Morgantown-Monongalia Categories

September 2017 Morgantown Newsletter

ELECTION INTEGRITY IN WEST VIRGINIA– October 18

Our first fall meeting will be held Wednesday, October 18, 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Aull Center, next to the Library at 351 Spruce Street. This public meeting will focus on issues surrounding voting in West Virginia. We have invited Donald “Deak” Kersey, Director and Deputy Legal Counsel from the Secretary of State’s Office, to present information and to respond to questions from our league and participants. Among our questions are the following:

1. How are voter rolls cleaned up—what criteria, how often, how many people were “purged” under the new SOS? Is the process standardized across counties?
2. Voter ID—where does this stand now?
3. How secure are our voting machines and what are the efforts to standardize machines and testing?
4. What is the status of the Motor Voter program?
5. What efforts are being made to increase voter turnout, including ballot by mail?
6. Has the SOS responded to requests for information by the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity?
7. Is the SOS is considering dropping ERIC in favor of Crosscheck (for interstate duplication of voters)? What safeguards are in place to prevent discrimination?

This will be an important informational/discussion meeting. It is also an opportunity for members to meet and greet current and potential members. Please bring a friend! There will be refreshments following the meeting.

Road Bond Amendment

On Saturday, October 7, WV voters will decide on the ballot issue on whether WV should sell bonds to repair and build roads. A constitutional amendment is necessary to authorize the debt. If passed, the “Roads to Prosperity” amendment will give the legislature authorization to issue and sell bonds to be used for the improvement and construction of state roads. The amendment calls for the sale of up to $1.6 billion in state bonds over the next four years. The legislature has already passed increases in gasoline taxes, new car sales taxes, and Division of Motor Vehicle fees; these increases are sufficient to pay the debt from the bonds. The income from the sales of the bonds will be available for matching federal funds for highways and bridges. The maximum term of the bonds is 25 years. The last road bond amendment was the Safe Roads Amendment in 1996.

Several League members attended the County Commission Meeting on September 13, 2017 to hear a Department of Highways presentation about the Amendment. The presentation was given by Don Williams, District 4 Project Manager for DOH. He emphasized that there will be no additional fees or taxes as a result of passing the bond; the increases have been in place since July 1, and are being used for getting work done now.  Without passage of the bond, work will proceed at a slower pace, and will undoubtedly be more expensive because of increases in construction costs.  Bonds will not be sold until contracts are ready to be let. Projects have already been established and prioritized, and all 55 counties are included. There are numerous projects on the priority list for Mon County.  Candidate projects can be found at www.transportation.wv.gov 

A video of the Commission meeting can be found at https://youtu.be/Cm50z2-mRbA?t=1732 

The LWV of Morgantown does not have a position on the Road Bond amendment, but encourages everyone to vote. Remember, it is a Saturday Election! Early voting will take place at the Mountaineer Mall Sept 22 to October 4, Monday 9-7, Tues – Sat. 9-5.

Annual Meeting May 2017 

The Annual Meeting 2017 was held at Ali Baba’s Restaurant on Saturday, May 20, 2017. After the noon Luncheon, Shirley Rosenbaum introduced David Beard, reporter and editor at the Dominion Post, and presented him with the Democracy in Action Award for his thorough and knowledgeable reporting of the West Virginia legislature for the Dominion Post. Mr. Beard responded with remarks concerning his years as a reporter.

Jonathan Rosenbaum introduced the Guest Speaker, Bill Austin, Executive Director of the Morgantown-Monongalia Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). Mr. Austin gave an overview of the MPO and current projects, and responded to numerous questions from league members.

Vicki Conner presented outgoing President Jonathan Rosenbaum with a gavel, with thanks from our league members for his two terms of exemplary leadership, and best wishes for his future as President of the State LWV.

Board Members elected for 2017-2019 are:

  • President Vicki Conner
  • 1st VP Nancy Jamison
  • Secretary Barbara Brown
  • Director Mitzi Martin
  • Director Jonathan Rosenbaum
  • Director Shirley Rosenbaum
  • Director (unexp. Term): Judith Wilkinson
  • Nominating Committee: Shirley Rosenbaum, Cynthia O’Brien, and Penny Thomas

Continuing Board Members (elected in 2016) are: Catherine Lozier, 2nd VP; Lyndell Millecchia, Treasurer; Marlene Frich, Director; and Barbara White, Director

Board Meetings Are Open, All Welcome

It was my honor to follow Jonathan Rosenbaum as President of the Board of Directors of LWVMM.  The Board continues to meet most months on the third Monday at 4:00 p.m. in the conference room at the Morgantown Public Library. These meetings are always open to interested League members and to members of the public, and we would welcome anyone to attend, whether to present an issue for discussion or to simply observe. Because of our Fall Membership Meeting, there will be no Board meeting in October. Since our November meeting falls during the Thanksgiving holiday, it will be moved to November 6 at 4:00 p.m. in the library.  Please feel free to call me to confirm meeting dates/times at 304-292-2640.  Vicki Conner

Observer Corps

One of the objectives of our league is to establish an Observer Corps of interested members who will attend City Council meetings (Morgantown, Star City, Granville, Westover, and beyond), County Commission and other entities.  With an eye to issues such as voting issues, social justice, natural resources, challenges for local government, education and transportation, members can simply note the topics, any areas of concern and local actions.

I have been attending Westover City Council meetings for a few months now and find them interesting and a way to be much more in touch with my particular community.  Westover meetings seldom go over 50 minutes.   I would like to hear from LWV members who might be interested in attending their own local and/or county meetings and then ask that you email me a monthly report on issues that the league might, in various ways, be able to address.

If you already attend these meetings or think you might be interested please let me know and I will add you to this committee. My plan, as chair of the Observer Corps is to, at least initially, keep this an email committee.  I believe that collection of ongoing issues can be done via email and I will communicate that way with you and will report our findings to the board for the “Corps”.

Barbara Brown
bjbrnwv@gmail.com

Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity

According to the LWV-US, the agenda of this commission is “part of a wider effort to suppress the vote, keep certain politicians in power and undermine our elections by spreading falsehoods about our election system. Politicians should not be putting up additional barriers that prevent people from voting. We should be addressing polling place closures, cuts to early voting and onerous voter ID laws. We should not have elected officials openly scheming to illegally purge registered voters or collect their personal information.” Hopefully we will be more aware of what is happening with the Advisory Commission after our meeting with Mr. Kersey.

Please plan to pay your dues when you come to the October meeting.

Currently dues are $48 for an individual, $72 for a household (two at the same address), and $24 for a student. Checks should be made to LWV Morgantown-Mon County. Dues may be mailed to: Lyndell Millecchia, Treasurer, 476 Lawnview Drive, Morgantown, WV 26505. You can also pay with your credit card at http://tinyurl.com/paylwvmm or you may send money from your PayPal account to: mmtreasury@lwvwv.org
Contributions are always welcome! (Contributions are not tax deductible.)

