12/16/09 — Sieger thankful for time as Pikeville mayor

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Sieger thankful for time as Pikeville mayor

By Laura Collins
Published in News on December 16, 2009 1:46 PM

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Pikeville former mayor Herb Sieger is seen inside his office at the Pikeville Town Hall in December, shortly before his replacement, Johnny Weaver, was sworn in.

PIKEVILLE -- Former mayor Herb Sieger sat in his old office for one of the last times recently, remembering his eight years of service to the town of Pikeville.

Sieger, 87, was originally elected as a commissioner in 2001 and served in that capacity for a year and a half. When the former mayor resigned, Sieger was appointed mayor by his fellow commissioners. He ran for reelection in 2005 and won. He ran again for reelection this year, but was defeated by challenger Johnny Weaver.

"I thought I could do some good. I felt I had time on my hands," he said. "I thought I had the time to do it and I felt I had the energy to do it. Everyone when they run for office feels they have something to offer, and I felt I had something to offer the community. I did not run for office for personal reasons to say 'I am a commissioner' or something like that. I had thoughts that would be beneficial to the community."

While mayor, Sieger was part of reducing property taxes in Pikeville, replacing the sewer system in the town, upgrading the electrical system and opening a new library.

"There's not much I would have done differently," he said. "I think we accomplished the goals we set out to accomplish. It's been a pleasure working for the board and the staff has been tremendous."

There are a few things, however, Sieger said the town didn't get to that he wishes they had.

"The town hall is a main thing," he said. "This town hall is a dog. I wanted a town hall that was representative of the town and the people and had the proper working area that was needed."

For the incoming mayor and commissioners, Sieger said he would like to see the town focus on growth.

"You need to get some tax revenue to offset the cost of operation and the cost to the citizens. Each year the cost of operating the town goes up," he said. "It needs to grow. You need to get some growth in the town."

With the extra time on his hands, Sieger said it's likely he will still attend the commission meetings, but said he is also looking forward to doing "absolutely nothing." Approaching his 90s, Sieger said he does not plan to run again, but is grateful for his time in office.

"It has been a pleasure and an honor to represent the town because the town itself is a great little community," he said.

Commissioner Lymon Galloway, who was reelected in November, said Sieger will be missed.

"He was a decent guy and a good mayor," he said. "He kept an eye on what was going on in town and tried to do what was right for the town."

Town Administrator Kathie Fields, who worked with Sieger when he was mayor and a commissioner, agreed.

"He was very good at looking after the financial status of the town of Pikeville," she said. "As a person he was great. He was wonderful to work with, he was an up front person and that was the way he liked it. I just really think he was a good mayor."