City Leaders Outline Policy
Recent discussions on wetzelchronicle.com message boards have prompted an interview with New Martinsville Mayor Lucille Blum and Recorder Bonnie Shannon.
The issues in question surround current Street Commissioner Gary Willey concerning his eligibility to be a candidate for the position in the upcoming election and even his eligibility to be an employee of the street department.
Code says that in order for a person to run for an office in New Martinsville, they must be a resident of the city. Some people have questioned if Willey lives in New Martinsville. Shannon said he is a registered voter of New Martinsville. Also, the address for his driver’s license and his paycheck is in New Martinsville.
To have a further investigation of meeting the residency requirement would require a court order.
Web site comments questioning his eligibility for employment claim that relatives are not permitted to work within the city and Willey is a relative of former Street Commissioner Gary Lemon, now retired. Shannon quoted the city employment policy that says relatives of city workers may apply for municipal jobs, but they cannot supervise or evaluate each other. A relative is defined in the document as a spouse, parent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew by blood, marriage, or adoption. Also of note is that the relational rule does not apply to seasonal employment.
Both Shannon and Blum said if Willey and Lemon are related, they are not aware of the connection and it certainly isn’t close enough to fit the city’s definition.
Further, the employment policy does allow for the use of city equipment on an employee’s property as long as the employee provides the fuel. The department heads are responsible for overseeing this use.
No unauthorized people are permitted to ride in city vehicles or equipment and seat belts must be work.
City code does provide for one vehicle per department to be driven to the residence of a designated on-call but otherwise off-duty employee.