Keyser City Council rescinds Curtis Perry appointment
By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - In an about-face from their Nov. 18 meeting, the Keyser City Council voted Wednesday to rescind their motion to appoint Curtis Perry to fill the vacant seat on the council.
Council member Jim Hannas, who had seconded Billy Meek’s motion to appoint Perry last month, made the motion to rescind, citing some information that had since come to their attention.
Referring to various letters Perry had published in the News Tribune criticizing the mayor and council, Hannas said he had seconded the motion last month because he felt “We might disagree, but we’d come up with an answer that would benefit the City of Keyser..
“He told me, “I’ll work with the council,’” he said.
Hannas went on to say, however, that three days after Perry was appointed, “I went to my mailbox and there were three pages of complaints against me” - all initiated by Perry.
Mayor Damon Tillman told the News Tribune following Wednesday’s meeting that the officials were not aware of the latest complaints filed with the West Virginia Ethics Commission by Perry.
The Ethics Commission, however, found that the allegations “do not constitute an ethics violation” and dismissed the complaint.
Tillman said the actions on Perry’s part indicate that he would not be a good fit for the council.
“We have a new administrator and a good council,” he said. “We don’t need someone to hold us back and fight against us.
“I don’t appreciate someone making false accusations.”
Perry, who had run for a seat on the council in July and was the next highest vote-getter after Hannas, Mike Ryan and Meek were elected, told the News Tribune after the meeting that he had felt his chance of serving on the council had “ended months ago.
“Appointing me was a shocker when I got phone calls,” he said, expressing his opinion that his appointment “was a set up against Jim Lough and Elwood Junkins.”
Both Lough and Junkins had written letters of interest in serving on the council when the mayor reached out to the public. When Tillman tried to appoint Junkins during the Nov. 18 meeting, however, the motion had died for lack of a second.
It was then that Meek made the motion to appoint Perry, saying he felt it was only right because Perry had been the next in line in the election.
Wednesday, when Hannas made the motion to rescind Meek’s motion, Jennifer Junkins seconded it.
She and Hannas voted for, Meek voted against, and Mike Ryan did not vote at all.
With no regular council meetings scheduled through the end of the year, Tillman told the News Tribune they probably won’t try to fill the position until at least February.