Morgantown-Monongalia Categories

May 2018 Morgantown Newsletter

ANNUAL MEETING – Saturday, June 9

MORGANTOWN MAYOR TO SPEAK

The 2018 Annual Meeting for the Morgantown-Monongalia County LWV will be held Saturday, June 9, at Ali Baba’s, 83 Hart Field Drive (Airport), from 11:45-2:30. Our speaker will be Bill Kawecki, Mayor of the City of Morgantown. He will tell us about some of the accomplishments of the city this year, and will also focus on future developments planned to help Morgantown become more welcoming (such as pedestrian bridges, benches, and bus shelters). He will discuss a workshop he and County Commissioner Sean Sikora are currently working on to help improve communications and planning among municipalities and the County Commission. They hope the workshop will help the county and cities be more proactive in solving mutual problems.

We will be presenting Democracy in Action awards. The business meeting will begin at 1:45, and will include adoption of the budget, vote on the dues change for students, election of officers, and adoption of the proposed local program. Please plan to attend this important meeting!

Annual Luncheon

Saturday, June 9, 2018
11:45-12:00 Gathering
Buffet Lunch 12:00 noon
$18.00/person

Menu

Buffet with meat and vegetarian selections
Beverage and gratuity are included
***Give your reservation to your caller, or call Shirley Rosenbaum (304-599-2370) by Thursday, June 7

VOTERS SERVICE

In April, the League co-sponsored three candidate forums with Mountaineers for Progress (MFP). The League facilitated the first forum for the County Commission and the Board of Education. The other two forums, for the House of Delegates and First District of the House of Representatives were facilitated by MFP.

All the forums were well attended, with the forum for the House of Delegates the most energetic. There were many questions from the audience at all the forums.

The Board of Education election was a final election. Sara Anderson, Michael Kelly, and Melanie Baker Rogers were elected.

In November, Tom Bloom (D) will run against Andrew Price (R) for County Commission.

For the House of Delegates from the 51st District, Democrats Barbara Fleischauer, Evan Hansen, Danielle Walker, John Williams and Rodney Pyles will run against Republicans Cindy Frich, Roger Shuttlesworth, Joe Statler, and Debbie Warner. Five will be elected.

For the First Congressional District, Democrat Kendra Fershee will run against incumbent Republican David McKinley.

Because of co-sponsoring the forums with MFP, in comparison to similar forums we have hosted in previous years, there was an increase in the number of volunteers who provided food and helped run the forums, and an increase in attendance. One exciting benefit was sharing the planning process with MFP.

LEAGUE MEMBERSHIP

Please plan to pay your dues when you come to the annual meeting June 9! Currently dues are $48 for an individual and $72 for a household (two at the same address). 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.

DUES CHANGE

Many Leagues feel that cost is a barrier for students who want to join the LWV. In order to encourage younger members to become active, both the National and State Leagues have voted to waive the per member payment (PMP) for students. The Budget Committee therefore recommends that the Student Dues be lowered from $22 to $5.00 per year. This recommendation will be voted on at the Annual Meeting.

See attached newsletter for proposed budget and program! 

LWVMM May 2018 Newsletter

Video: 1st Congressional District – April, 2017

Video: Monongalia County WV House of Delegates – April, 2017

Video: Monongalia County Commission and Board of Education – April, 2017

April 2018 Morgantown Newsletter

 FORUMS GALORE IN APRIL

It is going to be a busy time leading up to the Primary Election in May. We are uniting with Mountaineers for Progress to sponsor three candidate forums. Doors for the forums will open at six, the forums will last 6:30-8:30 p.m., and there will be refreshments after each forum.

The first forum will be for the County Commission and the Board of Education Candidates. It will be held at 6:30 on Thursday, April 12, at WVU White Hall (Room G-09), 135 Willey Street. Since this is a new venue for us, there will be ushers to guide you to the meeting room. Parking is available by the nearby churches.

The second forum, for District 51 House of Delegates Candidates, will be held on Thursday, April 19, at 6:30 p.m. at the Plumber/Pipefitters Hall, 100 Richard Drive. From the Greenbag Road, turn at the corner of Mountainview Elementary School onto Richard Drive. The Hall is on the right. There is plenty of parking.

The third forum will be for Candidates for Congress, the 1st Congressional District. It will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, again at WVU’s White Hall (Room G-09) on Willey Street.

Our league is very excited to be cosponsoring these forums with Mountaineers for Progress. Though it is a Primary Election in May, it will be the final election for the Board of Education.

