Thomas seeking Belmont County commission seat

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Former Belmont County Commission and St. Clairsville lawyer, Mark A. Thomas, intends to seek the appointment to the commission seat held by former Commissioner Chuck Probst. As a result of Commissioner Probst’s retirement from the board, the Belmont County Democratic Party Central Committee will meet, tentatively scheduled for Dec. 5, to appoint someone to the seat. The term ends on January 1, 2015, but the seat is on the 2014 mid-term election ballot.

“As I have earlier indicated, I have received many calls from local residents, friends, supporters and county officials asking me to consider requesting the appointment and/or running for the seat next year,” said Thomas. “I truly appreciate and share everyone’s concern about the direction of the current Board of Commissioners and the peoples’ calls for a change of direction, asking me to help provide new and more effective leadership.”

“Since I first started considering the idea of running, the actions or inactions of the board on very important county issues seemed to be at a standstill and/or embroiled in what I perceive to be politics and personal agendas. It is time that all personal and political issues be put aside in favor of the county moving forward on important economic development projects and to the general day-to-day efficiency of governing the county and its budget,” Thomas added.

Thomas held a commission seat for eight years serving from 2001-2009 and was instrumental in creating the Belmont County Transportation Improvement District (TID), the Belmont County Port Authority and the Belmont County Regional Airport Authority. He currently owns Thomas Law Offices, LLC and is the Village Solicitor for the Village of Bridgeport.

“I am acutely aware of the time it takes to govern a county of this magnitude, as I was fully dedicated to it for eight years. I have the experience, knowledge and time to step right into the seat as I have continued to follow the current important county issues. I intend to further such projects such as the I-70 interchange project of the Belmont County TID, along with working with all county officials and department heads in a professional, transparent and effective manner.”

Thomas further stated that the ongoing issues with the Department of Job and Family Services and those of the Belmont County Senior Services are too important to not be immediately addressed and resolved.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my two terms as commissioner and welcome the opportunity to serve Belmont Countians as their commissioner. The Belmont County Democratic Party Central Committee has quality candidates from which to choose from, and all I ask is to be considered for the appointment. Based upon my prior years of service, my continued commitment to help fuel the county’s economic success and create a balanced budget and the time and desire to properly and effectively do the job, I believe I am the best candidate for the job and to be on the ballot in 2014,” Thomas concluded.