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Sistersville opens up board to those outside of city

By Staff | Sep 24, 2014

Sistersville City Council unanimously passed the first reading of an ordinance expanding the ferry board membership requirements Sept. 8.

Currently the city ordinance requires that members live within the city limits. The new ordinance will remove the residency requirement altogether.

This has been a topic of discussion at the past several council meetings. Councilman Phil Konopacky has been advocating a change, particularly since Eric Peters, who does the group’s grant writing, lives in Davenport.

Konopacky said there are some people in Ohio that are interested in helping out with it. He noted that was appropriate since it does service the Ohio side of the river too.

Mayor Bill Rice said, “I like Phil’s idea here.” He says just open it up and not restrict it to zip code, as they had originally discussed.

Even without the residency requirement, membership is ultimately up to the city council. They still have the authority to vote them in or out.

“I think it’s just a good thing to do,” said Rice.

The ferry board must have seven members. Right now they have appointed four so they can have a quorum and conduct business. They are Barbara Gage, Terry Wiley, Charles Winslow, and Konopacky.

Another residency matter came up when discussing how they will need to replace Police Chief Ben Placer, who is leaving his post Oct. 1.

Mayor Rice said a lot of municipalities are opening up the residency requirements for city positions.

“We looked into that last month,” said Councilman Mark Klages, indicating they had already decided to keep the requirement. However, the matter was only tabled at the September meeting.

Attorney Carolyn Flannery said it was a moot point as the issue was not on the agenda.