The week in local government (Jan. 23)

January 23, 2015 by Matt Murphy

Here’s a recap of Daily Mail coverage related to local government for Jan. 19 to Jan. 23:

- – -

Tuesday, Jan. 20

KANAWHA SWA – The Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority began to move forward with plans to tear down the building at Slack Street.

CHARLESTON – Council approved hiring a consulting firm to create a “Bicycle Trail Master Plan” for the city.

DUNBAR – City council updated its ordinance book and heard departmental reports.

ST. ALBANS – City council saw a police officer retire and conducted other business.

Wednesday, Jan. 14

CHARLESTON – The Strong Neighborhoods Task Force discussed the issue of problem bars in the city.

Thursday, Jan. 15

COUNTY (Commission) – The Kanawha County Commission discussed the status of the disbanding of the Upper Kanawha Valley Enterprise Community.

- – -
In other local government news, renovations continue on the Staats Hospital building; and an embattled Charleston police officer resigned.

- – -

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

Monday, Jan. 26

1 p.m. – Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority (emergency meeting).

Wednesday, Jan. 28

8:30 a.m. – Charleston CVB.

- – -
“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 (Jan. 22)

January 22, 2015 by Matt Murphy

Action on bills in Charleston City Council for this update took place from Jan. 13 to Jan. 20:

ORDINANCES

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

No. 7644 – Groundwater Restriction – Restricts the use of groundwater for a property on the corner of Lee Street West and Pennsylvania Avenue. The restriction is part of a remediation of the property by Speedway, the gas station company. Introduced by Ed Talkington. PASSED Environment & Recycling Committee on Jan. 13.

ACTION on previously introduced measures

City Council

None.

City Council Committees

None.

INTRODUCED bills on first reading.

No council meeting.

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. 7598 – Cats – This updated ordinance would set up a process for property owners to have cats removed from their property by a humane officer and the cat’s owner would be fined. TABLED by Mayor Danny Jones on Oct. 30, 2014, after bring PASSED by the Ordinance & Rules Committee on Oct. 28. Last year, the bill was TABLED 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.

No. 7643 – CURA – Allows the city to add two board members to the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority, taking the total number of board members to nine. The two additions would be city council members. Ordinance must be passed using Charleston’s home rule power. REFERRED to West Virginia Municipal Home Rule Board.

No. 7645 – Streets – Closes a 50-by-60 -foot section of Kanawha Avenue SE in Kanawha City to the surrounding property owners at a cost of $3,000 to be paid to the city. Introduced by John Miller. PASSED Municipal Planning Commission on Jan. 7. REFERRED to Planning Committee and Finance Committee.

INACTIVE remaining bills.

None.

KILLED bills.

None.

- – -

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 (Jan. 16)

January 16, 2015 by Matt Murphy

Here’s a recap of Daily Mail coverage related to local government for Jan. 12 to Jan. 16:

- – -

Wednesday, Jan. 14

CURA – The Charleston Urban Renewal Authority approved a development agreement for new construction on part of the East End Dog Park, and learned about potential upgrades to the 2nd Avenue Community Center.

Thursday, Jan. 15

COUNTY (Parks Commission) – The Parks Commission is developing a long-range plan for park projects and maintenance.

WEST SIDE MAIN STREET – Holding its annual meeting Thursday, West Side Main Street is hoping for more positive change in 2015.

SOUTH CHARLESTON – City council took an early step to adopting a comprehensive stormwater protection ordinance.

- – -
In other local government news, filing for elections in several Kanawha County municipalities began this week; the Coal River Group looks to its next decade of cleaning up the Coal River; and county and city officials reflect on the 2014 chemical spill.

- – -

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

Monday, Jan. 19

Martin Luther King Day. Government offices closed.

Tuesday, Jan. 20

10 a.m. – Kanawha County Solid Waste Authority.

1 p.m. – South Charleston Sanitary Board.

6:45 p.m. – Charleston Finance Committee.

7 p.m. – Charleston City Council.

7 p.m. – Belle Town Council.

7 p.m. – Dunbar City Council.

7 p.m. – East Bank Town Council.

7 p.m. – Glasgow Town Council.

7 p.m. – Marmet Town Council.

7 p.m. – Nitro City Council.

7:30 p.m. – St. Albans City Council.

Wednesday, Jan. 21

8:30 a.m. – Charleston CVB.

1 p.m. – South Charleston CVB.

- – -
“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 (Jan. 13)

January 13, 2015 by Matt Murphy

Action on bills in Charleston City Council for this update took place from Jan. 7 to Jan. 13:

ORDINANCES

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

No council meeting.

ACTION on previously introduced measures

City Council

None.

City Council Committees

No. 7645 – Streets – Closes a 50-by-60 -foot section of Kanawha Avenue SE in Kanawha City to the surrounding property owners at a cost of $3,000 to be paid to the city. Introduced by John Miller. PASSED Municipal Planning Commission on Jan. 7. REFERRED to Planning Committee and Finance Committee.

INTRODUCED bills on first reading.

No council meeting.

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. 7598 – Cats – This updated ordinance would set up a process for property owners to have cats removed from their property by a humane officer and the cat’s owner would be fined. TABLED by Mayor Danny Jones on Oct. 30, 2014, after bring PASSED by the Ordinance & Rules Committee on Oct. 28. Last year, the bill was TABLED 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.

