POINT PLEASANT — Two seats are now open on Point Pleasant City Council after the resignations of council persons in both the first and sixth wards.
The resignations of Councilman Doug Tawney and Councilwoman Linda Smith were accepted at Monday night’s regular council meeting. Tawney, who represents the first ward, resigned due to health reasons. Smith, who represents the sixth ward, resigned due to moving to the Columbus, Ohio area. Mayor Brian Billings asked that the city draft letters of appreciation to both Tawney and Smith for their service.
Billings said the empty seats will be filled ASAP. City council will have to approve who exactly gets those seats. Of course, those appointed, will have to live within the wards they will represent.
Also during this week’s council meeting, Councilman Allen Moran suggested the city send letters of support for the completion of U.S. 35, minus tolls, to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. Moran said the Mason County Commission has requested formal letters of support for the road’s completion using new legislation put in place known as Senate Bill 190 (public-private partnership). All on council were in favor of drafting letters of support for the project.
In other council news:
Mike Davis with the city’s engineering firm Burgess and Niple, presented council with a breakdown of what repairs will be needed to replace/repair the roof at the municipal building. With his report, council needs to now obtain cost estimates to submit to Kathy Elliot from Region II Development Authority who indicated grant funds could be available to pay for this project.
Council approved the reappointment of Judaline Liberatore for another three-year term on the Historic Landmark Commission.
Council adjourned into executive session under West Virginia Code 6-9a-4 regarding: “Matters arising from the appointment, employment, retirement, promotion, transfer, demotion, disciplining, resignation, discharge, dismissal or compensation of a public officer or employee, or prospective public officer or employee unless the public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee requests an open meeting.”
After returning back into regular session, the resignations of Tawney and Smith were formally accepted and council unanimously approved the hire of Justin Veith as a patrolman for the Point Pleasant Police Department. Veith will soon graduate from the police academy in Charleston and his employment is effective Jan. 6, 2014.
Council changed its next regular meeting date to 7 p.m., Jan. 14 due to city officials attending the annual municipal conference on Jan. 13.
Councilman Bob Doeffinger brought up concerns of concrete being dumped over the riverbank near the entrance to Tu-Endie-Wei State Park. Councilman Keith Sargent brought up resident concerns about rough streets in the North Park Dr. area. Sargent also said he’d spoken with Kelly Smith, who is involved with the group spearheading the Krodel Park playground improvement project. Sargent said Smith was concerned council wasn’t totally behind the project. Council members indicated they were behind the project, they just didn’t want to lose campsites or tear down any buildings near the playground - they wished to get a new playground in the space where the old one sits.
Sargent suggested those working on the playground meet with the recreation committee who would then report back to council on the group’s progress. Council members continued to say they were excited and support the project. Council has asked to see a finalized design of the playground before the project moves forward.
Councilman Bob Rulen mentioned a letter from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers listing minimal maintenance items needing attention in the city. Billings said the letter has been given to Street Commissioner Willie Call and items will be addressed.
At this week’s meeting were: Council members Janet Hartley, Rulen, Rick Simpkins, Sargent, Moran, Doeffinger, Charles Towner, City Attorney R.F. Stein, Billings, City Clerk Amber Tatterson, City Accountant Shannon Pearson, Administrative Assistant Teka McCauley.