Third-Year WVU law student elected to Morgantown City Council

By Laura Halleman | May 11, 2017

MORGANTOWN – Ryan Wallace was elected in April to Morgantown City Council and will begin his two-year term July 1.

Wallace, who was born in Pennsylvania, moved to Morgantown in 2015. He decided to run for city council, not only as a personal interest, but because he wanted to change the infrastructure problems in the city and to help improve the community.

“I had heard a lot about some of the contentious lawsuits and in-fighting on city council in recent years, and I thought it was time to replace that attitude with a respectful, collaborative approach,” Wallace told The West Virginia Record. “I publicly pledged not to sue my fellow council members or waste time on political power struggles because I believe that whenever that happens, the residents of Morgantown suffer. Call me idealistic, but I really believed, and still do, that we can function well and get along.”

Wallace is a third-year law student at West Virginia University. He received his master’s degree in community development from Andrews University in Michigan. He previously lived in Eau Claire, Michigan, where he was a member of city council and the city planning division.

Ryan Wallace   Chelsi Baker at the WVU College of Law

He has also worked for nonprofit organizations in the U.S., Canada and Afghanistan. This summer he will work for the WVU Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic.

“I learned the 'ins and outs' of public administration in a small-town setting. We reviewed motions, studied and interpreted ordinances, and worked with an engineering firm on an extensive, multi-year planning commission project involving new lift stations for the city sewer,” Wallace said. “We also reviewed right-of-way and easement complaints and zoning disputes. We granted or denied budget requests, and made suggestions to the local volunteer fire department.”

His main goal is to see Morgantown residents live a higher quality of life.

Wallace is married to Christine Wallace. They have two daughters, Grace, 11, and Faith, 8. Christine Wallace is the program manager and outreach coordinator for the Monongalia Starting Points Family Resource Center. They are both fitness instructors at the Student Recreation Center.

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