No. 7643 – CURA – Allows the city to add two board members to the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority, taking the total number of board members to nine. The two additions would be city council members. Ordinance must be passed using Charleston’s home rule power. REFERRED to West Virginia Municipal Home Rule Board.

No. 7644 – Groundwater Restriction – Restricts the use of groundwater for a property on the corner of Lee Street West and Pennsylvania Avenue. The restriction is part of a remediation of the property by Speedway, the gas station company. Introduced by Ed Talkington. REFERRED to Environment & Recycling Committee.

INACTIVE remaining bills.

None.

KILLED bills.

None.

- – -

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.

WV Legislative Lookahead — municipal government panel

January 12, 2015 by Brad McElhinny

This is the West Virginia Legislative Lookahead panel, featuring journalists and lawmakers. The first session of the day features local government issues, including home rule. Follow along below:

Live Blog WV Legislative Lookahead, municipal government

Annual “Best Performing Cities” study ranks Morgantown area high, Charleston area low

January 9, 2015 by Matt Murphy
Charleston

Charleston from Fort Hill.

Yesterday, the Milken Institute, a California-based think tank, released its annual “Best Performing Cities” report that aims to reflect the job market in metros across the country.

Quoting the report, its goal is to show “where employment is stable and expanding, wages and salaries are increasing, and economies and businesses are thriving.”

The good news? The Charleston metro area isn’t dead last.

The bad news? Charleston was ranked 192 of 200 large metro areas, down from 151 in 2013.

The report takes into account factors such as job growth, wage growth and the presence and growth of high-technology jobs.

While the capital city received high marks for its wage growth from 2007-2012, it was in the bottom 20 percent of metro areas for job growth and the number and concentration of high-tech gross domestic product.

Below the Charleston MSA were Detroit; Tallahassee; Palm Bay/Melbourne/Titusville, Fla.; Utica/Rome, N.Y.; Fort Smith, Ark./Okla.; Gulfport/Biloxi, Miss.; Youngstown/Warren/Boardman, Ohio; and Atlantic City/Hammonton, N.J.

Now before we get pessimistic on Charleston proper, keep in mind this reflects the entire Metropolitan Statistical Area, not just the city.

For Charleston, that includes all of Kanawha, Clay and Boone counties.

In addition, Putnam County – one of the few growing counties in the state – was taken from the Charleston MSA and given to the Huntington/Ashland MSA in February 2013.

Speaking of, the Huntington/Ashland MSA didn’t do much better than Charleston, scoring 188 of 200 large MSAs. It moved up one spot over last year.

Like the Charleston MSA, the Huntington MSA includes much more than just the city. It includes all of Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln and Putnam counties in West Virginia; Lawrence County, Ohio; and Boyd and Greenup counties in Kentucky.

 – – -

Smaller metro areas in West Virginia, meanwhile, were all over the place in the rankings, ranging from the top 5 percent to bottom 15 percent.

It’s no secret that Morgantown has been one of the best-performing cities in West Virginia in recent years, and the report ranked the Morgantown MSA 7th of 179 small MSAs.

The Morgantown MSA, which includes Monongalia and Preston counties, moved up two spots over last year and received exceptionally high marks for long-term job growth and wage growth.

The Winchester, Va., MSA, which includes Hampshire County, was ranked 45th; the Cumberland, Md., MSA, which includes Mineral County (and is my hometown!) ranked 64th; and the Hagerstown, Md., MSA, which includes Berkeley County, was ranked 83rd.

Wheeling’s MSA was ranked 95th. It includes Ohio and Marshall Counties in West Virginia and Belmont County in Ohio.

The Parkersburg MSA came in 123rd, an area that includes Wood, Wirt and Pleasants counties in West Virginia and Washington County, Ohio.

Lastly, the Weirton/Steubenville MSA just barely avoided being dead last among small MSAs. That area was ranked 178th and includes Brooke and Hancock counties in West Virginia and Jefferson County in Ohio.

Only the Anniston, Ala., MSA was worse.

West Virginia’s other MSA – Beckley – was not ranked.

To read the entire report, click here. For a map version, click here.

 

The week in local government (Jan. 9)

January 9, 2015 by Matt Murphy

Here’s a recap of Daily Mail coverage related to local government for Jan. 5 to Jan. 9:

- – -

Monday, Jan. 5

CHARLESTON – City council gave final approval for rezoning for the proposed T-Center drug treatment center near Capital High School.

DUNBAR – Council approved a new city judge.

ST. ALBANS – Council authorized poll workers for the special fire levy election on Feb. 7.

Tuesday, Jan. 6

NITRO – Nitro city council discussed the implementation of the city’s 1 percent sales tax.

Thursday, Jan. 8

COUNTY (Commission) – The Kanawha County commission approved its 2015 legislative agenda.

- – -
In other local government news, the expansion of the East End Historic District was approved by the National Park Service; a hearing is scheduled for Richie Robb’s lawsuit against South Charleston; and the popularity of urban deer hunts is increasing, though 2014 deer kills were stagnant.

- – -

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

Tuesday, Jan. 13

6 p.m. – Charleston Environment & Recycling Committee.

7 p.m. – Handley Town Council.

7:15 p.m. – Pratt Town Council.

7:30 p.m. – Montgomery City Council.

Wednesday, Jan. 14

9 a.m. – Charleston Urban Renewal Authority.

1 p.m. – South Charleston Museum Board.

Thursday, Jan. 15

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

8:45 a.m. – KRT board.

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

- – -
“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.