Read the complete newsletter here: LWVMM September 2017 Newsletter 

 

May 2017 Morgantown Newsletter

ANNUAL MEETING – Saturday, May 20 – The MPO and You


The 2017 Annual Meeting for the Morgantown-Monongalia County LWV will be held Saturday, May 20, at Ali Baba’s, 83 Hart Field Drive (Airport), from 11:30-2:30. Our speaker will be Bill Austin, Executive Director for the Morgantown-Monongalia Metropolitan Planning Organization (MM-MPO). Before coming to Morgantown in June 2009, Bill Austin worked for four MPO’s in various capacities in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and West Virginia. His transportation expertise led him to be a part of the consultant team for the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, preparing traffic and revenue studies for proposed facilities in Florida. Our League has long been concerned about improving traffic conditions in Morgantown and the surrounding area, including pedestrian and cyclist safety. We are very pleased that Bill Austin will give us an overview of the MPO. We are interested in how the new transportation plan was developed, how the public was involved, major concerns identified in the plan, and what we can expect to see coming out of the plan.

The business meeting will begin at 1:45, and will include adoption of the budget, the election of officers, and the proposed local program. The Board is very excited about the local program, and will spend time discussing ways members can participate in the league the coming year. Please plan to attend this important meeting!
.

Additional Information

Please check pdf version of newsletter for full information about the schedule, reservations, and our proposed program and budget for 2017-2018.

VOTERS SERVICE LEGISLATIVE WRAP-UP

The League of Women Voters Morgantown-Monongalia County and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at WVU will sponsor a Legislative Wrap-Up on a date to be announced. We have conducted these events in the past and find them very informative as they help community members understand the challenges that our Legislators face during a very grueling 60 days. Legislators will respond to a set of questions that will give them an opportunity to explain what they think went well, what they wanted but were unable to accomplish, and what things especially troubled them.. We plan to complete the wrap-up by 7:30. We will have a short time afterwards for refreshments and conversation. Please plan to attend this event!

**PLEASE NOTE: Governor Justice has called the Legislature back into session to resolve the state budget.  The Wrap-Up is currently postponed until the session finishes and we can identify a new date to reschedule. Updates will be posted to http://Wrap-Up.lwvwv.org  and to our Face Book page http://facebook.com/lwvwv

NATURAL RESOURCES

SOLAR HAPPY HOUR - Wednesday, May 24th 5:30-7:00pm at Mountain State Brewing Co.

Join WV SUN, the WV Sierra Club, the Morgantown Green Team, and the League of Women Voters to celebrate the success of the 2016 North Central Solar Co-op and the 2015 Morgantown Solar Co-op! We also welcome anyone who is interested in learning more about solar energy to join us at this event.

LWV STATE CONVENTION – MAY 6 

Four members from Morgantown went to the State Convention in Parkersburg: Jonathan Rosenbaum and Shirley Rosenbaum as State Board Members, and Vicki Conner and Barbara Brown as Delegates. We are very excited that Jonathan is the new President of LWVWV, and Vicki Conner is a new director!

Membership

Please plan to pay your dues when you come to the annual meeting May 20! Currently dues are $48 for an individual, $72 for a household (two at the same address), and $24 for a student. Checks should be made to LWV Morgantown-Mon County. (Dues and luncheon may be paid with one check).

Dues may be mailed to: Lyndell Millecchia, Treasurer, 476 Lawnview Drive, Morgantown, WV 26505. You can also pay with your credit card at http://tinyurl.com/paylwvmm or you may send money from your PayPal account to mmtreasury@lwvwv.org .

Contributions are also welcomed and encouraged. (Membership dues and contributions to the League of Women Voters are not deductible as a personal or business expense for tax purposes.)

MORGANTOWN CITY COUNCIL

ELECTION RESULTS

 

 

Ward

Candidate

 

1

Rachel Fetty

 

2

Bill Kawecki

 

3

Ryan Wallace

 

4

Jenny Selin

 

5

Ronald Dulaney

 

6

Mark Brazaitis

 

7

Barry Wendell 

Congratulations to League members Bill Kawecki and Barry Wendell, and to all the other candidates. The new Council will be sworn in on July 1.

Read the complete newsletter here: LWVMM May 2017 Newsletter

April 2017 Morgantown Newsletter

MORGANTOWN CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES

April 12th at South Middle School

MORGANTOWN CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE FORUM –  A forum for Morgantown City Council candidates will be held Wednesday, April 12, 7:00– 9:00 p.m. at South Middle School, 500 E. Parkway Drive. After the candidates introduce themselves, there will be time for them to respond to written questions. Refreshments will be served after the forum for informal discussions with the candidates. The public is invited, and all league members are encouraged to attend. League members: please bring food for the forum! These are the candidates, by ward:

  • Ward 1 ­ Ron Bane & Rachel Fetty 
  • Ward 2 ­ Al Bonner & Bill Kawecki 
  • Ward 3 ­ Wesley “Wes” Nugent & Ryan Wallace 
  • Ward 4 ­ Eldon Callen & Jenny Selin 
  • Ward 5 ­ Ronald Dulaney & Kyle McAvoy 
  • Ward 6 ­ Mark Brazaitis & Jay Redmond 
  • Ward 7 ­ Bill Graham & Barry Wendell

VOTERS SERVICE

Early voting is held at City Hall and at the North Side Fire Station beginning on Wednesday, April 12 and ending on Saturday, April 22. Early voting can be done from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and on Saturday, April 15, and Saturday, April 22. In addition to the League forums, there are two additional forums for City Council Candidates that we are aware of:

  • The Evansdale Neighborhood Association will hold a Candidates Forum on Monday, April 3 at 7 pm in room 414 at Evansdale Crossing on the WVU campus.
  • Mountaineers for Progress – Thursday, April 6, 7pm in the Gladys-Davis Theater at the WVU Creative Arts Center

We had a table at the Rally for Registration on March 21. We registered 5 brand new voters and made 5 address changes.

NATURAL RESOURCES

The Green Team has invited the new City Manager, Paul Brake, to meet with the team for its next regular meeting, Tuesday, April 11th from 5:30pm-7:00pm. The meeting will be held at Downstream Strategies, 295 High Street. Topics sure to be discussed are the City-IAC energy efficiency report implementation, the RFP for a recycling/trash hauler, the team’s Five-Year Plan, and building a productive relationship with the new manager.

CALL TO LWV STATE CONVENTION SATURDAY, MAY 6 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Parkersburg Comfort Suites YOU are invited to attend the Biennial Convention of the West Virginia League of Women Voters! The guest speaker will be Renate Pore, Interim Executive Director, WVAHC and Chair of the Medicaid Coalition. She will speak on the future of the ACA (Obamacare) in West Virginia. Rooms have been reserved for Friday night at the Comfort Suites for members traveling some distance. Please make your own reservation with the motel: 304-489-9600. Tell them you are with the League of Women Voters to get a discount rate. You are invited, in addition, to attend the state board meeting on Friday evening, May 5. 

