During a special meeting Thursday afternoon New Martinsville Council appointed former Councilperson Holly Grandstaff to represent the First Ward.
She will fill a seat being vacated by Linda Barth as of Dec. 31. She must resign her seat as she is moving out of the First Ward. She said the move wasn't expected and would like to thank all who voted for her in May's election.
"This has been very eye opening and fulfilling," she said of her short time on council.
The decision of a replacement was not unanimous. Councilman Steve Pallisco offered the sole vote for Randy "Matt" Bland who had faced Barth in the last election. In that race Barth garnered 76 votes compared to Bland's 41 votes.
Before the vote was taken, Councilperson Iris "Deaner" Isaacs said Bland had indicated during interviews with council that he thought he deserved the appointment based on the election results. She read the portion of city code that deals with appointing council replacements, noting it doesn't say anything about giving the position to a second- or third-place candidate.
"What matters most to me," said Isaacs, "is the welfare of New Martinsville."
She abstained from voting as she didn't want to appear to have a personal agenda or conflict of interest.
The remaining council members-Barth, Doris Fannin, Kay Goddard, and Chris Bachman-voted to appoint Grandstaff to the position.
Grandstaff will fill the position until the next municipal election in 2014.
During the city's regular council meeting on Dec. 3, council approved a city equipment and machinery agreement to be signed by employees when using city-owned equipment or machinery.
"We think we found something that everyone can agree on," said Goddard, chairperson of the committee that submitted the agreement for approval.
The agreement permits employees to use city equipment on the employee's personal property only. Also, it states that the employee assumes all risks of loss and damage to the equipment and machinery, outside of normal wear and tear. Also, they assume all liability for injury, disability, and death caused by the operation, handling, or transportation of the equipment. The employee, who must be competent, trained, and qualified to operate such equipment, is not allowed to permit the equipment to be operated by any other person.
Also, council approved the second reading and adopted a measure to close, vacate, and abandon the unused road known as Boon Alley and an undeveloped unnamed street. The area is between Florida Street and Wood Alley to the north and south, and between state Route 2 and Monroe Alley to the east and west in Steelton.
Lori Pickett was hired as a part-time worker for the Street Department.
Finally, council approved a resolution for a $10,000 Governor's Community Participation Grant Program that will help fund the Neubauer Drive Project. This is the second $10,000 grant the project, which is estimated to cost $30,000, has received.