The Times West Virginian


March 17, 2013

Teamwork approach will help move county forward

When you take on a leadership role, you have plenty of responsibilities.

And when you’re the mayor of one of Marion County’s 11 municipalities, that list of responsibilities can seem endless.

Services must be provided. Budgets must be balanced. Streets must be paved. Codes must be enforced. Safety is a concern. So is making sure everything runs smoothly on a daily basis. And don’t forget about the employees of the towns, who play integral roles in making sure each of these tasks is accomplished.

With such an extensive list of responsibilities, it’s always good to have someone you can turn to who can offer advice or simply listen.

That’s what happened last week when several mayors from around Marion County attended a forum to meet with county officials and discuss common issues that face their respective municipalities.

The forum was organized by Charlie Reese, director of the Marion County Development Office, and even though the atmosphere remained lighthearted, it was a chance for mayors to really discuss things their towns and councils are struggling with.

The issues ranged from shrinking budgets to dilapidated buildings.

The derelict properties especially worry the mayors because the state does not provide funding to be used to clean up those properties, and the towns simply don’t have the funds to address the problem themselves.

In Grant Town, for example, Mayor Melanie Thompson said there are a lot of dilapidated buildings.

“People leave ... and they’re letting these properties fall in disrepair,” Thompson said. “You can’t attract people into a town when they drive past all these derelict properties.”

There’s a similar problem in Mannington, according to Mayor Robert Garcia.

“They’ve got to be demolished, and there’s no way to get it done,” he said.

It’s not an issue that goes unnoticed. Randy Elliott, president of the Marion County Commission, told the mayors he gets a lot of calls and visits about dilapidated buildings and houses in the county.

“It would take millions of dollars just to clean up what we have in Marion County,” he added.

Those attending the forum said they’d like to have some involvement from the state Legislature, which they said would especially help when it comes to the dilapidated structures.

“I think the only way we’re going to get to the bottom of it is to have the Legislature come up with some way to raise money to appropriate to all the smaller communities — and cities, for that matter — to take these (dilapidated buildings) down,” Elliott said.

The mayors also discussed how they could attract businesses to their towns as well as how to retain and encourage additional businesses to invest in the communities.

No topic was too large or too small, and discussion even turned to setting up an agreement to let smaller communities or perhaps the county at large pool together to purchase bulk items like salt to treat the roads.

It’s no secret the towns face common issues, and with expenses going up as revenues go down, we know those issues get more complicated with each passing day.

But if our local mayors and county officials can work together as a team to resolve these common issues — not to mention bring the issues to the attention of leaders at the state level — each town and every resident will benefit.

Ultimately, that teamwork approach will help move Marion County forward.

Text Only
  • United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project

    The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
    That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.

    July 27, 2014

  • COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard

    I love to talk to readers.
    I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.

    July 27, 2014

  • Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial

    NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
    And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.

    July 25, 2014

  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life

    Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
    And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.

    July 20, 2014

  • COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?

    Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
    I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.

    July 20, 2014

  • Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions

    This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
    The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    July 18, 2014

  • Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year

    It’s happening again.
    It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
    But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.

    July 17, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads