Here’s the presentation for proposed Civic Center renovations

October 21, 2014 by Matt Murphy

Last night, Charleston city council’s Finance Committee got a look at what a renovated Civic Center could look like (Read the full story here).

Below is the presentation made by Odell Associates, the consultants for the project:

Download (PDF, 12.94MB)

The week in local government (Oct. 17)

October 17, 2014 by Matt Murphy

Here’s a recap of Daily Mail coverage related to local government this week, Oct. 13 to Oct. 17:

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Tuesday

COUNTY (SWA) – The Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority is exploring options for the future of the recycling center on Slack Street.

Wednesday

COUNTY (Commission) – Kanawha County won’t fund Prosecutor Mark Plants’ salary if he appeals a decision to remove him. The commission also appointed a coal businessman to the Parks Commission by a 2-1 vote.

Thursday

COUNTY (Parks) – The Parks Commission voted 6-1 to keep its embattled director.

SOUTH CHARLESTON – City council has postponed cost-of-living increases for retired police and firefighters.

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In other Kanawha County local government news, a three-judge panel ruled Prosecutor Mark Plants should be removed from office; urban agriculture is growing in Charleston; county clerks in West Virginia were upset with how the state handled the same-sex marriage announcement; and the Kanawha County Public Library system is continuing to push for passage of the library levy (by Sam Speciale).

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Here are government meetings and related events scheduled next week in Kanawha County:

Monday, Oct. 20

6 p.m. – Charleston Finance Committee.

7 p.m. – Charleston City Council.

7 p.m. – Dunbar City Council.

7 p.m. – Glasgow Town Council.

7 p.m. – Marmet Town Council.

7:30 p.m. – St. Albans City Council.

Tuesday, Oct. 21

8:30 a.m. – Upper Kanawha EDC.

7 p.m. – Belle Town Council.

7 p.m. – East Bank Town Council.

7 p.m. – Nitro City Council.

Wednesday, Oct. 22

Noon – East End Main Street.

3:30 p.m. – Strong Neighborhoods Task Force.

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“The Week in Local Government” is a weekly post, published around lunchtime on Fridays, that recaps the Daily Mail’s local government coverage for the week. Past editions are available by clicking on the “The Week in Government” link on the right side of this page.

Read the order removing Mark Plants from office

October 14, 2014 by Matt Murphy

In a 44-page ruling issued Tuesday afternoon, a three-judge panel ordered Kanawha Prosecutor Mark Plants removed from office. Read the petition below and the developing story here.

Download (PDF, 14.59MB)

 

The week in local government (Oct. 10)

October 10, 2014 by Matt Murphy

Here’s a recap of Daily Mail coverage related to local government this week, Oct. 6 to Oct. 10:

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Monday

CHARLESTON – City council approved funding for a new field at Appalachian Power Park.

DUNBAR – City council learned the city will hold several community events.

ST. ALBANS – St. Albans city council approved work to a street to make way for a new Wendy’s.

Wednesday

CURA – A new initiative, “Project West Invest,” would place police officers into West Side homes.

Thursday

COUNTY – Kanawha County commissioners approved committing more funds to special prosecutors for the Mark Plants situation.

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In other Kanawha County local government news, three Kanawha County cities are part of the 16 new home rule cities; the Municipal Home Rule Board has approved Charleston’s new sales tax; St. Albans’ B&O tax revenue spiked after the January chemical leak; a building on Summers Street has been purchased by CURA; Kanawha County was the first county to issue same-sex marriage licenses after the state decided to no longer defend the ban.

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Here are government meetings and related events scheduled next week in Kanawha County:

Tuesday, Oct. 14

4:15 p.m. – West Side Main Street.

6 p.m. – Cross Lanes Community Development Council.

7 p.m. – Handley Town Council.

7:15 p.m. – Pratt Town Council.

7:30 p.m. – Montgomery City Council.

Wednesday, Oct. 15

8:30 a.m. – Charleston CVB.

1 p.m. – South Charleston CVB.

Thursday, Oct. 16

8:30 a.m. – Kanawha County Parks and Recreation Commission.

8:45 a.m. – KRT Board of Directors.

7:30 p.m. – South Charleston City Council.

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“The Week in Local Government” is a weekly post, published around lunchtime on Fridays, that recaps the Daily Mail’s local government coverage for the week. Past editions are available by clicking on the “The Week in Government” link on the right side of this page.

