Jeers to Derrick Evans, of Prichard, West Virginia, who after serving three months in federal prison for gleefully storming the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 6, 2021, thinks he is fit to serve in the U.S House of Representatives. This is simply delusional. How could a person who sought to overthrow the American seat of democracy even have an inkling of reality to think he/she is worthy of being part of government? It hard to imagine this is even happening.

Jeers to Gov. Jim Justice who keeps thinking the state’s surplus will be around ad infinitum. He wants to idea of the surplus as justification for ending the state’s income tax. Mr. Governor, we implore you to come up with a plan first on how you are going to replace those dollars currently brought in by the state income tax. Then, maybe lawmakers will listen to you. It’s a remedy is what you seek for West Virginians, get a ball passed to give every taxpayer a rebate for 2022.

Jeers to the Marion County Republican Executive Committee for how it interfered in the recent Fairmont City Council election. This past fall, registered Fairmont voters received postcards from the MCREC bearing the vapid rhetoric “Have you considered what liberal city council members are doing across the nation? If you don’t want these liberal woke policies implemented in Fairmont, consider voting for the following Conservative Candidates.” The cards also had a list of city council candidates for districts 1, 3, 5, 7, 8 and 9. From a fact-based perspective, no specific incident was cited on the card of these alleged liberal city councils. Instead, the card only served to use such right-leaning dog whistle words as “woke” and “liberal,” words that have been morphed into pejoratives by so-called conservatives. Those words were only meant to incite fear of the unknown. A larger sized version of the same postcard was erected on Merchant Street as a banner. That banner originally included Karl “David” Kennedy’s name on it, but after he found out it was being used without his permission, he had his name removed. That’s why his name was not on the postcards that were mailed. Fairmont City Council members are elected as nonpartisan positions — candidates do not run on a party ticket as a way to keep politics out of running our city. The only candidate to get elected from the slate listed on the postcard was Kandi Nuzum, who had previously served as chairman of the MCREC. Welcome to 2023.

Cheers to the Marion Regional Development Corp. for buying a 22-acre tract of property for the High Technology Foundation to use as a future commercial development. While there are no publicly-released plans for the site, it’s definitely exciting to start a new year with news like this. Stay tuned, as they used to say in TV news.

Cheers to Marion County Schools and all of the building maintenance that is currently underway at different schools. At a cost of $4.2 million, the most notable and costly of the projects is a full replacement of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system at North Marion. The majority of North’s current HVAC is the same system put into the school when it was built in 1979.

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