CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Clarksburg City Council voted to pass a resolution suspending city manager Martin Howe for 30 days during a special meeting Thursday evening.
Council chambers were filled to capacity with concerned residents leaving standing room only for many to address council. Mayor Ryan Kennedy released a preliminary resolution on Wednesday, that was at the center of Thursday’s meeting. The resolution detailed three categories of allegations relating to the performance of Clarksburg City Manager Martin Howe. Those three categories being: urban decay, misappropriation of funds, and unprofessionalism.
Vice Mayor Jimmy Marino motioned for consideration of the resolution, and councilwoman Lillie Junkins seconded the motion. The resolution passed 4 to 3. Council members Jim Malfregeot, Frank Ferrari, and Marshall Goff all voted against the resolution. While Lillie Junkins, Vice Mayor Jimmy Marino, Gary Keith II, and Mayor Ryan Kennedy all voted for the resolution.
Many residents stepped up during the public comment portion to discuss drug issues and a need for change.
“I really feel that in communities that are thriving in West Virginia what you see is a group of people who have taken on that responsibility, who have said this is my responsibility to make my community a better place. You don’t see communities who say, it’s my city manager’s job to make this community a better place for all of us. I think it is something that we all have to take on as our responsibility, and take ownership of it, and try and move it forward,” said Marissa Rexroad, a resident of the City of Bridgeport.
“We are talking about suspending the city manager, which is probably the most important vote a council can make. And so, I wanted to make sure that everybody got heard. So, yes, I didn’t enforce the five-minute rule and that was my discretion,” said Kennedy.
Howe will be suspended with pay for 30 days in anticipation of termination. During that time, Clarksburg City Clerk Annette Wright will act as interim city manager.