News Tribune now offers the entire print edition online

EDITORIAL: Keyser mayor needs to go ahead and make council appointment

Staff Writer
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Mineral Daily News-Tribune

It seems very clear to us that lines are being drawn within the Keyser City Council and it is now more important that ever for our city officials to step up and fill the seat that has been vacant since William Zacot resigned in early September.

According to the city charter, when a council member resigns or can no longer serve for some reason, it is up to the mayor to appoint someone who must then be approved by a majority of the council.

Mayor Damon Tillman chose not to appoint anyone at the Sept. 23 meeting, however, and instead put out a plea for anyone willing to serve to send in a letter of interest by the Oct. 14 meeting.

There were two letters received and again the decision was delayed supposedly because one member of the council was absent that night due to medical reasons and another, Jennifer Junkins, had to recuse herself because one of the letter writers was her husband.

First of all, while we applaud their effort to determine any interest in serving the city, the city officials are not following the charter as it outlines the process of filling a vacant seat.

Again, it is up to the mayor to appoint someone, and the council to approve his appointee.

We admit this may not be an easy task with the current mayor and council, as they have not exactly been on the same page with some of the issues here lately, including the recent discussion of the police department and dispatch.

We want to add, however, that we wouldn’t want the council to be, as the mayor said the other day, “a bunch of bobble heads sitting up there.” Differing opinions and honest discussion can be beneficial to city governments, as long as the differences don’t become insurmountable or rife with personal agendas.

For that very reason, however, it is important to have every seat filled so the elected officials can more effectively consider varying options in order to do their job.

We would encourage mayor Damon Tillman to go ahead and make an appointment during Wednesday’s meeting. Someone that he feels will serve selflessly, honestly, and with dedication to doing what is right for the people of Keyser.

There has to be a lot of people out there like that who may not have thought about sending in a letter, but who would step up if approached with the idea.