KEYSER - A Keyser resident has come up with an idea which he hopes will catch fire and change how municipalities in West Virginia conduct their elections.

KEYSER - A Keyser resident has come up with an idea which he hopes will catch fire and change how municipalities in West Virginia conduct their elections.

He has already spoken to county and state leaders about the issue, and now wants to get some input from the public.

The issue: Why shouldn’t business owners and professionals who operate within the city limits but do not live in the city be able to vote in city elections?

“These people pay taxes to the cities and towns that are home to their businesses, yet have no right to vote in that same municipality because they reside outside the city limits,” Shawn Snyder says.

“How is that right? Their businesses pay an impressive amount to the financial welfare of the city … they should have input as to where, how and why their tax money is applied and managed.”

Allowing non-city residents to vote in a city election would have to come through change at the state level, and if passed by the legislature, would affect every municipality in the state.

Snyder envisions the new law applying to any business owner or professional who owns or rents property within the city.

“These individuals are the financial stabilizing blocks of our municipalities,” he said. They are the blood lines that yield city health, that nourish growth and expansion of our cities and towns.”

Snyder hopes that many of the non-resident business people and professionals, as well as the general public, will attend an informational meeting on the subject Thursday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m. in the court room of the Mineral County Courthouse.

“It’s an informational thing,” he said, noting that the meeting is an important first step toward helping to make the proposed law a reality.