Calendar

  • April 12 City Council Candidate Wednesday Forum 7:00-9:00 p.m. South Middle School 500 E Parkway Drive
  • April 17 Board Meeting Monday 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Morgantown Public Library
  • April 25 Election Day Tuesday Morgantown City Council May 6 LWV-WV Convention Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Parkersburg
  • May 10 Legislative Wrap-up Wednesday LWV and OLLI 6:00 p.m. Mountaineer Mall
  • May 20 LWV Morgantown-Mon. Co. Saturday Annual Meeting Noon Luncheon

Membership

League Membership Membership in the League is open to all persons (both men and women) over the age of 16. When you become a member of the Morgantown League, you are also a member of the LWV-US and the LWV-WV. Currently dues are $48 for an individual, $72 for a household (two at the same address), and $24 for students. Checks should be made to LWV Morgantown-Mon County and mailed to: Lyndell Millecchia, Treasurer, 476 Lawnview Drive, Morgantown, WV 26505. You can also pay with your credit card at http://tinyurl.com/paylwvmm or you may send money from your PayPal account to mmtreasury@lwvwv.org.

Contributions are also welcomed and encouraged. (Membership dues and contributions to the League of Women Voters are not deductible as a personal or business expense for tax purposes.)

LWVMM April 2017 Newsletter

November 2016 Morgantown Newsletter

Membership Meeting: Green Jobs and Renewable Energy

Our Membership Meeting will be held on Thursday, November 17, 7:00 – 9:00 at the Aull Center. Dr. Jim Kotcon will be the guest speaker. He will be talking on the topic of renewable energy and jobs in WV, including energy efficiency.

Dr. Kotcon is Professor of Plant and Soil Sciences in the School of Agriculture at WVU. He teaches courses on Sustainable Living and Environmental Impact Assessment. Among his research interests are organic agriculture, biological control, and biofuel crops. He has been part of the solar co-op for over a year, was recently elected Chair of the West Virginia Chapter of Sierra Club, and is an active volunteer with the West Virginia Environmental Council, Union of Concerned Scientists and other organizations.

We will have a social time with refreshments and will provide information about membership and opportunities for participation. Renew your energy, renew your membership and renew your involvement!

President’s Message

Thank you, Voters Service!   Once again, I was able to cast my votes at the polling place in an informed, comfortable, and decisive manner with the added advantage that I often had the opportunity to talk to the candidates in person.  For 2016, we offered five candidate forums for all contested Monongalia candidates and the levies; additionally, the State League provided a voters guide for state candidates.  The forums and the voters guide can be found respectively at http://videos.lwvwv.org and http://voters-guide.lwvwv.org .   The National League establishes that invitation criteria should be nonpartisan, fair and applied objectively.  The State League once considered whether we would support the criteria of the WV Public Broadcasting that often relies on polling popularity.  The unanimous consensus was absolutely not!  We will only sponsor/host debates and forums where all candidates legally registered to run on the ballot have been invited to participate.  While this means hard work, this year we estimate at least 500 hours in local effort, it also means that we provide the best education for voters.  Kudos to the League!

pdf iconLWVMM October 2016 Newsletter

October 2016 Morgantown Newsletter

CANDIDATE FORUMS

There will be three Candidate Forums in October, one sponsored by Our Children, Our Future (OCOF), and two sponsored by our local LWV.

State Candidates

The OCOF candidate forum will be held on Tuesday, October 4, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at Wesley United Methodist Church, 503 N High Street. District 51 Legislative candidates have been invited to hear concerns related to Our Children, Our Future issues.

The first LWV Forum will be held Thursday, October 13, 7-9 p.m. at South Middle School (500 E. Parkway Drive). WV State Senate candidates for Districts 2, 13, and 14; and WV House of Delegates candidates for districts 5, 49 and 51 have been invited. Candidates will have time to introduce themselves and respond to questions from the audience. Bring your questions to be read by the moderator, and enjoy refreshments and informal conversation with the candidates after the forum.

County Candidates

The second LWV candidate forum will be held Thursday, October 20, 7-9 p.m. at South Middle School. Candidates from the contested offices have been invited: Eldon Callen (D) and Sean Sikora (R) for County Commission; Carey Blaney (D) and Kyle McAvoy (R) for County Clerk; and Perry Palmer (D) and Richard Panico (R) for Sheriff. There will be refreshments and time after the forum to talk with the candidates.

Annual Meeting May 21, 2016

The Annual Meeting 2016 was held at Sargasso Restaurant on May 21. After the noon Luncheon, Jonathan Rosenbaum introduced the Guest Speaker, Stephen Smith, Executive Director for WV Healthy Kids and Families Coalition. The title of his talk was “The Fight to End Child Poverty in West Virginia”, and his presentation was followed by a lively Q&A session. Jonathan then presented “Democracy in Action” Awards, to Mike Ellis of West TV, Catherine Lozier (in absentia), and Cynthia O’Brien. Each of the awardees gave a thank you speech (Shirley Rosenbaum read a letter from Catherine Lozier).
Here is the link to the Annual Meeting video:  https://youtu.be/WiKe9leHJoI

During the business part of the meeting, the Budget and Program for 2016-2017 were adopted.
Members approved the Budget Committee’s recommendation to increase dues to $48 individual, $72 household. The increase will go into effect in January 2017.

Board Members for 2016-2018 are:

1st VP Vicki Conner
2nd VP Catherine Lozier
Treasurer Lyndell Millecchia
Director Marlene Frich
Director Barbara White
Director Nancy Bird
Nominating Committee: Lyndell Millecchia, Janis Gunel, John Bird

Continuing Board Members (elected in 2015) are: Jonathan Rosenbaum, President; Penny Thomas, Director; and Shirley Rosenbaum, Director

Bylaws Change Recommended by LWVUS

A league amendment changes the Membership Types, from “citizens at least 18 years of age” to “persons at least 16 years of age” as a requirement for becoming a voting member of the League. Since the bylaw change was adopted at the national level, it does not need to go before our membership. At its August Board meeting, our board voted to accept the amendment and incorporate it into our local bylaws.

OCOF Workshop a Success!

The Workshop on Civic Engagement, hosted by our League, was held July 28. Our Children, Our Future leaders conducted the workshop. About 40 persons, many from area non-profit organizations, participated in discussions and activities throughout the day.

LEAGUE MEMBERSHIP

Membership in the League is open to all persons (both men and women) over the age of 16. Dues of $44 for an individual, $66 for a household, and $22 for a student are required annually. Dues paid in 2016 assure membership through the end of 2017.

Note: In January 2017, dues will be increased to $48 individual, $72 household, $24 student.
Dues may be sent to Lyndell Millecchia, 476 Lawnview Drive, Morgantown, WV 26505. You can also pay with your credit card at http://tinyurl.com/paylwvmm or you may send money from your PayPal account to mmtreasury@lwvwv.org .

Contributions are also welcomed and encouraged. Checks should be made out to “LWV Morgantown-Mon. Co.” (Membership dues and contributions to the League of Women Voters are not deductible as a personal or business expense for tax purposes.)

