Sistersville’s Third Ward remains unrepresented
“It’s not going to kill us (to wait) for one more month,” said Mayor Ann Doig at the Oct. 15 Sistersville Council meeting, regarding when to appoint residents to fill the two vacant council seats in the Third Ward. She explained that she wanted to be fair and allow those interested in the open positions enough time to come forward.
At the Nov. 12 meeting, she stated that the deadline for Third Ward residents to express interest would continue for another two weeks following the night of the meeting. A personnel committee of council members will meet after that time and determine the eligibility of those applying.
Mayor Doig explained the eligibility requirements for those who would like to be considered by council for appointment. In order to be eligible, residents must: live in and have the ability to vote in said district (ward), have lived in the city for at least six months, and have lived in the state for at least a year.
Those interested can contact the city by calling 304-652-6361, or emailing email@example.com.
Although no motions were made to appoint council members, a group of Third Ward residents announced during public forum that they would like Mark Klages to represent them.
“My name is Jim King. I live in the Third ward, and I would like Mark Klages to be my council representative.”
“My name is Mary King. I live in the Third Ward. I am speaking for myself and neighbor Charlotte Arbogast. I would like Mark Klages to be my council representative.”
“I’m Chris Pickett, and I’m also speaking for my mother Donna Pickett, and I want Mark Klages as my council representative.”
“My name is Audist Pancake. I live in the Third Ward, and I also want Mark Klages as my Third Ward councilman.”
“My name is David Pancake, and I too want Mark Klages as my Third Ward representative.”
Phil Konopacky, who was previously noted as having expressed interest, was also present at the meeting. Konopacky later explained to the Star News that he first expressed interest when Jason Hood informed him that he planned on stepping down. According to Konopacky, his knowledge of the potential Third Ward opening occurred following the special Aug. 19 meeting in which a quorum failed to establish. This was before any council seats were effectively vacated.
He said that he thought they might vote him into a seat on Oct. 15 while he was visiting San Diego, however the city later informed him that they could not vote him in when he was not there.
“I was under the impression, last I talked (to city officials), that they were going to make a vote at the meeting,” he said of the Nov. 12 meeting.
He said that no one from the city had informed him prior to the meeting that they would be postponing any votes on the matter until the next meeting.
“We have had a number of people show interest in council,” said Doig.
“The reason that council put it off last month was not only so that more people could announce their interest,” said Klages. “But also because council was challenged to make a qualifications statement so that not just anyone could come on board and be appointed on council. Everyone present, including the residents in town, thought that Beri Fox’s idea was an excellent idea, to establish some sort of qualification.”
“By next week, it will be in the paper so that everyone knows,” said Doig.
“In our Third Ward we’ve spent 60 days now without a council member, and now we’re at 30 days without another council member,” said resident Jim King. “When do you anticipate the final picking?”
“Next council meeting,” said Doig, who pointed out that she lives in the Third Ward.
When questioned, she explained her reason for once again postponing an appointment.
“Now people are asking to be in it,” she said. “I want people to have the same fair chance.”