CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — Clarksburg City Council met Thursday night and continued its discussion on issues related to the city charter and upcoming elections.

The council held a second and final reading and public hearing of an ordinance amending sections 5, 25, and 38 of the city charter. The amendments were approved in a five to two vote with Clarksburg Mayor, Jimmy Marino as well as Clarksburg Vice Mayor, Lillie Junkins opposing.

The passage of the ordinance will result in council members elected in 2023 serving one-year terms, with the city’s election in 2024 being aligned with the primary election. However, instead of members elected in 2021 being subject to an election in 2025—also for one-year terms—these council members will receive a fifth year on their current terms and be up for election again in May 2026.

“We want to make sure the water board has everything they can do to remedy the situation. Obviously, it is a huge issue. One of the biggest issues in the state. So, doing the right thing for the water board is very important to all of us,” said Will Hyman, Clarksburg City Council Member. “So they can secure their money, they can move forward with the project, and I believe that the City of Clarksburg will do everything they can to help it facilitate that.”

The council also held a second and final reading as well as a public hearing regarding charter amendments and elections. During the meeting, the council approved with a five to two vote amending sections 5, 25, and 38 of the city charter and an ordinance regarding the amendments and elections. That vote passed which also means that a city election will be held Tuesday, June 6, 2023, regarding the proposed amendments to the city charter which were for:

  • The election of three seats on the city council for the term of one year.
  • The election of one seat on the Clarksburg Water Board for a term of three years.
  • The staggering of terms of office of the members of the Clarksburg Water Board, as appropriate, in order to align such terms to coincide with the same date as the regularly scheduled statewide primary election.

“It started with the Secretary of State, you know, you heard some arguments tonight about it being unethical, violating the state constitution, so that was the beginning,” Hyman said. “When the water board found out that there could be some issues with that they were concerned about the status of their bonds that they are getting for the $96 Million water project for the lead lines. So, they require the members of the council and the members of the water board to be duly elected. And if that comes in question when you’re not duly elected.”

During the previous meeting council members stated they learned of an issue with the way the current section five of the charter amendment was written in 2021, in which the Clarksburg Water Board was omitted. Some members of the council stated that they needed to be corrected for there to be an election for the water board members.

Also during the meeting, there was an open—and at times heated discussions—held among council members regarding city manager applicants. It has been 10 months since former Clarksburg City Manager, Harry Faulk left the position vacant, and the city is still searching to fill the position.

“I think we’ve had qualified candidates in every single round of interviews the problem is agreeing as a body to move forward with one of them. So, unfortunately, it just has not worked out the way we have wanted it,” Hyman said. “The entire world is having issues right now, it is not just the City of Clarksburg and, you know, we have a lot of problems, I am not going to sit up here and try brush off that we don’t but the first step in fixing those problems or addressing those problems is doing the right thing up here.”