CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Clarksburg City Council met Feb. 2 and discussed issues related to the city charter and upcoming elections.
The discussion became heated at times, as council members considered the first reading of an ordinance to amend sections five, 25 and 38 of the city charter.
Council members said they learned of an issue with the way the current section 5(a) charter amendment was written in 2021, in which the Clarksburg Water Board was omitted. This needs to be corrected in order for there to be an election for the water board members.
“The secretary of state got involved, the water board’s council got involved, because what was at stake was their bonds, and if they did not get those bonds, they could not go forward with their projects. So we, because basically, the bond’s counsel was saying that the members of the 2019 council were not duly elected past 2023, so that was the issue at hand,” said councilman Will Hyman.
As for city elections, councilman Wayne Worth proposed an amendment that failed to pass. His proposal would have led to city elections in four consecutive years, with two of those races involving one-year terms, as the city works to get its municipal elections lined up with the state’s primary election in May. Also, two of these elections would have been run by the city, while the remaining two would have been run by the county.
A second amendment, which passed unanimously, would 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.
Clarksburg City Council also passed, in a five-to-two vote, a resolution to authorize the city clerk to prepare for a city election to be held June 6, 2023, regarding the proposed amendments to the city charter 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; and 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.
In other business, city council read a proclamation to the United Way of Harrison and Doddridge Counties honoring West Virginia 211, Day which will take place on February 11.
Members of the United Way said it is important to recognize across the state that WV211 is a resource for people to use if there is an issue with rent, utility assistance, in-home care or other concerns. Calling 211 will route people to a United Way call operator, with any information taken being confidential.
“I feel like the resource world, it is so huge, and new resources every single day, like you know, you never know when they are going to pop up. And, connecting them to the right resource is the best thing,” said Jacqueline Brown, WV211 Community Resource Specialist.
The United Way said the West Virginia 211 program benefits all residents, and they are proud to be part of it.
“It is recognition for our operators, it is recognition for the statewide collaborative, you know, our United Ways have invested a lot of time, and energy and resources into making sure that this is a solid program that benefits our community,” said Brad Riffee, executive director of the United Way of Harrison and Doddridge Counties.