First Forum, Thursday, April 12

 

WVU White Hall, Room G-09

 
   
County Commission  
Tom Bloom Democrat
Betty Lemley Wiley Democrat
   
Board of Education  
Sara Anderson Non-partisan
Gary DrVar Non-partisan
Michael Kelly Non-partisan
Matthew R. Kirby Non-partisan
Ethan Moore Non-partisan
Melanie Baker Rogers Non-partisan
   
   
Second Forum, Thursday, April 19

Plumbers/Pipefitters Hall

 
   
WV House of Delegates, 51st District
Cindy Frich Republican
Roger Shuttlesworth Republican
Joe Statler Republican
Debbie Warner Republican
   
Barbara Evans Fleischauer Democrat
Evan Hansen Democrat
Cory B. Kennedy Democrat
Rodney A. Pyles Democrat
Danielle Walker Democrat
John Williams Democrat
   
   

Third Forum, Thursday, April 26

 

WVU White Hall, Room G-09

 
   
U.S House of Representatives  
WV First Congressional District  
Ralph Baxter Democrat
Kendra Fershee Democrat
Tom Payne Democrat

Voters Service

he final day to register to vote in the May Primary will be April 17. Our League will be hosting tables for voter registration at the WVU Library on Wednesday, April 4, 1-4 p.m. and on Thursday, April 5, 9.a.m. to noon.

Early voting will be April 25 – May 5. Early Voting locations: Mountaineer Mall, Mason Dixon Park, Westover Community Building, and the WVU Alumni Center. For further election information contact the county clerk at:
https://monongaliacountyclerk.com and click on Primary Election Information.

From the President

2018 is shaping up to be an interesting year. As you probably know, the new Voter ID law went into effect on Jan 1, and the League has been working with many other groups locally and state-wide to be sure that voters are prepared when they go to the polls in May. The law is very flexible, giving many acceptable ways to identify oneself, including having someone with an ID certify to your identity. You can help by reminding people of the change, and if you would like some “rack cards” to distribute, we have plenty. There is still a lot of news about potential disruption of elections by outside entities, but we have been reassured that the Mon County system is secure. Voting machines here are not connected to the internet, so the only way to interfere with them would be to attack the physical machine. If you were able to attend our meeting in October with Mr. Kearsey from the Secretary of State’s office, you heard all the ways that WV is monitoring other aspects of our system, such as voter rolls, so that they feel comfortable that the integrity of our systems is strong. I had an interesting meeting with our County Clerk, Carye Blaney, who explained how they are going about “cleaning up” our voter rolls. Her long-range goalis to produce laminated voter registration cards which will have a barcode that identifies you, removing the necessity to sign when you vote. There’s still a lot of work to be done to make that happen.

Several League members attended the public forum in Charleston on the proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan. After that event, the EPA decided to hold three more public forums in Kansas City, Missouri; San Francisco; and Gillette, Wyoming. The Wyoming one is the last, to be held at the end of March. They are still accepting public comments until April 26, so if you haven’t had an opportunity to give your input, here’s a link:
https://www.epa.gov/stationary-sources-air-pollution/clean-power-plan-proposed-repeal-how-comment

We are looking forward to our partnership with Mountaineers for Progress to hold three candidate forums, which are detailed in the newsletter. We are hoping that our partnership will bring a larger audience to the non-partisan events as we evaluate who we would like to represent us in the November elections. I encourage everyone to attend—you will get a lot of valuable information and insight into the candidates.

As always, thank you for your support of the LWV Morgantown-Monongalia County, and we encourage you to join us at our monthly board meetings, the third Monday of most months at 4pm in the downtown public library. Also watch for more information on our Annual Meeting which will be held later in the spring.

-Vicki Conner

Vicki Conner and Barbara Brown at the “I Belong” Diversity Event, held at WVU in January

League of Women Voters of West Virginia Council Meeting

State Council will be held on Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Morgantown Public Library in the upstairs conference room. Councils are held in the interim years between Conventions primarily for the adoption of a budget for the ensuing fiscal year. This year’s Council is generating significant interest because the Board is proposing lowering the state Per Member Payment (PMP). As a bonus, recently the Board of LWVUS announced they are waiving the student PMP until January 31, 2021.

The Council is composed of the presidents of the local Leagues (or an alternate in the event a president is unable to attend), two delegates chosen by each local League, and one delegate from the state board.  The morning session will be a normal State Board meeting which will include interesting Portfolio reports and discussion. Lunch will be held from 12 noon – 1 p.m. Meals will not be provided, but you are encouraged to bring your own lunch or visit one of Morgantown’s excellent nearby restaurants. Council will commence at 1 p.m.

After Council, the remaining time will be devoted to Legislation, beginning with special speaker Julie Archer, state board member and LWVWV lobbyist presenting what transpired at the Legislature this year. You can be certain that there will be a healthy discussion about the “No Constitutional Right to Abortion Amendment” and how local Leagues can take action to educate the public before the November election.

LWVMM April 2018 Newsletter

Video: League of Women Voters Legislators Forum – December, 2017

On Monday, December 11, from 7 to 9 p.m. the League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County hosted this Legislators Forum, co-sponsored by OLLI. This 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 the audience about their hopes, needs and concerns.

Seated left to right: Delegates – Barbara Fleischauer, Cindy Frich, Rodney Pyles, John Williams and Senator Robert Beach

Thank-you to West TV for providing the video camera! Filmed by Jonathan Rosenbaum.

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