Bill Watch (Oct. 7)

October 7, 2014 by Matt Murphy

Bill Watch returns this week after no council meetings the past two weeks. Action on bills in Charleston City Council for this update took place from Sept. 29 through Oct. 6, including council’s meeting on Oct. 6:

ORDINANCES

PASSED on second reading at city council, making the ordinance law

No bills.

ACTION on previously introduced measures

City Council

None.

City Council Committees

None.

INTRODUCED bills on first reading.

No. 7636 – Rental Properties – Expands the city’s rental property license law to require licenses for properties being advertised as rentals and adjusts the license period from July to June to January to December.

rental property license law to require licenses for properties being advertised as rentals and adjusts the license period from July to June to January to December. – See more at: http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141006/DM01/141009487/1296#sthash.fAeUpJug.dpuf

ACTIVE remaining bills.

No. 7632 – Urban hunting – Formally allows persons with a Class Y crossbow permit to use a crossbow during the city’s annual urban deer hunt. Moves to Ordinance and Rules Committee.

INACTIVE remaining bills.

No. 7598 – CatsTABLED by council’s Ordinance & Rules Committee on Sept. 9, 2013. As written, this ordinance would place restrictions on cat ownership in city limits and other regulations on cats. Introduced by Councilman Cubert Smith. The Ordinance & Rules Committee voted to table the bill after public opposition, instead opting to look for other solutions to the city’s feral cat problem.

KILLED bills.

None.

RESOLUTIONS

Passed

501-14 – Authorizes an $8,900 agreement with Potesta & Associates for a Hazardous Materials Survey of the Charleston Civic Center in preparation for future renovation work to that facility.

502-14 – Authorizes a $79,900 settlement agreement for a civil case involving damage to a home at 1614 Lexington Drive. A failed city-owned storm sewer line caused damage there.

503-14 – Expresses support for the Kanawha County library levy.

504-14 – Authorizes a $249,283 expenditure for a new field at Appalachian Power Park.

505-14 – Renews an agreement with Compass Energy Services for purchase and delivery of natural gas to the city beginning Nov. 1 and ending Oct. 31, 2016. The agreement sets the price at the New York Mercantile Exchange rate plus $0.29 per decatherm.

506-14 – Approves the receipt of a $774,000 Governor’s Highway Safety Program grant for overtime, equipment, travel and training expenses for law enforcement agencies in the four-county Metro Valley Highway Safety Program area.

$8,900 agreement with Potesta & Associates for a Hazardous Materials Survey of the Charleston Civic Center in preparation for future renovation work to that facility. – See more at: http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141006/DM01/141009487/1296#sthash.fAeUpJug.dpuf

• Approved an agreement between the city police department and the U.S. Department of Justice for participation in the West Virginia DEA High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Task Force.

• Approved the reception of a $136,264 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to fund equipment for the police department. Of that amount, $93,690 will go to the city and $42,574 will go to the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office.

• Approved a two-year agreement with ASR – West Virginia Uniforms for employee uniforms for the public works department at $247.50 per set.

• Approved spending $25,000 to fix an embankment at 708 Amity Drive. The work will be performed by K&N Contracting.

• Approved budget amendments that removed two carpenter positions and added a foreman position and operator in the street department and that moved $5,000 from the emergency services fund for the creation of a “Flood Mitigation Plan.”

- See more at: http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140819/DM01/140819186/1296#sthash.qmQjjX8z.dpuf

• Approved an agreement between the city police department and the U.S. Department of Justice for participation in the West Virginia DEA High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Task Force.

• Approved the reception of a $136,264 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to fund equipment for the police department. Of that amount, $93,690 will go to the city and $42,574 will go to the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office.

• Approved a two-year agreement with ASR – West Virginia Uniforms for employee uniforms for the public works department at $247.50 per set.

• Approved spending $25,000 to fix an embankment at 708 Amity Drive. The work will be performed by K&N Contracting.

• Approved budget amendments that removed two carpenter positions and added a foreman position and operator in the street department and that moved $5,000 from the emergency services fund for the creation of a “Flood Mitigation Plan.”

- See more at: http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140819/DM01/140819186/1296#sthash.qmQjjX8z.dpuf

Rejected

No council meeting.

