Lack of attendance delays Elkins City Council meeting

ELKINS – What should have been a quick special call Elkins City Council meeting Tuesday turned into a lengthier affair when only four council members initially showed up to lay the 2014-2015 levy rate.

Council members Bob Woolwine, 1st Ward, Marilynn Counzo, 4th Ward, and Cliff Marstiller and Gene Ochsendorf, both 2nd Ward, were on hand at 7 p.m., when the meeting was supposed to begin. However, a quorum of six members must be present to hold a meeting, according to state law.

Mayor Van Broughton and City Clerk Sutton Stokes quickly brought out their cell phones and began calling absent council members to ask them to attend the meeting.

Broughton was able to reach Fifth Ward Councilman Joe Sabatino, while Stokes spoke with Councilman Jim Bibey, 5th Ward. Both arrived at City Hall within minutes.

Broughton was able to call the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m. It took less than five minutes for council to pass the 2015 levy rate.

City Treasurer Lisa Daniels-Smith said the rate will remain at 12.5 percent, where it currently stands. At 12.5 percent, the city will receive $884,937 in property tax revenue in the coming fiscal year, she said.

Absent from Tuesday’s special call council meeting were both Third Ward council representatives, Mark Scott and Carman Metheny, as well as Lonnie Randall, 1st Ward, and Nanci Bross-Fregonara, 4th Ward.

Elkins City Council’s regular meeting will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.