Councilman says impoprtant issues over political fodder

(05/01/2007)

Dear Editor,

At the last Grantsville Town Council meeting I used a slang term to describe a person.

While I am sorry I used that term since it lowered me to the level of the discussion, I am not sorry for the sentiment behind it.

What was going on was that people were trying to introduce debate on an issue that at that time was closed - a reduction in force of one employee.

At that time there was no need for any discussion on that topic.

Now, a grievance has been filed and the town council and ONLY the town council must make a decision on how the town should reply to this grievance. Period. End of any discussion on this topic except for the discussion town council will be required to make.

That issue aside, what had been happening at recent town council meetings was that an open forum had developed turning the meetings into something like a political rally.

It is time for council meetings to become council meetings again.

The political posturing has no place in those meetings and it has to stop.

The town is currently facing a number of extremely important issues that include: - A $2.2 million dollar sewer project. The town desperately needs this project to go forward so that the sewer system and sewage plant can be brought into compliance with the state. Failure to do so could lead to a state takeover of the sewer system and probably a privatization of that system leading to higher rates and greater restrictions.

- An $830,000 water project that will increase the size of some lines (from six-inch to 10-inch) and the building of another water storage tank. This needs to be done since by law the town must provide water to both the Mount Zion Public Service District and the Pleasant Hill Public Service District. Both public service districts are either expanding or planning an expansion.

- Turning the decision as to any dispersal of the old town hall lot to the people of Grantsville by way of a referendum. First, the people of the town deserve the right to have a voice in government. A real voice - a vote. Second, funds obtained from any dispersal of the lot, no matter how sweet it may sound, could be detrimental to current funding applications the town has such as the water and sewer projects. Third, and probably the most important, is the ethics of the situation. The town said the lot would only be used as a site for a new town hall. It said that while seeking funds for such a project. To do anything otherwise would make everything previously said and promised a lie.

- Finding out what happened to thousands of dollars of equipment that has come up missing over the years. The equipment is on the books but is not in the inventory. Where did it go? Much of the missing equipment is in the police department and included in this missing equipment is a Class 3 weapon. This is a weapon that only police departments, military and certain agents are allowed to possess. Where did it go?

- Finally there are the records of court cases of previous mayor's courts. No records can be found. These records are badly needed to make sure the former court was in compliance with the state on payments to the state, etc.

These are some of the important issues facing town council. There is neither room nor time for any of the political posturing currently going on.

If in June members of the current town council, including me, are voted out, so be it.

But until then, the town council needs to work on the important business it faces, not listen to political folderol.

Sincerely,
Gaylen Duskey
Councilor, Grantsville Town Council
304-354-7227
PO Box 507
Grantsville, WV 26147