BUCKHANNON – And once again, there were seven.
Buckhannon City Council on Thursday announced it had selected Buckhannon native Randy Sanders, who moved back to the city in 2018, as the new city recorder.
Sanders will fill the vacancy left by former city recorder Colin Reger, who resigned in early May, citing health issues and the need to prioritize his family and his business.
Sanders’s appointment restores the municipal government from six to seven members.
Following Reger’s resignation last month, mayor David McCauley outlined a timetable to fill the slot, which included a special meeting May 28 to review applications and a second special meeting Tuesday, June 4 to interview candidates.
At Thursday’s meeting, McCauley said council had quickly narrowed the pool down to two, but Sanders emerged as the best choice.
“We are a better legislative body when we have seven voices as opposed to six voices,” McCauley said, “so, it was important that we go through this process in a timely but thorough way. I would tell you that we had two excellent applicants, and I think both applicants knocked our socks off as we probably expected they would going into the interviews, but as the council weighed the two choices, one candidate emerged as the new city recorder.”
Councilman Robbie Skinner made a motion to hire Randy Sanders, which was seconded by councilwoman Mary Albaugh prior to passing unanimously.
“The council is proud to announce that Randy Sanders, graduate of Buckhannon-Upshur High School, Class of 1976, native of this community, will join us up here on the bench, and the mayor will now swear him in,” Skinner said.
Among other duties, the city recorder is Buckhannon’s official recordkeeper and is responsible for taking and maintaining minutes from all council and municipal board meetings. In addition, should the mayor be absent, fall ill or vacate his or her post for some other reason, the city recorder would step into the mayoral role.
Sanders thanked council for their vote of confidence.
“I pledge to the community, as I did to the council, to take a professional approach and to take this job very, very seriously, and fortunately, I have a schedule that’s adaptable, and I can be at all the functions necessary in most cases,” Sanders said. “I’m looking forward to it … and I look forward to many conversations with fellow councilpersons just to help get acclimated.”
“I’m proud of this city,” he added, “and I’m proud of Buckhannon. I grew up here, and I felt drawn to the city my entire life, and I’m thrilled to be a major part of it now with being on city council, so thank you very much.”
Following the conclusion of Thursday’s meeting, Sanders said when he moved back to Buckhannon about a year ago, several people urged him to get involved in the community.
“They said, ‘you’ve got to get involved, you’ve got to get involved, and city council would be a good thing to think about,’” Sanders said, “but I didn’t know there’d be an opening … but then when Mr. Reger did resign, I thought, ‘you know what, this is meant to be.’
“So, I did my research after that, got online and looked it over and put in my application.”
Sanders is currently the president and owner of Sanders & Associates, Inc. and has been since 1996. A graduate of B-UHS, Sanders is a consultant with the West Virginia Association of Fairs and Festivals and produces the organization’s state pageant, among a host of other duties, according to his resume.
For more than three decades he was involved with the West Virginia Strawberry Festival Association, having served on its board of directors for 13 years.
“Throughout those years, I was best known for producing the Teen and Queen pageants, often attracting between 60 and 80 contestants,” Sanders wrote. He now oversees the planning and coordination of the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA state pageants in Indiana, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Sanders lived in Brownsville, Pennsylvania, for 27 before relocating back to Buckhannon a year ago.
The city recorder position must be occupied by someone who has been a resident of the state of West Virginia for at least one year and a resident of the City of Buckhannon for at least 60 days.
The person must be 18 years old; eligible to vote in municipal elections; not delinquent on her or his city taxes; and bondable in the amount of $50,000. According to an advertisement for the position on the city’s website, the city recorder’s yearly compensation is $9,000, and the only fringe benefit the recorder is entitled to is state retirement.
Sanders will occupy the position until the results of the May 2020 municipal election are certified. He may opt to file to retain the position for the remainder of the unexpired term, which amounts to two years.