loved a challenge and being on the Town of Bath Council and mayor has offered many challenges.”
When she first became mayor, Webster said she had to move the town from operating in crisis mode and just putting out fires to doing what the town needed and wanted done.
“The greatest flattery for me as a mayor is that we have been able to put together committees to get things done. I have seen a real uptick in the number of people willing to work with the town on projects,” Webster said.
She said the town has a good core group of people and pointed to the Streetscape Committee, Train Depot Committee and Bath Economic Development Authority as three examples of community involvement in town projects.
Webster is proud of the many improvements in town since she became mayor.
Among them are improvements over the years to the Berkeley Springs Water Works that have contributed to the health and safety of residents as well as spurred economic growth.
She is also proud of improvements to public safety. “We have built an award winning police department,” she said.
Webster noted the designation of a historic district in town and the listing in the National Historic Registry as a major accomplishment of the town council.
“I think anyone who has been here for the last decade has seen a positive difference in our community,” Webster said.
In order to be as active as she is in government and politics, Webster gives credit to her husband Peter Moss.
“If I hadn’t had my husband’s support, I never could have done it. Every accomplishment I have ever had in government I owe to Pete,” she said.
Commenting on the award, Webster said, “This is another positive exposure for our town. I have enjoyed seeing the progress of the community. I am very proud of that.”