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Perry says vote to rescind was not proper

Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Curtis Perry

By Liz Beavers

Tribune Managing Editor

KEYSER - Keyser resident Curtis Perry has called into question the legality of the vote taken Dec. 9 to rescind his appointment to the Keyser City Council, and the city officials will apparently once again find the issue on the agenda for the next meeting.

Perry was appointed to fill a vacancy on the council at the Nov. 18 meeting, when the council members voted to appoint the next highest vote-getter from the July 28 election.

At the Nov. 18 meeting, however, Council member Jim Hannas, who had seconded the motion to appoint Perry, made a motion to rescind the original appointment based on some new information that had since come to their attention about some complaints Perry had filed against them with the West Virginia Ethics Commission.

Although the Ethics Commission dismissed the complaints, the Keyser city officials said they didn’t feel Perry would be a good fit to work with the council.

Jennifer Junkins seconded the motion to rescind, but the vote was 2-1-1 with Billy Meek voting against and Mike Ryan not voting.

Mayor Damon Tillman declared the motion rescinded and the council moved on.

In a letter to the editor which appeared in Tuesday's Opinion Page, however, Perry says the two affirmative votes were not enough to pass the motion.

More:Perry says vote to rescind appointment failed

Basing his comments on the wording of the city’s charter as it appeared most recently on the City of Keyser website, Perry said the motion required 2/3 majority vote - either three council members or two council members plus the mayor if the vote had otherwise been a tie.

Friday, Tillman told the News Tribune they would have to retake the vote, with Ryan voting either yay or nay.

“Mike Ryan has to vote; he can’t abstain without a reason,” Tillman said, calling the whole situation “drama.”

There is also some question as to the validity of the version of the city charter cited by Perry, which Hannas says was altered during the codification process launched during the last administration.

According to Hannas, no vote was taken or approval given to  make changes to the charter, either by the previous council or the current one.

Saying the  new charter would be taken down from the website at the conclusion of the Dec. 9 meeting, Hannas said, “We are now working under the old charter.”

The next council meeting is scheduled for Jan. 13.