2016 West Virginia Election Dates and Deadlines

August 16 – November 2
Voting Absentee
All eligible voters may apply to receive an absentee ballot by mail

October 18
Voter Registration Deadline
You may register or update your registration online at https://ovr.sos.wv.gov/Register
If you prefer to complete your voter registration form by hand, you may download a blank voter registration form to mail or deliver in-person from https://ovr.sos.wv.gov/Register

October 26 – November 5

Early Voting is open during regular business hours at each county courthouse or courthouse annex. Early Voting is also available each Saturday from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Any registered voter within Monongalia County is eligible for early voting beginning October 26th and ending November 5th. The official times and locations of early voting are as follows: Mountaineer Mall, Mason Dixon Park, Pierpont Landing, Westover Senior Center, and the WVU Alumni Center*.

  • Wednesday, October 26>
  • 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, October 27
  • 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, October 28
  • 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 29
  • 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Monday, October 31
  • 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 1
  • 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 2
  • 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 3
  • 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, November 4
  • 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 5
  • 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.*Please note that the WVU Alumni Center will only have an Early Voting Location from October 31st thru November 4th.

November 1 – November 8
Emergency Absentee Voting – Contact County Clerk
Eligible citizens may request an emergency absentee ballot until noon Election Day.

November 8
General Election Day polls are open 6:30am – 7:30pm

Review your West Virginia Voter’s Bill of Rights

Visit http://tinyurl.com/wv-voters-bill-of-rights to learn your rights. WV does not require Voter ID. However, poll workers may ask for identification at the polling place ONLY if you are a first-time voter since registering. Call 304-558-6000 or 1-866-SOS-VOTE for election violations. If for some reason your voter’s right to request a ballot has been challenged by the poll clerk, reasons may include:
• If the voter’s registration record is not available at the time of the election.
• If the signature written by the person in the poll book does not correspond with the signature on the registration record.
• If the registration record indicates any other legal disqualifications

You are permitted to vote using a Provisional Ballot, and you have the legal right under WV Code §3-1-41 to check the status of your Provisional Ballot at the Provisional Ballot Tracking page at the Secretary of State website.

No More Straight Ticket Voting

During last year’s WV legislative session, a change was made to WV Code eliminating the option of voting a straight party ticket in the General Election (§3-6-2 (g)). Effective this General Election:
There is no straight-party ticket voting
West Virginia voters will no longer be able to vote for all candidates in a political party by making a single mark on the ballot
Every voter will need to individually select each candidate they wish to vote for

Other Ballot Issues

School Levy ballot item. This is a five year excess levy, a continuation of the levy that is currently in effect. Passage requires a 50% majority.

Sunday Hunting ballot item. Currently there is a ban on Sunday hunting. In 2001, the Legislature repealed the ban on Sunday hunting, but decided to let each county determine whether to repeal the ban. 22 counties now allow Sunday hunting on private land. Monongalia County has the referendum on the ballot this year to allow Sunday hunting on private land. Passage requires a 60% majority.

Sunday Brunch ballot item. Currently alcohol can be sold only after 1 p.m. on Sunday. In March, Governor Tomblin signed the so-called Brunch Bill, which allows alcohol to be sold on Sundays starting at 10:00 a.m. instead of 1:00 p.m. Making this change does require the support of county voters in the form of a referendum. The County Commission has placed the Brunch Bill on the November ballot. (Morgantown City Council is also trying to pass the bill via Home Rule.) Passage requires a 60% majority.

pdf iconLWVMM October 2016 Newsletter

May 2016 Morgantown Newsletter

ANNUAL MEETING – Saturday, May 21

T he 2016 Annual Meeting for the Morgantown-Monongalia County LWV will be held Saturday, May 21, at Sargasso Restaurant, 215 Don Knotts Blvd, from 11:30 -3:00. After the noon luncheon, our special speaker will be Stephen Smith, (pictured left), the current WV Healthy Kids and Families Coalition Executive Director. Prior to coming to Healthy Kids, Stephen was the director of organizing for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and is the author of Stoking the Fire of Democracy: Our Generation’s Introduction to Grassroots Organizing.  A graduate of Harvard University and the London School of Economics, Stephen has worked with a wide range of communities – from running a for-profit bakery operated by people with disabilities to founding a youth advocacy organization that won victories on health care and financial aid.  Born in Charleston, WV, Stephen and his family are thrilled to be back home in West Virginia. The title of his talk is: “The Fight to End Child Poverty in West Virginia”.

 

The public is invited to come to hear the speaker at 1:00, or make reservations to attend the luncheon at noon. We welcome everyone; bring a guest! To make reservations for the luncheon, please call Shirley Rosenbaum at 304-599-2370. Sandwiches, choice of soup or salad, and beverages will be served. See menu on next page.

The business meeting will begin at 2:00. A dues increase will be proposed (to begin January 2017). Most of the current $44 individual membership payment is sent to the LWV-US ($32) and the LWV-WV ($11), leaving only a dollar to support our local league. The proposed increase to $48 will help cover the costs of the newsletter mailings. The dues increase will have to be approved by 2/3 of the members attending the annual meeting. Other business will be adoption of the budget, the proposed local program, and the election of officers. Please plan to attend this important meeting!

Annual Luncheon 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

11:30 a.m.

Sargasso Restaurant

215 Don Knotts Blvd 

Menu

Full Sandwich or Wrap with Choice of Soup, Salad, or Fries $14.00

Choice of Turkey, Ham, or Tuna Salad, served on Sourdough, wheat, gluten free bread, or wrap

or Tuna Melt (open-faced on English Muffin)

Dessert

Selection of Cookies 

Beverages and Gratuity are included 

***Give your reservation to your caller, or call Shirley Rosenbaum (304-599-2370) before Thursday, May 19

Please plan to pay your dues when you come to the annual meeting!  Currently dues are $44 for an individual, $66 for a household (two at the same address), and $22 student. Checks should be made to LWV Morgantown-Mon County.

Dues may be mailed to: Lyndell Millecchia, Treasurer, 476 Lawnview Drive, Morgantown, WV 26505. You can also pay with your credit card at http://tinyurl.com/paylwvmm or you may send money from your PayPal account to mmtreasury@lwvwv.org .

Note: we will also be giving “Democracy in Action” awards at the Annual Meeting!

 

OCOF and the LWV

The League of Women Voters and Our Children, Our Future (OCOF) wants you to vote twice this month. Vote once in the Primary, then vote a second time by May 10, Election Day, to choose the ISSUES that you want to be part of the Our Children, Our Future 2016 Commitment (see photos below).

You can vote at http://www.ocofwv.org/vote-now/ To explore the OCOF issues on the ballot, 

visit http://www.ocofwv.org/explore-the-issues/

 

On May 21, at our Annual Meeting luncheon at Sargasso, OCOF Executive Director Stephen Smith will be our keynote speaker; he will talk about The Fight to End Child Poverty in West Virginia, how you can become involved, and the OCOF process about how issues are vetted, developed into bills, and presented to the West Virginia Legislature. OCOF has amazing success in turning many bills into law.

 

On July 28th, 9am to 3pm, we are hosting an OCOF Electoral Workshop at the Hazel Ruby McQuain Conference Center at Mon General. Registration will soon be available at http://ocofwv.org/electoral.

 

In the meantime, if you are interested in helping your League with this highly useful public event, please email Jonathan Rosenbaum at jr@lwvwv.org.   

