…..The beginning of buck season coinciding with Thanksgiving has always perplexed me. With no hunters in my family, I didn’t encounter deer hunters until I worked at Weirton Steel. The workers looked forward to deer season with the anticipation of young children looking forward to Santa. They scheduled vacation days around the week and if one of them was lucky enough to bag a deer, he strapped it to the hood of his car and drove it right into the mill to show off to his co-workers. And,Thanksgiving? The hunter might show up for a day of turkey before heading out to the hills.
….But this section of West Virginia pales beside the rest of the state. West Virginians take their deer hunting seriously. Entire high schools shut down for the week so students and teachers can go deer hunting. Businesses shut down because there are no workers and no customers. A friend of mine from Bridgeport told me that the pipeline people didn’t understand about deer hunting and refused to give their workers the week off so the workers up and quit their jobs. That’ll teach them!
…….A recent school board meeting drove home the prevalence of deer hunting. The five-member Board was short two members. Jerome Spencer had a death in his immediate family. Board President Chris Gillette was deer hunting, but thanks to modern technology was participating by phone. Vice-President Ed Fields was conducting the meeting and under new business adding David Cross as an attorney was on the agenda a somewhat controversial issue based on a previous Board use of attorneys to the tune of almost $250,000.00 back in 2017-18. Through no fault of Cross, his contract ended up being the one not renewed.
……..Fields explained that Gillette “was in the woods” and reception was spotty. Gillette was texting his votes, but when it came time for the vote on Cross, Fields and member Larry Shaw voted yes, Horstemeyer voted no and as we in the media held our breath for what would be a game changer, Gillette’s call got dropped. Cross won the contract on a 2 to 1 vote.
……Which brings up a whole new question. “If Gillette voted but it did not get communicated, does it count?” Sometimes I’ll still talking when I realize my call has been dropped five minutes ago. Should Robert’s Rules, be written to cover new technology? Or, should a member of a Board or Council need to be present to have their vote count?
Happy Thanksgiving and if you have deer hunters in your family, may they make it home from the hills to enjoy the turkey.”