WHEELING — Mayor Glenn Elliott Jr. and his wife, Cassandra, welcomed their first child into the world last week.
Harrison Reed Elliott was born at 11:05 a.m. Thursday, weighing a healthy 7 pounds, 10 ounces.
While the stork brings new bundles of joy to Ohio Valley couples every day, it’s an unusual circumstance in Wheeling history that a sitting mayor starts a new family while in office. Asked if his son’s birth might be considered newsworthy by some local people, he was somewhat skeptical, but jokingly suggested that the angle of any reporting should probably focus on his dedication to combat the region’s population decline.
“Cassandra and I are absolutely thrilled to bring Harrison into the world as one of Wheeling’s newest residents,” he said. “And we look forward to this next chapter in our lives.”
Public interest in Wheeling’s ‘first family’ aside, the mayor noted that his family is one of many friendly townspeople who live here, plan to stay here, are invested in the community and believe in the promise of a bright future for the next. generation of inhabitants.
After decades of youth exodus from the Ohio Valley in search of better opportunities, many who call the Ohio Valley “home” are beginning to notice that the trend is showing signs of reversing as that more and more young adults seem to be staying in the Valley or returning to the area after graduating from college.
“The main reason I ran for mayor was a desire to make Wheeling a place where every young person can find a path to pursue their dreams – without leaving,” Elliott said. “And while a lot of our work on city council involves solving ‘here and now’ issues, the most important part of what we do is plowing the ground and planting seeds that generations future can harvest. It is about instilling hope for a better future.
Now, truly seeing the city from a parent’s perspective, the mayor said he hopes the Elliotts embody a Wheeling family that upholds that belief.
“For the first time, Cassandra and I will have a living, breathing embodiment of that hope sharing our home,” he said. “It’s both exhilarating and daunting. But our hearts are filled with joy as we think of what will become of Harrison and the Wheeling of his life.