  

 

 

VOTERS SERVICE

The three forums held by the League at South Middle School (Wednesday April 13, 20, and 27) were very well attended – about 75 came to the third one for the contested offices.  All the forums were filmed by Mike Ellis from West TV, and can be viewed on our website at http://videos.lwvwv.org . Two of the LWV forums will be broadcast next Saturday, May 7, on Channel 3, Comcast. The forum on the six levies will be broadcast beginning at 10 a.m.  The forum with prosecuting attorney, sheriff, delegate and senate candidates will be broadcast from 11 a.m. until noon.

Though we are non-partisan, we can take positions on issues.  Our League has a consensus position in favor of adequate funding for Libraries, including Levies.  Member Lyndell Millecchia, President of the Morgantown Library Board of Trustees, made the presentation for the Library Levy at our Levy Forum.  Among her comments are the following:

In addition to the Downtown Library, there are five branch libraries: the Clay Battelle Library in Blacksville, the Cheat Area Library, the Clinton District Library, the Aull Center for History and Genealogy, and the Arnettsville Library in the Arnettsville Community Center.  The Board of Trustees has made great efforts over the past 52 years to bring library services to the entire county.  Without the levy, however, it is unlikely that the branches can continue operating.

There is a long list of the tangible benefits provided by the Public Library System.  Books, movies and audio books can be checked out; computers are available; there is free Wi-Fi access.  Our library stays current with new technologies, providing wonderful collections of e-books, streaming media, and e-magazines.  It offers amazing local history and genealogy resources.  The libraries in our system are dedicated to bridging the digital divide and ensuring that all citizens have access to online government information, job applications, and more. 

The library offers many daytime and evening programs and story times for children.  These programs provide critical support for early literacy.  The summer reading programs help children maintain their skills so they are better prepared to do well in school in the fall.

The library is much more than just the materials that can be checked out. It is a source for community interaction and outreach, providing meeting space and adult programs on a wide variety of topics. Over 300 non-profit organizations meet at the library at no cost. The library puts a face on our community and brings intangible benefits over and above the traditional role of a place to get books.

Levy funds will not only improve our core mission of promoting reading and literacy, but also aid the continuance of access to information regardless of socio-economic status.  From toddler to senior citizen, from University and High School student to Home Schooled family, your libraries are anchors in the community that provide entertainment, information and a local bond to community events through public information space and social gathering space. They are truly essential for community growth and vitality.”

Jan Bagby

Our condolences go out to the friends and family of long-time member Jan Bagby,who passed away in April. Jan was a vital member of the local league, often serving on the board and providing expertise on International Relations. She was always involved in League activities, especially with Voters Service. She always added to our meetings with her humor, intelligence and charm!

LWV Morgantown-Monongalia County

Proposed 2016-2017 Local Program 

  1. Local Government:
    1. Study of County taxation and revenues, in light of the reduction in coal severance funds.
    2. Revive Observer Corps
  1. Planning:
    1. Action to promote orderly development in Monongalia County and monitor the work of the Monongalia County Planning Commission.
    2. Encourage adoption and implementation of a Comprehensive Plan for Monongalia County, including impact fees.
  1. Transportation:
    1. Monitor and take action where needed with regard to improving traffic conditions, including pedestrian and cyclist safety.
    2. Monitor the implementation of the Complete Streets legislation so that the design of our transportation system can be inclusive of all forms of transportation.
  1. Voters Service:
    1. Continue to advocate for open access to registration and voting.
    2. Monitor new legislation on voter registration and voter ID.
  1. Natural Resources:
    1. Study water quality in the Monongahela River including Morgantown Utility Board and Department of Natural Resources testing and their relation to Marcellus Shale gas extraction processes and coal mining.
    2. Study current state regulation of Marcellus Shale gas extraction. Work with legislators to amend the Marcellus legislation with regard to those issues that still need regulation.
    3. Study current municipal and county ordinances related to extractive industries. Work with local officials to ensure that the strongest ordinances possible are promulgated to protect the health and safety of citizens.
    4. Monitor Source Water Protection Program (SWPP).
    5. Strategize and act to promote an efficient county solid waste recycling program.
  1. Social Justice:
    1. Continue our collaboration with the Community Coalition for Social Justice (CCSJ).
    2. Continue our collaboration with Our Children, Our Future (OCOF).

LWVMM Newsletter May 2016

April 2016 Morgantown Newsletter

KNOW YOUR PRIMARY CHOICES!

April Forums at South Middle School

CANDIDATE FORUMS 

Non-Partisan Candidates

The first candidate forum will be held Wednesday, April 13, 7-9 p.m. at South Middle School (500 E. Parkway Drive). For the first time, all judicial elections are now non-partisan, and will be decided during the primary. Many positions, which are by division, are contested. In the 17th Judicial Circuit Court, two candidates are running against Judge Susan Tucker and two candidates are running against Judge Philip Gaujot. Incumbents in three of the four Magistrate divisions are opposed. There is no contest for the Family Court Judges. The Board of Education is also decided during the primary, but this year the two positions are not contested (both incumbents are assured of election). The position of Conservation District Supervisor is contested. We have invited all the candidates for the contested seats to participate in the forum, and unopposed candidates have been invited to briefly introduce themselves. Bring your questions to be read by the moderator, and enjoy refreshments and conversation with the candidates after the forum.

State and County Candidates

The second candidate forum will be held Wednesday, April 27, 7-9 p.m. at South Middle School. We have invited candidates for all the contested positions: WV State Senate (District 13), WV House of Delegates (Districts 49 and 51), Sheriff of Monongalia County, and Prosecuting Attorney. Unopposed candidates have been invited to introduce themselves. There will be refreshments and time after the forum to talk with the candidates.

COUNTY LEVIES FORUM

Sandwiched between the Candidate Forums, we will hold a forum concerning the six County Levies that will be on the ballot at the May Primary, May 10. The forum will also be held at South Middle School, on Wednesday, April 20, 7-9 p.m. Details of the six levies can be found in this newsletter. Representatives of each of the Levy groups are invited to make presentations at the forum, and answer questions from the public about the need for the specific levy. There will be refreshments and tables with information and displays about the levies. 

 

OUR CHILDREN, OUR FUTURE

Saturday, April 22, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. OCOF Policy Summit and Annual Retreat at Pierpont Community and Technical College in Fairmont. Register for free at http://bit.ly/1TfAm7f .

  • Learn, discuss, and debate about the policies proposed for the Commitment to OCOF: our long-term legislative platform.

  • VOTE – on which policies will be included in the Commitment

  • Design the OCOF strategy for the year

  • VOTE – for our 2016/2017 steering committee

  • Get involved in initiatives like Student Chapters, Leadership and Organizing Trainings, Shared Use & Voter Engagement

  • Lunch will be provided 

About Our Children, Our Future:

Thirty percent (30%) of West Virginia boys and girls under age 6 live in poverty.  Our state also has the highest rate of 16-24 year-olds who are neither in school, nor in the labor force.  Research in brain development shows that social, emotional and cognitive development is shaped in early childhood and has a lifelong effect.  Poor kids are 5 times more likely to have children outside marriage, twice as likely to be arrested, and nearly 3 times as likely to have severe health problems. Poor kids also end up earning incomes less than half those of their counterparts.  Our prison population has tripled in the last 20 years, and we spend $23,000+ on each inmate – roughly the cost of providing full-time quality child care to 5 young kids. Taking care of our most vulnerable children is not only the right thing to do; it is the best way to help our state’s health, welfare, and economy in the long run.  To do this, OCOF is building an organized, statewide voice of kids, families, and allies to advocate for the changes we need.

