While we don't doubt that the city of New Martinsville needs more income and the expense of paying utilities on a building not used by city government, per se, could undoubtedly be a drain, we just don't think the situation with the Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce was handled well at Monday's council meeting.
It is our understanding that WCCC President Don Riggenbach was only told of the impending $1,000 per month charge earlier in the day. There was not much advance warning of a potential vote that could cost the organization. They didn't have much time to prepare a presentation for council to argue the value of the chamber for the city. They didn't have time to compile and present an argument by the numbers. Quite frankly, we think they were left a bit dumbfounded, blindsided by a rather unexpected move.
It just wasn't a fair way to go about the change.
And perhaps what troubled us even more about this procedure was that even though the council indicated the buildings committee would sit down and discuss the situation with the chamber, they still set the start of the $1,000 per month payment for Sept. 1. Unless there is a special meeting, council does not meet again until Sept. 6. If a different payment amount or time schedule could be agreed upon, would it even be enacted? If the chamber has been allowed free use of this building for so long, would another month, or at least week or two, really make a difference?