Morgantown-Monongalia Categories

November 2013 Morgantown Newsletter

What D’ya Know … About County Government?

Our second Workshop on Local Government will be held Wednesday, November 6, 7-9 p.m. at the new Sheriff’s Building on the corner of Walnut and University Avenue, Room 222. (Parking is available in the parking garage on University Avenue; enter the building on Walnut Street). The first workshop last March on City Government was very well attended and sparked considerable discussion. We anticipate an even greater response to this workshop on County issues. Please make this a priority on your calendar! We need a full turnout of our members, and hope to have a good turnout from the public as well. 

Workshop Program 

What d’ ya know?” – A distribution of a multiple choice “pre-test” which people can take while others are arriving, perhaps take home, and then correct themselves

Welcome and Orientation to evening
– Lyndell Millecchia

Grab a “stool” and let’s talk together about how things operate around here!” A session on the components of Monongalia County Government, some related questions and issues
– Don Spencer and Kitty Lozier

Three Issues – A Panel Presentation

Practical Experience on a Five Member County Commission”  
- Lyn Widmyer, County Commissioner from Jefferson County

County Finance and Budgeting in Monongalia County”
– Ora Ash, Head of Local Governmental Services Division, WV State Auditor’s Office

Accessibility and Transparency in Monongalia County Government”
– John Sofranko, League member

Evaluation and Adjournment of Meeting

Refreshments

LOCAL GOVERNMENT 

Purpose of 2013 Workshops on Local Government: To give League members and other interested persons an opportunity to update their awareness of the operations of our local government, prepare for candidates forums, and consider pertinent current issues relating to both City and County government. Part I (City Government) was held in March and Part II (County Government) will be November 6.

Goal: To increase informed and active participation in local government.

 If you are able to help with this workshop (handing out information, providing refreshments, or signing in participants), please contact Lyndell Millecchia at 599-0904 or Shirley Rosenbaum at 599-2370.

  

MEMBERSHIP MEETING – Library funding

At our Membership Meeting on October 16 we chose the subject of Library Funding because the League on a state level has embarked on a study of WV Library Funding. Our Local League consensus position from October, 1990 includes the statement that “the County Commission should provide more funding for library services; the city should not necessarily be the primary local funding body, as is now the case.” Twenty-three years later, we learn that the situation has not changed; instead we heard from Morgantown Public Library Director Sharon Turner that the city is still critical when it comes to funding and to “Please let the County Commission know how important the library is.” Currently, 45% of funding comes from the city, and only 18% comes from the county. While our county is the third richest in the state, we are at the bottom 20% in terms of funding from the county, and at the bottom 20% for all funding sources, and this is in a state where library funding ranks 48th in total operating revenue per capita and 49th in local operating revenue per capita. But the story only gets worse because there were reductions in funding this year. Like reading a good detective novel borrowed from a public library, it was hard to leave this meeting without pondering what our consensus positions may be for our upcoming study.

 For more information about library funding, please visit the WV Library Commission for a A Brief History of Public Libraries in West Virginia at http://tinyurl.com/BriefHistoryPLWV and the August 2013 Public Library Funding Review at http://tinyurl.com/Library-Funding-Review-2013 

League Table at Farmer’s Market

Shirley Rosenbaum Registers a Voter 

On September 28, Gloria Sofranko set up a table at the Farmer’s Market with information about our league and forms for registering voters. There were many visitors to the table. Thanks to all members who helped with this effort!

NATURAL RESOURCES 

The Friends of Deckers Creek are organizing a community-based action group to oppose the installation of a wastewater storage injection well for the liquid waste from hydraulic fracking.  The well, proposed by Energy Corporation of America, would be 500 feet from Deckers Creek and the rail-trail head near Masontown.

An organizing meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 30, at 6:30 pm at the FODC office in Sabraton, 1451 Earl Core Rd, Suite #4, behind the US Cellular Store. Please attend if you are interested.  Contact Kitty Lozier, 304-599-8233 for a ride or information.

LWV Newsletter November 2013

Children and Poverty in West Virginia

October 28, 7 pm meeting at the Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church — Sen. Bob Plymale, speaking on Children and Poverty in West Virginia..

Future Fund Meeting

Open Meeting, LWV of Wood County: THE FUTURE FUND

With its heavy reliance on natural resources for revenue, WV is one of the least economically diverse states in the nation. Eventually coal and gas resources will be exhausted and/or replaced by cleaner energy sources. Is it time for policymakers to consider establishing a permanent mineral trust fund in West Virginia, the income from which will replace lost revenues in the future and allow the state to progress in a more diversified economy?