See ocofwv.org website

Mission: The Campaign to End Child Poverty

http://www.morgantownwv.gov/yeartogogreen

On January 4, 2016, the Morgantown City Council unanimously declared 2016 to be the Year to Go Green: Path to a Cleaner Morgantown.  The Year to Go Green (YTGG) was initially proposed by the Morgantown Municipal Green Team and Friends of Decker’s Creek.

The Year to Go Green provides a framework within which a wide range of individuals, households, businesses, community groups, city committees and advisory boards, and other organizations can take action toward a cleaner Morgantown.

What is the Year to Go Green?

This yearlong citywide focus on clean air—clean water—clean energy—green space was created with the goals of:

  • Opening dialogue across the community
  • Unifying efforts toward environmental sustainability in the Morgantown area
  • Promote money-saving investments in sustainability
  • Encourage involvement of the wider Morgantown community

Six Levy Proposals for Consideration in the May 10 Primary Election

The League of Women Voters of Morgantown/Monongalia County has attempted to aggregate all levy information into one document to help voters make a more informed decision about whether to support them.

First: What are the various classes of property?

Class 1 is personal property used in agriculture.

Class 2 is anything that is owner occupied, generally the person’s main house property.

Class 3 and 4 are the same class definition (anything other than owner occupied).  So it includes all vehicles, boats, RVs (anything taxed on your personal property tax ticket) and vacant lots or pieces of land, rental property, and business property.  The number 3 is used to designate those defined properties that are outside any municipality boundary.  The number 4 is used to designate those defined properties that are within a municipality boundary.

Second: What will each levy cost?

  Class 1 Class 2 Class 3 Class 4
Name Rate Rate Rate Rate
Fairs 0.05 0.1 0.21 0.21
Fire 0.42 0.84 1.68 1.68
Library 0.27 0.54 1.08 1.08
Parks/Trails 0.58 1.16 2.32 2.32
Transit 1.1 2.2 4.4 4.4
Baseball/Garden 0.06 0.12 0.24 0.24
         
Total* 2.48 4.96 9.93 9.93
         
*Cents per $100 of assessed value    

Most voters will probably be concerned with the rates each levy will assess on Class 2 property (owner occupied). The table above shows the cost IN CENTS per $100 of assessed value for each levy. (example: if the homeowner—Class 2—has a home assessed at $100,000, the cost of the VFD levy would be $8.40 per year) The cost of passing all levies for that homeowner would be $49.60 per year which would be added to their real estate tax statement.

According to the County Clerk’s office, it is important to understand that the levy rate applies to every tax ticket a person receives.  For example:  a person may receive two tax statements per year - one on their car and one on their house.  Each levy would apply class 3(4) rate to the value of the vehicle and class 2 rate to the value of the house parcel.  

So, to estimate the cost of a levy to an individual or family, you must know the assessed value of your home (if you own it) and the assessed value of your personal property. If the personal property for a Morgantown resident is assessed at $5000, the cost of passing all the levies would be approximately $5 per year. Add that to the cost of passing all levies when your house is assessed at $100,000, the total cost would be $49.60 + $5.00. (Remember, this is just an example, not a guarantee of the cost to you.)

Third: Description of each levy proposal and the impacts of passing or failing each levy.

Fairs: For the owner of the home assessed at $100,000, this levy would cost about $1 per year. If passed, this would be a 5-year levy and it would raise about $50,000 per year for the Mon County Fair and $20,000 for the Clay District Fair and for the Battelle District Fair. The levy is limited to these Fairs because they are the only ones that are members of the WV Association of Fairs and Festivals. Levy funds will allow Mon County Fair to have more facilities built for the Livestock Show and update the existing structure so the facilities could be scheduled and used by any county individual or group. Representatives of both the Clay District Fair and the Battelle District Fair report that without the levy, they will not be able to make needed improvements and repairs to their facilities. The Fairs will be forced to downsize and may face having to close.

Fire: For the owner of the home assessed at $100,000, this levy would cost about $8.40 per year. Money raised during this 5-year levy would be split among the 12 VFDs in Mon County, providing approximately $50,000 for each department per year. Funding would be used for training, protective clothing, radios, and possibly to replace aging fire trucks. At last count, there were 20 trucks in use that were over 15 years old. The VFDs also have expenses averaging $28,500 just for insurance and worker’s compensation. From this levy, all VFDs would receive the same amount of funding so that smaller companies would be able to upgrade their equipment and recruiting. Additionally, funds would go to the county’s hazardous materials team, to the county’s brush fire team and to the Volunteer Fire Companies Association which maintains the county’s two tanker trucks.

Library: For the owner of the home assessed at $100,000, this levy would cost about $5.40 per year. This 5-year levy would provide funding for the entire library system, which includes the Morgantown Public Library as well as Cheat Lake Public Library, Arnettsville Public Library, Clay Battelle Public Library, Clinton District Public Library and the Aull Center. The Library System has been underfunded for several years, and this levy would allow them to be open more hours and to expand their programs. In the past, the County Commission has provided about 16% of the funds for the downtown library and about 30% for the branch libraries. Without the levy to replace these funds, there will be reduced hours at all facilities and possible closure of some, reduced materials and services and potential charges for meeting rooms and programs. 

Parks and Trails: For the owner of the home assessed at $100,000, this levy would cost $11.60 per year. This 5-year levy would fund parks and recreation throughout Mon County. Plans include Morgantown Ice Arena additions, renovations, and upgrades; Camp Muffly operating expenses plus swimming pool, pool house and historical cabins; Chestnut Ridge Park operating expenses plus dredging of Harris Lake and improvements to the ski slope; Mason-Dixon Historical Park operating expenses plus upgrading playgrounds and hiking and mountain biking trails; Mon River and Deckers Creek Rail-Trails operating expenses and maintenance; Westover Park improvements to four baseball fields, bleachers and pavilions; Cheat Lake and/or Laurel Point soccer fields and equipment. 

Mountain Line Transit: For the owner of the home assessed at $100,000, this levy would cost about $22 per year. Funds generated by this 5-year levy would partially be used to replace the $456,000 that has been provided by the County Commission from the coal severance revenue. That represents about 10% of Mountain Line’s operating budget. Additional money from the levy would replace federal funding which is also declining. Levy monies would allow for replacement of some buses plus allow for adding new service routes to Mylan Park, Suncrest Towne Center and other developing areas of the county. Without the levy, rural routes out in the county will be eliminated. Although routes which are financed by the City of Morgantown and by WVU will not be affected, failure of the levy will have an impact on everyone, as county residents will have a much harder time finding transportation into the city for work, healthcare, and shopping.

