homepage logo

Sistersville agrees to county collaboration

By Staff | Aug 20, 2014

Sistersville City Council unanimously agreed at their Aug. 11 meeting to support the idea of quarterly meetings of government officials in Tyler County to share ideas.

The concept was presented by Alexander Lloyd King who said he had observed, particularly as a reporter, that separate municipalities could greatly benefit from quarterly meetings to share ideas.

He asserted that they have enough in common to offer guidance, opinions, and new perspective. No official action would be taken at the meetings, so therefore they would not need to be posted.

King envisions a first meeting to be held in January 2015, including all pertinent parties such as mayors, recorders, treasurers, clerks, council members, board members commission members, volunteers, prosecuting attorney, law enforcement, etc.

King said he would work closely with those willing to take part and continue to work as an organizer until the coalition is well formed.

“I think it’s a good idea,” said Mayor Bill Rice. He cited learning at a water meeting in Middlebourne that they have to have a backup plan for their water system.

“They already approved it at Paden City and it’s on the agenda tonight at Middlebourne,” said King. Middlebourne did approve the measure.

Also, King brought another matter before council. He talked of a written complaint he filed with the city in February. Nine days after initially meeting with Councilmen Mark Klages and Phil Konopacky, King was suspended without pay from his job as a reporter for the Tyler Star News, then eventually terminated.

King asserted the city is not certain of the possibility or scope of a past or ongoing leak that made the complaint known to his employer, the Tyler Star News. He asked that council take appropriate steps to begin an investigation into the matter and that the city draft a formal inquiry seeking the identity of who leaked it to the newspaper. Then, he said, the city can determine if any action should be taken on the person or persons.

After City Attorney Carolyn Flannery began to say a question of wrongful discharge should not be posed to the city, but the employer, Jim King, Alex King’s father, asked. “Is the city going to assist us in finding out how the leak happened?”

“We need to kind of put this to rest, so we need to go into executive session,” said Flannery. At the end of other business, council went into executive session with the Kings. After the executive session that lasted about an hour, taking the meeting near the 11 p.m. mark, council took no action and adjourned.

In another matter, council unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance to amend court costs to include an equipment fee of $20, added to all violations except municipal parking. The proceeds of this fee are only to be used for the purchase of equipment, deemed reasonable and necessary, for law enforcement officials.