Hopkins Presides Over PC Council Meeting
The newly elected Paden City Mayor, John “Hoppy” Hopkins, presided over his first meeting earlier this month.
Hopkins began by outlining a few of his goals under his administration. “One thing that a lot of people in town talk about is the drug problem. I’ve spoken to the chief (of police) and hopefully we can do some things. It’s a priority to me,” he noted.
He also hopes to establish a neighborhood watch program and reinstate the city’s ambulance service. “I’ve had a couple people who were interested in this and someone said there may be a possibly of getting an ambulance,” Hopkins said. “This will have to be dealt with through the Wetzel County Ambulance Authority.”
“One of the questions the newspaper asked was what I would do with $10,000,” Hopkins said. “I said I’d like to codify the ordinance book. This has not been done since 1988, and when we have questions about one of our ordinances, it’s a nightmare to go throughout that thing, so that is due.”
“The people who do this are attorneys,” Hopkins added. “They reference everything to the State Code and bring it back to council for a final approval.”
Mayor Hopkins also noted an issue with ATVs that was brought to his attention. He urged residents to report issues to law enforcement.
“With that being said, let’s go to work,” he stated.
Hopkins defeated incumbent mayoral candidate William “Bill” Fox in the municipal election held in June. In a letter sent to the newspaper, Fox expressed his gratitude to the residents of Paden City.
“I want to thank the citizens of Paden City for allowing me to serve as your mayor for the past four years. It has been an honor and a privilege for me, and one that I won’t ever forget,” Fox wrote.
During Fox’s tenure as mayor, many improvements were made at the City Building, including repairs to the roof, new spouting and eaves, new windows in the upstairs part of the building, and the establishment of an office for the mayor and a conference room.
Fox also pointed out the office for the Paden City Development Authority was moved from the Industrial Park to the City Building while he was mayor. Additionally, a new water department clerk was hired and a new recorder was hired and later elected to serve the community.
“Council is presently working on a new property maintenance ordinance that will be passed in the very near future,” Fox said. “This is an effort to stabilize and maintain property values in our city. Some properties are so out of harmony and conformity with the maintenance standards of adjacent properties, as to cause substantial devaluations of the surrounding properties.”
Fox’s administration also passed the vicious dog ordinance, which outlines the penalties for harboring such animals, in an effort to keep the community safe.
“Along the way there were many bumps in the road, but that’s how we grow and mature,” Fox said. “Your elected officials were able to deal with each of those circumstances and continue on with business as usual for the benefit of the town and its citizens.”
Fox said he was very fortunate in having dedicated citizens serving on the many committees that helped our community grow. “They were able to make improvements in our park and recreational facilities, able to rent and lease out the industrial park and save its future, make improvements at the sewer treatment plant, and any other things,” he stated. “Our new boat docks will be available in 2013, and I want to thank Eric Peters, as well as Dot and Jeff Sprouse for their help in obtaining this project. There are so many dedicated volunteers and I want you to know that I appreciated all your long hours of hard work to make your town a better place for our families to live and grow.”
“Once again, I want to thank you for your support and wish Mayor Hopkins success in his term. I hope the citizens work together for the betterment of our community,” he added. “Paden City is a great little town and can even become better if we all put our energies together in a positive direction.”
The council entertained and approved the second reading of an amendment to City Ordinance 920.01(a) concerning utility regulations. According to the measure, active water and sewer means the occupant of dwelling “shall maintain connection to city water and sewer mains and the flow of water and sewer is not interrupted by physical breakdown of the customer service lines, or by termination of water service due to non-payment of water charges, for a period not to exceed 120 continuous days from the date of interruption.”
The council tabled a discussion to purchase an engine for the 2006 Crown Victoria utilized by the police department, and the discussion to assign a number to the property maintenance ordinance. Both matters will be brought up at a future council meeting.