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Bill Watch is a weekly series, published on Tuesdays, that provides updates on ordinances moving through Charleston city council and its committees. To see past posts, click the Bill Watch” topic link on the right of this page.

The week in local government (Oct. 3)

October 3, 2014 by Matt Murphy

Here’s a recap of Daily Mail coverage related to local government this week, Sept. 29 to Oct. 3:

- – -

Thursday

SOUTH CHARLESTON – City council learned the city has acquired road salt for the upcoming winter at a time when entities are struggling to get orders filled.

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In other Kanawha County local government news, AEP’s Kanawha River Plant is closing, which will cost Glasgow tens of thousands of dollars in tax revenue; the Mountain Party candidate for Kanawha County commission wants to focus on emergency preparedness and the economy; the city of Charleston has released its race fees (by Marcus Constantino); the reprint of some Kanawha County election ballots will cost $37,000; engineering funding is in place for a new water line in the Alum Creek and Olcott areas; and a St. Albans councilman has missed dozens of meetings over the past few years.

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Here are government meetings and related events scheduled next week in Kanawha County:

Monday, Oct. 6

6 p.m. – Chelyan Improvement Council.

6:30 p.m. – Charleston Finance Committee.

7 p.m. – Charleston City Council.

7 p.m. – Chesapeake Town Council.

7 p.m. – Dunbar City Council.

7:30 p.m. – St. Albans City Council.

Tuesday, Oct. 7

1 p.m. – Municipal Beautification Commission (Charleston).

6 p.m. – Cedar Grove Town Council.

7 p.m. – Nitro City Council.

Wednesday, Oct. 8

9 a.m. – Charleston Urban Renewal Authority.

1 p.m. – South Charleston Museum Board.

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“The Week in Local Government” is a weekly post, published around lunchtime on Fridays, that recaps the Daily Mail’s local government coverage for the week. Past editions are available by clicking on the “The Week in Government” link on the right side of this page.

Admitted felon votes for ousted Clarksburg councilman to fill in for man headed to prison

October 2, 2014 by Matt Murphy

A West Virginia transit authority decided to keep the head honcho’s position open while he serves a nearly two-year prison sentence for felony bank fraud.

To fill in as general manager, the board hired an ousted Clarksburg city councilman who was convicted of domestic assault earlier this year. The deciding vote to hire the ex-councilman was cast by Bridgeport’s ex-mayor, who pleaded guilty recently to federal drug charges.

The Clarksburg Exponent Telegram reported the bizarre chain of events yesterday. Read the full story here.

According to the newspaper, the Central West Virginia Transit Authority (CENTRA) board of directors, which oversees the transit system in Harrison County,  hired Sam “Zeke” Lopez to be the interim general manager.

Lopez will be filling in for CENTRA General Manager John Aman, who Metronews reported last week was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison, plus five years supervised release. Aman pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud after originally being charged with 11 counts of bank fraud, the radio station reported.

But Lopez has also been in trouble with the law.

Citing “moral turpitude,” Clarksburg council members voted Lopez out of office in February after he was convicted of a misdemeanor domestic assault charge in January, according to WBOY-TV.

Lopez is set to earn $35,000 in the interim role. Aman pulls down nearly $64,000 a year. He starts serving his sentence Oct. 22.

On top of all that, the CENTRA board of directors includes ex-Bridgeport Mayor Mario Blount, who was arrested in June on federal drug charges. He resigned on Sept. 8 and pleaded guilty on Sept. 12  “in U.S. District Court in Clarksburg to conspiracy to possess and distribute schedule II controlled substances, distribution of oxymorphone and false or fraudulent material omission.”

The board voted 4-0 to let Aman return to his job after leaving the clink. The board voted 2-1 to let Lopez serve as interim general manager. Blount, of course, was one of two people in favor of hiring Lopez.

Daily Mail Capitol Bureau Chief Dave Boucher also contributed to this post.

in U.S. District Court in Clarksburg to conspiracy to possess and distribute schedule II controlled substances, distribution of oxymorphone and false or fraudulent material omission. – See more at: http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140913/ARTICLE/140919655#sthash.lr3nkM9B.dpuf
in U.S. District Court in Clarksburg to conspiracy to possess and distribute schedule II controlled substances, distribution of oxymorphone and false or fraudulent material omission. – See more at: http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20140913/ARTICLE/140919655#sthash.lr3nkM9B.dpuf