Speaker: Paul Miller

Analyst from West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy

Monday, October 28 At 7:00 pm

Vienna Public Library

2300 River Road, Vienna, WV

Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Wood County

The meeting is free and open to the public

doc iconFuture Fund meeting notice.docx

Wood County Voter October 2013

doc iconOctober 2013 Voter.docx

Kanawha County Excess Levy Election

Kanawha County voters go to the polls on November 9 to vote on an excess levy that will fund the Kanawha County Public Library system and increase funding for Kanawha County schools.

doc iconLibrary and School Levy in Kanawha County.doc

Public Library Funding Issues Meeting

The League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County will hold their annual membership meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 16, from 7-9 PM at the Aull Center at 351 Spruce St. We encourage our members and the public to attend this meeting, enjoy refreshments and learn about our public library.

Our guest speaker will be Sharon Turner, Director of the Morgantown Public Library. She will be speaking about funding of the library system. Funding for the library is an important local issue as both the County Commission and the City Council recently cut funding to the library. Other topics that may be covered are: changes in the library due to e-books and other technological advances, accommodating the homeless population and promoting the library and its services.

The League on the state level is conducting a study on funding for West Virginia public libraries. Earlier this year the State Supreme Court overturned a 1957 state law which required nine county school systems to turn over a portion of their budget to help fund their local public libraries. Information gathered at our membership meeting will help with the study.

 

West Virginia League Update, October, 2013

    West Virginia Update

October, 2013

IN THIS ISSUE

  • Birthplace of Rivers National Monument is proposed.
  • The League supports affordable health care.
  • The League participates in Constitution Day.
  • WV Women’s Commission reports.
  • The September state board meeting is open to members.

 

BIRTHPLACE OF RIVERS

 

The proposed Birthplace of Rivers National Monument is a citizen initiative designed to protect a part of the southern Monongahela National Forest that includes the headwaters and tributaries of the Gauley, Greenbrier, Elk, Williams, Cranberry, and Cherry Rivers.

 

The League of Women Voters supports this proposal, under our national Resource Management position: “promote an environment beneficial to life through the protection and wise management of natural resources in the public interest.”

This section of the Allegheny Mountains possesses some of the most iconic natural features and best outdoor recreation in the eastern United States.  It features dense forests of red spruce, trout streams and black bear habitat.  In addition, Cranberry Glades hosts a unique series of tundra-like bogs which shelter migratory birds and rare plants.

 

The League has often taken positions in favor of saving public lands for recreational and aesthetic purposes.   We contacted our Members of Congress, asking their support for this National Monument, and we encourage other citizens to do so too.  More information can be found at http://www.birthplaceofrivers.org/ .

 

 

AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE IN WEST VIRGINIA

 

As everyone knows, the West Virginia health insurance exchanges are up and running and are proving extremely popular.  The national league‘s 1993 position on health care states in part “a basic level of quality health care at an affordable cost should be available to all US residents.”  The remainder of the lengthy position may be found in the booklet Impact on Issues by going to: http://www.lwv.org/content/impact-issues and downloading the Social Policy section IoI2012_SocPol.pdf.

 

Several local leagues in the state, including Morgantown and Wood County have held public meetings to help the public get ready for this important and complex new program.

 

 

CONSTITUTION DAY

 

Constitution Day was established by Congress in 2004 after being proposed by our own Senator Robert C. Byrd.  All K-12 schools as well as all colleges and universities receiving federal funds must have some program or activity that features the United States Constitution.

 

The West Virginia League of Women Voters was one of the sponsors of this year’s celebration on September 17 at our state capitol in Charleston.  The League has played an active part in this program for the last three years; in addition, the Huntington league has also participated in Constitution Day activities.

 

 

WV WOMEN’S COMMISSION REPORTS

 

Here’s some news from the WV Women’s Commission from their recent newsletter.

 

Findings Released on Status of Women and Girls in West Virginia

The report examines the status of women and girls in five regions of the state, as well as in the nation as a whole. Key findings showed that women in West Virginia have made significant gains in education and entrepreneurship. In fact, the number of women-owned business in West Virginia increased by nearly 3,500 between 1998 and 2007. Additionally, the proportion of women who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher increased from 11 percent in 1990 to 18 percent in 2010.  In brief:

 

Employment – In 2010, 50% of women in West Virginia were in the labor force compared with 59% of men On average, women who work full-time annually earn $29,000 compared to $42,000 for men.

 

Economic Security – West Virginia women are more likely than men to live at or below the federal poverty line.

 

Health and Well-Being – More than 1 in 5 women aged 18—62 lack health insurance in West Virginia

 

The report was written by the Institute for Women’s Public Policy Research in collaboration with the West Virginia Women’s Commission.  The WV Women’s Commission is a Commission within the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources  For more information, visit http://www.wvwomenscommission.org/

 

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS TO MEET

 

The League’s state board of directors will meet in Parkersburg on November 16, 2013.  Any League member may attend.  If interested, please contact Nancy Novak for more details.

 

 

For additional information about events happening in the WV or National Leagues, please log on to  www.lwvwv.org.or www.lwf.org.

 

Nancy Novak, President
League of Women Voters of West Virginia