KEYSER – The city of Keyser is discouraging visitors to its Streets Garage on Carskadon Lane, saying individuals who stop to “socialize” are preventing workers from doing their jobs.


By Richard Kerns
rkerns@newstribune.info
Tribune Staff Writer
KEYSER – The city of Keyser is discouraging visitors to its Streets Garage on Carskadon Lane, saying individuals who stop to “socialize” are preventing workers from doing their jobs.
Streets Supervisor Jim Hannas brought up the issue at Wednesday night's City Council meeting, seeking guidance from the Mayor and Council on how to handle visitors who stop to chat, and chat and chat.
“We leave and they stay,” Hannas said of the visitors. “We come back and they're still there.”
Hannas said the problem involves several individuals, but former mayor and current City Council candidate William “Sonny” Rhodes was mentioned as one who frequently stops at the garage.
Rhodes heatedly defended himself, saying he has stopped by in the past to ask workers to sign a petition and sell Girl Scout cookies for a relative. He said “City Hall” advised him that he was no longer welcome at the garage.
“It's a bad omen for the city of Keyser to say citizens of Keyser cannot come to the city garage,” Rhodes said.
Rhodes then mentioned Water Distribution Supervisor Sonny Gank as somehow being involved, prompting a quick and heated response from Gank.
“I don't like fingers being pointed at me in a public meeting,” Gank said.
“Then point 'em back,” Rhodes responded.
More than just lingering visits, which Hannas said can sometimes last an hour or longer, visitors also stop at the garage to lodge complaints or press the city crews to fix certain pot holes or address other specific problems. Hannas said the garage probably logs twice as many complaints as City Hall.
Mayor Randy Amtower said the residents of the city should not be taking up such matters at the garage. “If you have complaints, you're more than welcome to come to City Hall and file a complaint,” he said.
The mayor also noted the impact that frequent, persistent visitors have on city workers, preventing them from doing their jobs. City crews, he said, are “being paid to work, not socialize.”
“If there's time to linger at the garage, there's time to be working,” he said.
Following the discussion, the Mayor and Council directed Hannas to discourage visitors at the garage, direct those making complaints to visit City Hall, and to empty the garage of all visitors and lock the doors behind him when the crew leaves the facility.