Oftentimes when we here in the newsroom are trying to figure out what to write about after attending the vastly different meetings we cover, we wind up with one or two really good topics to write about, but several little tidbits which are important but don't include enough information for a full-fledged story.
By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
Oftentimes when we here in the newsroom are trying to figure out what to write about after attending the vastly different meetings we cover, we wind up with one or two really good topics to write about, but several little tidbits which are important but don’t include enough information for a full-fledged story.
Take the proposal to name Keyser’s South End Park in honor of Clifton E. Brooks Sr., for example. I wrote the story about Damon Tillman (prior to taking office as mayor) pitching the idea to the Keyser City Council, and I wrote the story about him taking the same idea to the Mineral County Board of Education, because they actually own the property where the city park sits.
When the board actually approved the proposal, however, it didn’t get in the paper because the story would basically have consisted of one sentence:
“The Mineral County Board of Education voted unanimously during their meeting to name Keyser’s South End Park in honor of World War II veteran Clifton E. Brooks Sr. of Keyser.”
The fact is, there are a lot of little tidbits like that that deserve to get in the paper but don’t.
So we are starting a new column - “Bits and Pieces” - to take care of those little blurbs that the public really needs or wants to know.
The column will run occasionally on the Opinion Page, to give us the ability to comment when we feel it is needed.
Rest assured, however, the actual tidbits will NOT be “fake news!”
So here goes:
- The City of Keyser’s water treatment plant received a Drinking Water Performance Gold Award as an Optimized Water Treatment Plant.
This award was given to Keyser earlier this summer, before the current administration took office, and should calm some of the rumors that Keyser’s water is not fit to drink.
Congratulations to water treatment plant supervisor Rick Mayhew!
- The Mineral County Board of Education received a report from the recent federal review of the county’s Head Start program, and according to superintendent of schools Shawn Dilly, the program “passed in all areas.”
Congratulations to the teachers and staff members of Mineral County’s Head Start program for their hard work and dedication to the children!
- The new ordinance making it illegal to put off fireworks in the Keyser city limits except for between dusk and 10 p.m. on July 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 and between dusk on Dec. 31 and 1 a.m. on Jan. 1 is now in effect after the second reading was held and approved during the council’s Aug. 8 meeting.
Permits for special occasions can be obtained at the city office.
- The City of Keyser is receiving a CommuniTree grant of 16 trees for planting around the community, and will be looking for volunteers to help with the project.
See council member Jennifer Junkins if you are interested in helping.
- When the Keyser City Council opened the John R. Shelton Swimming Pool they did operate for a short while without an insurance policy, which had been cancelled when the previous administration decided not to open the pool.
As soon as the current administration found out there was no insurance, they immediately renewed the policy.
Seems like an honest mistake to me.
- City administrator Buck Eagle reported this week that final paperwork has been submitted for a $50,000 West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources grant for a system which will detect any gas, oil or Ph changes in the water in New Creek, prior to the water reaching the intake at the water treatment plant.
This $50,000 and what it will be used for was apparently a topic of controversy on social media, with some keyboard warriors implying that it was missing or had been mishandled.
Truth is … they just now did the paperwork.
- Mayor Damon Tillman and city administrator Buck Eagle have set up a weekly meeting with all the department supervisors in the Queen’s Point Coffee Shop.
This apparently caused a lot of buzz on social media as well but my question is this - how is this a bad thing?
Communication is key to the smooth operation of any business or government, and these meetings are merely an opportunity for the mayor, administrator and supervisors to share information and make sure they’re on the same page.
There is no violation of the open meetings law, UNLESS three of the five council members show up to participate in the meeting. Then it’s a quorum according to West Virginia state law. (A quorum is either four council members and no mayor or three council members and the mayor. )
In addition, the mayor has stated that no city money is used for anything they might consume while holding their meeting there.
So what’s the problem?
Keep watching your hometown paper for more “Bits and Pieces.” We are here to get the word out about what’s happening in our community!