Fairmont City Council moves forward to censure 2nd council member

Marion

FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Fairmont City Council continued their discussion on what additional rules the council needs, based on recent comments made by a member of the council.

Earlier in the week council members received a book titled, “How to Be an Antiracists,” by Ibram X. Kendi from Communities of Shalom in Fairmont.

“Particularly I think like, what gave rise to it is some of the conflict and issues that have arisen here in the council as well as what’s going on in the community and in the nation,” described Communities of Shalom member, Rev. Richard Bowyer.

At the meeting, the council resumed a discussion on what to do about the comments councilman Barry Beldsoe made on social media.

Council unanimously adopted a resolution rebuking council member Bledsoe condemning and denouncing his actions. In the post, Bledsoe referred to Monongalia County Delegate Danielle Walker as a, “Satanist.” Bledsoe also made remarks about Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee Kamala Harris.

The incident comes on the heels of fellow Councilman David Kennedy being censured by the council for comments he made on social media.

“As elected officials, we must respect each other, and we must respect the office that each of us hold. Now we may not agree with the politics, but words are so powerful,” Monongalia County Delegate Danielle Walker (WV-D) stated.

The council also discussed and tabled an ordinance amending their code of ethics pertaining to political activity. One of the main reasons for the tabling was a council member asking if city officials can have a political bumper sticker on their personal vehicles while parked on city-owned property. The city’s attorney could not answer at the time.  

If passed at the next meeting, those changes would prohibit city officials and employees from wearing or displaying political buttons, stickers, clothing, apparel, or accessory of any kind on or in any city-owned property.

At the end of the meeting, tensions raised between councilman Mainella and Grubb due to the discussion of councilman Barry Bledsoe’s resignation.

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