Baseball/Botanic Garden: For the owner of the home assessed at $100,000, this levy would cost about $1.20 per year. The Morgantown Pony Baseball League involves over 1000 young baseball players and is currently 100% funded by community and corporate sponsors. This 5-year levy would provide about $80,000 for maintenance and improvements to eight BOPARC baseball and softball diamonds in White, Krepps, Marilla, Valley View and Jack Roberts parks. The levy would also provide $25,000 annually for upkeep and improvements to the Botanic Garden. Since 2000, the Garden has grown to over 80 acres of beautifully maintained gardens and trails that provide enjoyment for anyone seeking a quite hike or organized activity. Levy funding would be used to pay a portion of the costs of keeping the Garden open to the public, at no charge, 365 days a year. These costs include utilities, insurance, supplies, staffing, maintaining the new public restrooms and Welcome Center, trails, plantings, etc. As the Garden grows, the operating costs also grow. The current budget is nearly double that of 2013, and while the City of Morgantown and County Commission have provided some funding, private contributions have covered most of the costs. The levy funds will provide a reliable base of support for the Garden.  

LWVMM Newsletter April 2016

 

December 2015 Morgantown Newsletter

TALK TO YOUR LEGISLATORS!

On Thursday, December 10, from 7 to 9 p.m. our League will host a Legislators Forum. It will be held at Suncrest United Methodist Church, 479 Van Voorhis Road. The forum is designed to let the legislators tell the public what their priorities and proposals are for the upcoming Legislative session, and for them to hear from you about your hopes, needs and concerns. In the past this forum has led to very fruitful discussions between the public and the legislators.

The legislators will be given four minutes to discuss their interests in the upcoming session, and the public will then have the opportunity to voice their requests. After the forum there will be refreshments and time to talk individually with the legislators. Please plan to come!

President’s Message

Democracy is tough, people always seem to be in disagreement, and, to the untrained observer, nothing seems to get done. Maybe that is why people tell me on an increasing basis that politics do not interest them anymore.  Nobody said it was going to be easy; a government ruled by the people has always been difficult from the very beginning, but the alternative was to be ruled by a monarchy where the voice of the common person would not matter.  Some people want lots of change, and that’s OK, and other people don’t want any change at all, and that is OK too, because through the convening of humans, good government ultimately does succeed in seeking out the Goldilocks Zone, where our life can happily exist regardless of the differences in the views of our representatives.  This is why the League is enamored by people who choose to exercise their right to vote, because that very right, so hard won, is the foundation on which people can have a voice in their own government. – Jonathan Rosenbaum

NATURAL RESOURCES

Members from the Natural Resources committee went to the Green Team presentation on Recycling in Morgantown and Monongalia County. The message was that single stream recycling offered by Republic Services to the city has been very effective in increasing tonnage of materials recycled from 198 tons in 2012 to 892 tons in 2014. However many citizens of Morgantown are still not recycling, even though they are paying for it. They recommend that we encourage our neighbors to recycle. The Republic representative also said that they removed the recycling bins from many student neighborhoods because the students were using them as garbage cans and contaminating the recycling materials.

In the county there are two places to do single stream recycling: the Walmart on Hornbeck Road every Saturday from 7 to 11 a.m. (except not the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 28); and in Westover next to the City Building on Dupont Road, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. County Commissioner Tom Bloom reported that right now that is probably what will be available for some time, since having Republic pick up once a week in each of these places is what the County can currently afford.

Another issue that the Natural Resources committee is studying and wants to take action on is climate change and reducing greenhouse gases. John Bird presented an overview of the subject at the Natural Resources meeting on November 11. Members resolved to become more informed on the subject, to become better at educating others about the dangers of human activity, to lobby our legislators to take action, and to write letters to the editor. The National League is also encouraging all League members to lobby our members of Congress to support Obama’s Clean Power initiative.

There were a few NR members at the Water Forum sponsored by the Green Team: Linda Yoder, Judith Wilkinson and Jonathan Rosenbaum. Basically, the most interesting tidbit we learned there is that currently Monongalia has the cheapest water bill rate in the state.  The new increase will push us up slightly to the 6th cheapest place in the state.

Here are links to the Green Team videos:

How Clean is Morgantown’s Air and What Can We Do About It? – https://youtu.be/pmm3fQCEN3Q

How Clean is Morgantown’s Water and What Can We Do About It? – https://youtu.be/cSUNR0NDVq4

Is Recycling Working in Morgantown and What Can We Do About It? – https://youtu.be/2P2Jl4Xpggc

OCTOBER MEMBERSHIP MEETING

The Secretary of State’s office and the League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County are calling attention to two very important changes for voters in WV. A new law was passed in the 2015 Legislative session which makes the May 10, 2016 Primary Election even more important than ever. That law requires that the election of justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals, circuit court judges, family court judges and magistrates be on a nonpartisan basis and that candidates for those positions will be elected on the same date as the primary election.

At our Membership Meeting October 14, Briana Wilson, Communications Director for the Secretary of State’s office, informed attendees that the process for electing judicial candidates will follow the current process for electing school board members. On May 10, Mon County voters will be electing one Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals, three circuit court judges, two family court judges and four magistrates. The Secretary of State’s office and the League of Women Voters will be distributing further information reminding voters of this important change. Ms. Wilson also introduced the new on-line voter registration process, which is available at https://ovr.sos.wv.gov.

Members and the public meet at the Aull center to hear about changes in the 2016 Primary Election

LWVMM Newsletter December 2015

October 2015 Morgantown Newsletter

MEMBERSHIP MEETING – PRIME TIME 2016 – PRIMARY ELECTIONS!

Our first fall meeting will be held Wednesday, October 14, 7-9 p.m. at the Aull Center. We hope to have a big turnout for the evening, as we prepare for the coming election year! All of you know that the Board of Education has its final, non-partisan election during the primary. But do you realize, because of Legislative Action, that all the judicial positions (Judges, Circuit Court, magistrates) at the state and county levels will also be non-partisan, and they will be elected during the primary election? This is a significant change! The Secretary of State is sending a representative from the office of the Election Administrator to tell us about these changes and answer questions so we can inform the public and help ensure a good turnout at the primary in May, 2016! A lot of people will be focused on the presidential race, and rightly so, but we must be sure that the electorate is well aware of the importance of these local races. It will be vital for us to know about these changes as we help educate voters in the spring election.

The first meeting of the fall is always a special time to meet and greet one another. The meeting is open to the public, but a personal invitation is always better. Do try to bring a guest! As always, we will be collecting dues –still $44 individual, $66 household. We have allowed plenty of time for hearing from the Secretary of State’s representative, plus time to hear about items important to the league in our program areas, plus time for refreshments and socializing. We plan to finish up before 9 p.m. so you do not have to worry about your meter running out.

If you do not want to drive to the meeting, we will be happy to find someone to carpool with you. Please call Vicki Conner at (304) 292-2640. Also, the Aull Center has a lift at the back, if you have trouble with stairs. Call Lyndell at (304) 599-0904 and she will watch for you and help with the lift operation.

Voters Service Committee

We will be setting up a table at the Morgantown Farmers Market on Saturday, October 17, 8:30 a.m. to noon. If you can help, please contact Jonathan.

