Morgantown-Monongalia Categories

November 2017 Morgantown Newsletter

TALK TO YOUR LEGISLATORS!

PUBLIC FORUM

On Monday, December 11, from 7 to 9 p.m. our League will host a Legislators Forum, co-sponsored by OLLI. It will be held at the Mountaineer Mall, in OLLI Classroom A. 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.

Two senators and five delegates from our area have been invited: Robert Beach, Roman Prezioso, Jr., Barbara Fleischauer, Cindy Frich, Rodney Pyles, Joe Statler, and John Williams.

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

EPA Announces Public Hearing on Repeal of the Clean Power Plan

The EPA will hold a public hearing on the proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan in Charleston, WV on Nov 28-29. The hearing will potentially be extended into Nov 30 if enough people register to speak at the meetings. This is the only public hearing that is planned, and it is being held in Charleston “the heart of coal country” to hear from those most impacted by the CPP and get their comments on the proposed Repeal Rule. Scott Pruitt, EPA Administrator stated that he looked forward to hearing from all stakeholders.

Persons wishing to speak at the public hearing to be held by the EPA in Charleston on November 28-29 must be registered by Nov 16 and will be notified about time slots on Nov 17. Written comments are also being solicited and “will be given the same weight as oral comments” according to the EPA. Written comments must be submitted by Jan. 16. Comments should be identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0355 and may be submitted by one of the methods listed on the Clean Power Plan Proposed Repeal: How to Comment web page.

The LWV-US has issued the following statement. “By repealing the Clean Power Plan, the White House is putting the interests of corporate polluters ahead of the health and safety of the American public. This decision will have a devastating impact on the planet at a time when we are seeing the powerful climate change effects with rising temperatures, deadly hurricanes and destructive wildfires. The League is appalled at this irresponsible decision that will have a long-term devastating impact on our planet and health of the American people.” The LWVWV and local Leagues are encouraging individuals to attend the hearings in Charleston and/or to submit written comments.

October Membership Meeting

We were very lucky to have Mr. Donald “Deak” Kersey as our speaker for the Membership Meeting in October. He gave us a lot of good information about how voter rolls are maintained, including the fact that the Secretary of State’s office never removes people from the rolls. County Clerks are responsible for determining whether a person should be removed, and Mr. Kersey provided information on the various ways that determination is made. For example, they receive information from the US Postal Service about people who have moved, use two national databases to check for duplication of voters, and receive death notices. Mr. Kersey also gave us information about how WV protects our on-line voter data, including the fact that we have a highly trained cybersecurity professional who monitors our systems daily and who has a high-level security clearance which makes it possible for him to be in direct communication with the Department of Homeland Security when necessary. He also reassured us that no voting machines in WV are connected to the internet, so there is no opportunity for a person to hack into them to change votes or otherwise impact the recording and tallying of votes. He also told us that West Virginia is being presented nationally as an example of how systems should be maintained to insure election integrity. At the end of his presentation, Mr. Kersey briefly reviewed the new law about voter ID which goes into effect January 1, 2018. There is further discussion of voter ID in this newsletter.

The video filmed at our Membership Meeting, Election Integrity in WV with Elections Director Donald Kersey, is available at https://youtu.be/f05v4lIDyjc .

 Elections & Voter ID – a Primer (from Wood County LWV)

Though no statewide elections are scheduled until the Primary next May, there is a change coming that merits attention. Starting January 1st, WV voters will be required to present some form of identification at the polls.

This change originated in 2016 in the House of Delegates as a strict photo ID law of the sort that has been the subject of much controversy over whether its purpose is actually to suppress voting by certain groups. The introduced bill was amended so that WV voters will have a long list of documents that will be considered a “valid identifying document.” The law takes effect January 1, 2018.

Voters need to know of the change and what they need to take to the polls. The Secretary of State plans a statewide education effort, which the law requires. To that end, the Secretary convened a meeting recently with representatives of a broad range of groups and constituencies represented, including representatives of the LWV of WV, to gather information about how best to inform voters of the change and assure that no one is denied their right to vote because of a lack of ID.

The Secretary’s staff plans to make materials such as posters available for wide distribution as well as encouraging civic groups and media to help inform voters. The staff includes field representatives in locations around the state who will be part of the educational efforts.

As League members, we will get asked about this change. My short answer has been, take your wallet with you when you vote and you will surely have one of these documents with you. This will work for most of us, but not everyone. There are people entitled to vote who have none of them, and there are options for them. See the next section for acceptable “valid identifying documents” and you will be ready to answer questions.

Valid Identifying Documents

A document with the voter’s name that was issued by the State of WV or its subsidiaries or the US Government, OR one of the following:
Must be valid (not expired) and have the voter’s name
 Driver’s license
 Passport or passport card
 A photo employee, student, or military ID or concealed carry permit
 Medicare or Social Security card
 Birth certificate
 Voter registration card
 Hunting or fishing license
 An ID card for SNAP or TANIF or Medicaid benefits
 Health insurance card
 Bank or debit card
 Utility bill or bank statement (from within 6 months of election)

Residents of licensed care facilities are exempt from ID requirements. There is no change in absentee voting procedures.

There are two options for those with no ID, an affidavit from someone who knows and accompanies the voter and for someone known personally by the poll worker.

Registered voters will also be able to get a free photo “Voter ID” card through their county

clerk’s office with no further documentation than is required for being a registered voter. (A state issued photo ID is available through DMV, but requires more documentation.)

Homeless people may use the address of a shelter to register to vote.

Anyone who appears at the polls and is denied a ballot is entitled to cast a provisional ballot, the validity of which will be evaluated in the canvass following the election.

For the complete bill, see: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/ChapterEntire.cfm?chap=03&art=1&section=34#01

Looking Ahead!

We would like to invite people to the All Kinds Are Welcome Here Lobby Day, on February 8, 2018.  LWV-WV is a co-sponsor for the event along with ACLU-WV, WV FREE, Fairness WV, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, Rainbow Pride of WV, and WV Citizen Action Group (so far). Two of our members attended last year– let’s increase that number in 2018! 

LWVMM November 2017 Newsletter

Video: Election Integrity in WV with Elections Director Donald Kersey

Video produced by West TV (footage – Jonathan Rosenbaum) at LWVMM’s fall membership meeting on Wednesday, October 18.

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 

 

July 2017 Morgantown-Monongalia Guide to Government Officials

CLICK HERE:

LWVMM Guide to Government Officials July 2017

David Beard and Bill Austin – Annual Meeting of the League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County


Video produced by West TV at the May 20, 2017 Annual Meeting of the League of Women Voters Morgantown-Monongalia County.

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!
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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

Morgantown-Monongalia 2017 Legislative Wrap-Up!

Event is now postponed until the special session is over, and a replacement date can be determined. Please check back for a new event date announcement due to the special session of the legislature.

Morgantown-Monongalia 2017 Legislative Wrap-Up

Video – Morgantown City Council Candidate Forum – 2017

Video produced by West TV at the April 12, 2017 Candidate Forum organized by the League of Women Voters Morgantown-Monongalia County

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

April 12 Morgantown City Council Candidate Forum

April 12 Morgantown City Council Candidate Forum