Votes to distance city from deputy mayor’s rash initiatives a positive development

A house divided against itself cannot stand but a city council can.

That is, some members of Morgantown’s City Council have finally decided to take a stand.

A stand against rash initiatives by one of their colleagues, who also happens to be the deputy mayor.

This is no case of some on council fostering divisions to promote self-interests or special interests.

Instead, it’s a matter of a deliberative governing body acting in a manner that belies its responsibilities and could result in real solutions.

The most recent subject of heated debate was an effort by the deputy mayor to place a tax levy on the Nov. 6 ballot for BOPARC.

Despite the time crunch, the lack of timely research and sketchy support for such a levy the deputy mayor insisted on a “damn the torpedoes” approach.

To his credit, the city manger recommended otherwise and called for a more thoughtful approach to solving the Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners’ funding shortfalls.

On a 5-1 vote (one councilman was absent) City Council concurred with the city manager, who suggested working with BOPARC on a funding strategy.

A tie vote — 3-3 — ensued on a request for the city’s administration to make a presentation on a BOPARC levy next week. A tie vote results in a failed motion.

This comes on the heels of a failed plan to buy a 42-acre woodland for twice its assessed value, burning bridges to the County Commission and WVU, along with some uncivil remarks.

We are not going to rehash the Haymarket Forest fiasco here again. For the benefit of brevity, it was a bad deal.

And the Monongalia County Commission and WVU may not even be taking council’s phone calls now.

As to those uncivil remarks toward others, that kind of behavior is best left to the experts in Washington, D.C.

City Council or city residents cannot afford to simply ignore the deputy mayor due to the public office he holds, for now.

However, we urge council to distance itself from his remarks and efforts that reject common ground for scorched earth and consensus building for a wrecking ball.

No one here believes our community is perfect and there’s not room for debate and disagreement about our shortcomings.

But as one councilwoman put it about such spurious initiatives as this BOPARC levy, as well as reasoned and policy-driven ones, propose them with respect.

They must be done in a “decent, respectful way that respects voters, respects this council” and the appropriate agency’s role in any solutions.

Ultimately, that’s at the heart of how united we stand.

Previous ArticleNext Article