Letters, Letters to the Editor, Opinion

Aug. 6 letters to the editor

City prepared to help WVU through changes

Recently I was honored to have been invited to a meeting held by West Virginia Campus Workers, a group of WVU employees organizing their labor demands centering around the university’s budget crisis.

A couple weeks ago, I lamentingly expressed how concerning it was that the WVU budget crisis is not being treated by many in the community with the severity and urgency I believe it deserves. If the City of Morgantown were facing a proportional size hole in its budget, there would be a constant and visceral reaction from the public and the media of rightful outrage as to how something so catastrophic could have happened.

Our future as a city, county and state is inexorably tied to West Virginia University and its campuses. The City of Morgantown wants to do everything in its power to make sure that WVU succeeds — I think I can safely speak for all of the council and administration when I say that.

To that end, we must have an open and frank conversation about the current crisis WVU is facing. We must have transparent communication with the public about the issues WVU is facing and the solutions that are being sought.

Investment back into the students, the lifeblood of our university and our city, must be the top priority when tough choices are to be made in light of this budget crisis. I have found lifelong friends, along with deep and incredibly productive partnerships, with so many of the WVU faculty and staff.

The asset that WVU represents for our community cannot be overstated. Our city stands ready to listen and provide assistance where we can, but first, we must have an honest conversation about how we got here and what steps will fix this problem.

Brian Butcher
7th Ward city councilor

Hit and miss: DOH fixes some things, not others

With the football season approaching, thousands of fans who were here last year will be welcomed by the same old potholes and built-up patches that were there last year.

Exit 155 off Interstate 79 is one of the main entrances to Morgantown, and it appears that a hit-and-miss crew was dispatched to add more asphalt to the potholes, but they hit three and missed two.

In addition to the potholes and bumps, a deer carcass has been at this location for months, decaying in the extreme heat and covered with some chemical, possibly lime. Should the Division of Highways have removed the deer? The owners/managers of the local businesses appear to ignore the sight and smell of a decaying carcass that could deter potential customers from patronizing their establishments. Hiring someone to remove the carcass is one solution. Who wants to accept that responsibility?

We contacted some politicians to help improve these situations, mainly the problems on Bakers Ridge Road, when we received unreasonable explanations from the DOH. According to the DOH’s Citizens Concerns Assistant, once a constituent contacts a politician, they must communicate through the politician in the future.*

DOH policy: If you don’t like the complaint, muzzle the complainant.

They all receive tax dollars. Why does it matter with whom you communicate? They all should be willing to communicate. We were merely attempting to point out dangerous areas to the DOH. DOH officials should patrol the roads regularly and observe defective areas.

I can’t fathom how this deterioration can continue for more than a few months, but it has continued for several years. There has been some improvement at Exit 7 on Interstate 68, and the Mileground has been an exceptional improvement.  

Ron Lemley

*(Update: Surprisingly, on Aug. 3, Tanya, DOH’s Citizens Concerns Assistant, contacted my wife and gave an update on the repair of Bakers Ridge Road. The repair would be completed by mid- September. We are glad that their policy is not etched in stone.)

Same areas are consistently neglected

It’s been several months since I wrote a letter to the editor about poor road conditions. Maybe no one was paying attention.

Does anyone care that the Mon County Board of Education is mowing a 20-acre field with zero-turn mowers? I saw two at the same time. Not just mowing, but I would call it grooming. No one uses the field. Instead of using mowers for grooming, maybe they can mow beside the Brookhaven Road where the school buses run. There are no bus stops in that field.

Does anyone in the Division of Highways care that the Brookhaven Road on the Tyrone Avery side is a disaster? It’s overgrown with trees, weeds are growing into the road and it desperately needs patched.

Does anyone in the DOH care that trees are dropping like flies across W.Va. 7 from Pioneer Rocks to Masontown? The odds are growing in favor of an ambulance being stuck behind a downed tree.

It’s the same situation on W.Va. 72 from Caddell to Rowlesburg. A storm hit three miles outside of Rowlesburg about two weeks ago. Thank goodness it was the newspaper carrier that got stuck, not an ambulance. But the DOH doesn’t care.

Why is it that after years of patching, W.Va. 72 from Rowlesburg to U.S.  50 got patched again instead of repaved? Now, it’s a bumpy mess from the patches upon patches upon patches.

Why is it that W.Va. 7 was ditched properly, but W.Va. 72 got virtually nothing from Rowlesburg to U.S. 50? A motor grader took the corner of the blade and ran it through the ditch, and the dirt rolled back in. But I guess the DOH doesn’t care, at least not in this district.

Rick Felton

Shouldn’t need doctor’s note for smaller trash bin

We have reached a new level of absurdity in Morgantown.

The problem is that I would like a smaller trash container. I’m female and 78 years old. The 96-gallon trash container is far too large and unwieldy!

In order to apply for a smaller container, a form was mailed to me that includes a medical/ physical request, which requires a physician’s diagnosis and signature as to why the customer is unable to handle this behemoth of a cart. My age alone should qualify!

I called customer service at Republic Services again and spoke with two representatives. Even the senior representative was not able to give me the reason for this medical/physical request. She didn’t know.

So now I must make an appointment with my doctor and get his written diagnosis and signature before the application is even considered. I’m not asking for a day off work with pay — all I’m asking for is a smaller garbage can! This is ludicrous.

Bette Garrett