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Bad Decision

Leave and Don’t Come Back?

Leave and don’t come back!

Is that really the message the U.S. General Service Administration just sent to the Mountain State Forest Festival, community leaders of Randolph County and the former Queen Silvias of the festival, who have come to Elkins from all over the state of West Virginia? To leave and not come back?

It would appear the current federal administration will be taking a different direction in regard to community activities at the Jennings Randolph Federal Building moving forward.

GSA has informed Forest Festival officials that the historic markers that bear the names of all the queens and director generals dating back to 1930 must be removed from the Jennings Randolph Federal Center plaza, and to not plan on bringing them back, as the removal will be permanent.

Also, the opening and closing ceremonies of the Mountain State Forest Festival, which have taken place at the federal building for decades, will have to be moved for at least this year, as the renovations to the federal building plaza will continue through December, according to the GSA.

Those of us who knew U.S. Sen. Jennings Randolph and U.S. District Judge Robert Maxwell know that this would never have happened under their watch. Both Sen. Randolph and Judge Maxwell encouraged community events to take place on the grounds at the federal building. They would be outraged by GSA’s decision, and so should we.

This property is the people’s property, and to disallow a community tradition that has taken place on that property for decades is just plain wrong. We hope GSA receives enough complaints that they will reverse this bad decision.

If you would like to express your disappointment in this decision, the contact information for GSA is David France, Realty Services Manager for the Jennings Randolph Federal Center and other West Virginia properties. He can be reached at 681-313-4184 or at david.france@gsa.gov.

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