Natural Resources

The Natural Resources Committee is following the Monongalia County Commission as they work with Republic Services on their contract. We are especially interested in what they decide about recycling in the county. A Commission work session which included people from Republic Services, scheduled for Wednesday, September 23, was cancelled because the Republic representatives did not appear. We plan to attend when the meeting is rescheduled.

A meeting for the Natural Resources Committee will be held in October, the date to be announced. Contact Catherine Lozier at (304) 599-8233 or at the contact form if you are interested in working on this committee.

Please read the complete newsletter by clicking on the link below:

LWVMM Newsletter October 2015

May 2015 Morgantown Newsletter

Annual Meeting: Special Speaker Barbara Howe

Annual Meeting 2015 promises to be an interesting and enjoyable event. At the Aull Center on Wednesday, May 13, at 6:00 p.m. we will begin with a Meet and Greet social session, followed at 6:30 by a special presentation by Barb Howe, “Evolution of the Voting Rights Act (up to 1965)”. Barb Howe taught American women’s history and women’s studies at WVU and has taught classes in women’s history for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). She is a member of the Community Coalition for Social Justice’s steering committee and developed a timeline on expanding the right to vote for CCSJ-Main Street Morgantown’s Ninth Annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Celebration on “The Road to the Vote” in January 2015.  Her presentation for the League of Women Voters is based on that work. This would be a great opportunity to bring a friend!

CALENDAR

May 13 Annual Meeting

Wednesday 6:00-9:00 p.m. Aull Center
351 Spruce Street (Garlow House)

May 18 Board Meeting

Monday 6:00 p.m. Pot Luck
Lyndell Millecchia’s Home
476 Lawnview Drive
 

For the second time, we will be giving awards to certain organizations or people who have done important work that furthers the democratic values of the League of Women Voters. Come and be surprised!

The wonderful finger foods and sweets for which the League has long been famous will be provided by you, our faithful League members, with beverages provided by the Hospitality Committee.

During the Business portion, the League will elect officers and board members, discuss and accept the proposed Local Program for 2015-2016, and discuss and accept a budget for the coming year.

 

We welcome your dues at the Annual Meeting!

Dues are $44 for an individual and $66 for a household.Checks should be made to LWV Morgantown-Mon County and, if you do not attend the meeting, may be mailed to: Joseph Marshall, 194 McCormick Hollow Rd., Morgantown, WV 26508You can also pay online with your PayPal account or credit card at  http://tinyurl.com/paylwvmm or you may send money from your PayPal account to mmtreasury@lwvwv.org .

Voters Service 

Our League co-sponsored the OLLI Legislative Wrap-Up & Reception on March 31 at the Mountaineer Mall. It was the first time OLLI planned an event like this, and it was very successful. The refreshments were wonderful, and the center-court location worked out very well. Most of the Legislators from our area attended. They reported on their successes and impressions of the Legislative session, and responded to participants’ questions. We are planning to continue this collaboration with OLLI next year.

The local League held a City Council candidate forum this April, at South Middle School. The venue pleased attendees, and both the candidates and the audience were very grateful to the League for holding the forum. The meeting was filmed by West TV as a service to the community and may be watched at:

http://www.lwvwv.org/2015/04/20/video-morgantown-city-council-candidate-forum-2015/

 

Local Government Committee

Currently we are looking for a member from the League to volunteer to chair the committee so that it may continue moving forward from where it left off last year, after making notable progress.

Natural Resources 

On March 25, four members of the Natural Resources Committee met with Tim Ball, the Director of MUB.  The committee was interested in his views on the two new gas wells to be fracked across from our water intake by Northeast Energy.  He was somewhat reassuring that they are using practices that will protect the water as much as possible.  However, they are planning to use a synthetic drilling fluid that may have some unknown results as it is relatively new. Tim has concerns about the synthetic fluid and continues to meet with Northeast Energy to present his concerns. He has stated that he has maintained good communication with the company.

The committee plans to meet with Tim Carr, the head of a WVU study of horizontal drilling which will be using these wells as the object of their research.

We welcome new member Judith McBride.

Those of you who participated in the Public Library financing study and consensus held in in our league in September, 2014, will be interested in the final consensus from the State LWV, as follows:

PUBLIC LIBRARY FINANCING CONSENSUS

Adopted 11-8-14

The LWVWV believes that public libraries are essential in communities for both children and adults. Therefore, the primary sources of fundingfor West Virginia’s public libraries should be tax based. This tax-based funding should be adequate, predictable and sustainable.

The LWVWV believes that there should be a basic state funding level for WV public libraries, based on the population of the area served by the library.

The LWVWV believes that additional local tax-based funds should be provided from those agencies which authorize libraries; that is, County Commissions, municipalities and/or County Boards of Education.

Further Guidelines

Other state options the LWVWV supports are:

  • Adjust the local share of the school aid formula to fund public libraries in each county.
  • Designate a state tax or percentage of a tax for public libraries.

The following local funding options are acceptable:

  • Require these local governing authorities to contribute a given percentage of local property taxes for libraries, as required in existing “special local laws.”
  • Increase the property tax rate with the resulting revenue going to libraries.
  • Require Boards of Education to include a defined level of funding for libraries in the county in excess levy elections.
  • Permit Boards of Education, County Commissions and municipalities to impose an additional levy on property for libraries.

The LWVWV does not support a constitutional amendment to allow public libraries to form tax districts and ask voters to assess themselves to support libraries.

The LWVWV does not support library user fees at the state or local level.

The LWVWV believes public libraries may form county-wide or multi-county systems. (11/8/14)

 

LWV Morgantown-Monongalia County

Proposed 2015-2016 Local Program

 

  1. Local Government:
    1. Study of County Government, including:
  1. Laws concerning the number of County Commissioners, their responsibilities and authority.
  2. Taxation, revenues and budget disbursements.
    1. Organize a public meeting with the County Commission on County Government issues.
    2. Revive Observer Corps
  1. Planning: Action to promote orderly development in Monongalia County and monitor the work of the Monongalia County Planning Commission.
  1. Transportation:
    1. Monitor and take action where needed with regard to improving traffic conditions, including pedestrian and cyclist safety.
    2. Monitor the implementation of the Complete Streets legislation so that the design of our transportation system can be inclusive of all forms of transportation.
  1. Voters Service: Continue to advocate for open access to registration and voting.
  1. Natural Resources:
    1. Study water quality in the Monongahela River including Morgantown Utility Board and Department of Natural Resources testing and their relation to Marcellus Shale gas extraction processes and coal mining.
    2. Study current state regulation of Marcellus Shale gas extraction. Work with legislators to amend the Marcellus legislation with regard to those issues that still need regulation.
    3. Study current municipal and county ordinances related to extractive industries. Work with local officials to ensure that the strongest ordinances possible are promulgated to protect the health and safety of citizens.
    4. Study Source Water Protection Program (SWPP).
    5. Strategize and act to promote an efficient county solid waste recycling program.
  1. Social Justice: Create a Social Justice committee; explore local collaborations.

 

Mark your Calendars!

Wednesday, May 13, 6:00pm Annual Meeting at the Aull Center!

LWVMM Newsletter May 2015