BY ALEX KING
At its regular monthly meeting on Monday, Paden City Council voted to rescind their Sept. 3 appointing of resident Bill Fox to the Paden City Development Authority (PCDA). The reason for this was cited as a conflict of interest when Larry Potts, a councilman who is also on the PCDA, voted on the matter in favor of appointing Fox.
When asked by Fox if there had a complaint, Mayor John Hopkins revealed that the West Virginia Ethics Commission had been contacted about the matter.
Prior to council's vote on the matter, resident Judy Ferrebee addressed an ordinance that Fox had signed into effect during his term as mayor in 2008. She handed highlighted sections of Ordinance 153.03 to the officials.
The ordinance states:
"To fill vacancies, on the authority board, notice shall be posted, on June 15 to June 30, of each year, requesting persons to submit, in writing, to the common council, their desire to be appointed to such authority board. Name, address, and phone number shall be included in such written request.
"On the first regular council meeting in July of each year, such vacancies shall be filled, as needed, to the authority board and shall serve for a period of three years: effective on July 1 of each year."
"You violated your ordinance," said Ferrebee to council members.
Council admitted that a mistake was made and explained that they were moving to correct it. With the understanding that Councilman Potts must recuse himself from actions taken regarding a group on which he serves, it was indicated that other PCDA matters he may have voted on should be reviewed.
Also on Monday, the second reading of several ordinance amendments was approved. Recorder Tami Billiter said that these amendments are updates to existing yet outdated ordinances in preparation for the redoing of city ordinance books. The amended ordinances are titled Municipal Voting Precincts, Cards of Instructions of Voters, Polling Places and Equipment, Election Commissioners and Clerks, Compensation of Election Officials: Expenses, Absentee Voting, Conduct of Elections, Wards, Libraries, Overtime, Costs, Collections of Fines, Costs and Fees, Truck Routes, Two Hour Parking Zone, No Parking, Parking Place for Doctors and Parades and Assemblages.
Council voted in favor of a $1 per hour raise for Josh Billiter, who has completed a Backflow Prevention training course.
They also held the first reading of an ordinance amendment to pay an additional $1 per hour raise to any employee who completes and is certified in any area as long as said employee maintains certification. Without the amendment, there is nothing stating that employees must maintain additional certifications in order to keep such a raise.
Council accepted a policy to pay employees for a minimum of two hours, regardless of how long they work, when they are called in to perform unscheduled work.
A resolution was approved declaring Seventh Avenue between Helen Street and Rural Street an emergency. To fix the damaged section of road, council approved a budget revision of $24,550 to go from the Street Paving Savings Account to the Street Repairs Line Item in the General Fund. Brown's Excavating will be doing the repairs.
Council accepted a $2,136 quote from Hydro Power Inc. to clean the culvert at the corner of Broadway and Sixth Avenue. The payment for this will come from the Street and Maintenance Fund.
Council approved the purchase of a new truck for Public Works Director Clifford Duke. The truck is a Ford F150 and costs approximately $15,500. Funding will be split between the sewer, water, and street departments where Clifford works.
"We've got the money to do this," said Mayor Hopkins.
Upon concerns regarding the noise of "Jake" brakes, council discussed the possibility of drafting an ordinance but ultimately decided that there was no way to enforce it. They did, however, discuss the possibility of using signs to discourage the abuse of engine brakes and "Jake" brakes.
Bids for police cruisers were looked at, but no action was taken. Council will continue to review prices.
Councilman Tom Trader reported under Park and Pool that the dates for the Haunted Trail have been set for Monday, Oct. 28, from 6-8 p.m. Councilman Dan Probst stated that the W.Va. Department of Transportation is working to help Paden City acquire a grant to pay for lights, benches, and signs for the park's walking trail.
Council also approved: Mayor Hopkins, Recorder Billiter and Utility Clerk Julie Efaw to attend an Auditor's Conference at Oglebay on Oct. 10; the hiring of Keith Hardbarger as a part-time maintenance worker; minutes of the Sept. 3 regular meeting and minutes of the special meetings held on Sept. 9 and Sept. 16; and the payment of city bills.
In other news: a budget revision of $1,000 from the contingency fund was moved to the police department for uniforms; Councilman Trader revealed that the Paden City Foundation will set up a fund raising booth at the Fall Festival on Oct. 12; Officer J.D. Kelly is scheduled to attend the State Police Academy in Charleston, W.Va., in January; council accepted a proclamation to declare Oct. 20-26 Freedom From Workplace Bullies Week; and council appointed the Financial Committee of Paden City as the Audit Procurement Committee but has not yet established a date for presentations and scoring to select a firm for contenders.
All council members were present: Rick Casteel, Larry Potts, Dan Probst, John Staggers, Jim Richmond, and Tom Trader. All votes were unanimous.