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Ferry elects new mayor

JOHN DAVIES

MARTINS FERRY — The city of Martins Ferry has a new mayor — John Davies.

According to unofficial vote totals, Davies beat out incumbent Mayor Robert Krajnyak in a 548 to 502 decision. Following Tuesday’s election, Davies said he would “always have an open door.”

“I want people to realize that I will be everyone’s mayor no matter who you voted for,” Davies said. “I’m excited to get started and to move the city forward.”

Davies said he decided to run a clean campaign, something he believes helped him in winning the election.

“I did not throw one stone, and I think it helped,” he said.

Davies said he has known Krajnyak for many years and believes it will be a smooth transition.

“We’re going to roll up our sleeves and go to work,” Davies said.

Krajnyak wished Davies well in taking over the position.

“I’m just going to congratulate John on his victory and wish him the best of luck,” Krajnyak said.

Davies, 61, is a 1976 graduate of Martins Ferry High School and business owner. He recently retired from the businesses he owned and operated for the past 35 years — trucking, construction and real estate.

Davies previously served on Martins Ferry City Council and worked as service director under then-mayor Phil Wallace. Davies plans to be a full-time mayor who will “get back to basics” and clean up the city.

During his campaign, Davies said he planned to run a transparent administration to keep residents in the loop about decisions being made for the city. He also plans to re-examine the city increasing water rates during the past few years, something he believes could possibly be lowered, if feasible.

Some of his other plans include:

Securing more money for demolition of blighted properties;

Bringing back spring and fall cleanups for residents at no extra charge;

Making sure all city-owned grass stays cut throughout the year;

Having lines repainted throughout the city, including on the streets, curbs and crosswalks;

Keeping streets plowed in winter and holes patched;

Repair streets and alleys across the city;

Having a comprehensive plan to keep city vehicles maintained; and

Keep existing businesses while attracting new ones.

Davies recently purchased two commercial buildings in the city: one is across from the City Building and currently houses a free clothing store called Re-Thread, a ministry of Grace Church.

He is working to renovate the front portion of the building for use as a new youth center. He also plans to renovate three apartments on the building’s upper floors to be used as emergency shelter. For example, a person who has lost their home to fire could live there for free for 90 days until they can back on their feet, he said.

Davies recently purchased the former Mackey Avenue Community Center. He plans to re-open it as a low-cost place for people to hold parties, such as weddings and baby showers. He would also like to serve meals there for the community on the weekends.

Davies also plans to hold spring cleanups to allow residents to get rid of their unwanted junk.

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