AND THEN AGAIN… Tamara Pettit

……Both the Hancock County Board of Education and New Cumberland City Council have work sessions coming up on important issues.   Tuesday, August 9 at 6:30 p.m. the Board will have a work session.  Among the issues to be discussed are the following issues:  student admission fees for events; attorney expenses; County construction projects and the upcoming Excess Levy.    New Cumberland is slated to have a work session to discuss the Route 2 proposal by the Dept. of Highways on August 16.

……Work sessions are open to the public and the media.  It’s an opportunity to see what those who represent you think and perhaps understand the basis for their vote at the regular meetings.  No decision can be made during those sessions, it’s an opportunity to openly discuss issues in a much more informal setting without the constraints of a formal meeting.  I’m glad to see the Board tackle the issues on the work session agenda.  Whether the Board decides to go with a local attorney or a law firm out of Charleston, I can’t stress how important I think it is that an attorney is present at Board meeting.  The downside of continuing to contract with Dinsmore & Shohl with offices in Charleston & Morgantown, is that the Board would most likely be charged with travel back and forth to the meeting.  With an average cost of $250/hour for most firms we may be talking $1,000.00 for twice monthly meeting.  I would think retaining a local attorney who could then decide if a specialized attorney is necessary to be the best choice. ( I know no-one asked me, but that has yet to stop me from offering an opinion!)

…..Communication is key to the passage of the Excess Levy in November and the Board and the Administration need to talk to every civic organization possible to ensure voters understand the importance of its passage.  Aside from the from the House of Delegates and State Senate races, most of the races were decided in the Primary  Election and that means a low turnout.  The Board will need to play on its strength by turning out  teachers and school service personnel.

……The State Dept. of Highways needs the City of New Cumberland Council to give its blessing to proceed with the Route 2 project.   In this edition, we have a Letter to the Editor from former resident Bob McNeil regarding the folly of selecting this route.  I was an advocate of 5A and I continue to believe it’s the best route…..but the decision has been made and it’s time to make sure New Cumberland gets the most out of the project.  The City was successful in getting the acreage the road was going to take from the City Park area reduced from 1 ½ acres to ½ acre and may well get some enhancements to the Park in the deal.   Chief of Police Lester “Chicky” Skinner pointed out that large stones on the Court Street side of Station Hill will create a problem if they dislodge and come down on the road.  The State was pretty clear that if the wall was above the road it was the City’s responsibility; if it was below it was the State’s problem.   The rationale behind  that rule flummoxed me (I love that word and I’ve been wanting to use it), but one would think public safety and cost to a small town would make for a little wiggle room.

……These may be the dog days of summer, but planning is underway for some favorite fall activities.  New Cumberland’s Riverfest is coming up soon.  I hope to have a link to sign up for vendors, participation in race soon up and running in the digital edition.