Members of the Williamson City Council were sworn into office last Thursday, July 8, during a special ceremony and held their first meeting immediately afterwards. While little business was conducted, each member of the governing body expressed their wishes that the tone of their first meeting will be the standard for the new administration.
“It is a refreshing new day,” Ward Three Councilman Ralph Hall said. “I am looking forward to a lot of positive things to come forward. Working together in peace and unity is something we have not had in a long time.”
Councilman Mike Casey (Ward Four) agreed with him, saying: “I am looking forward to many more meetings like this with peace and harmony.
Councilmen Joseph Bucci (Ward One) and Stuart Hight (Ward Two) discussed the tenor of the meeting but focused on the attendance for the evening. They both encouraged the public to attend the meetings and to give their council representatives input on the needs of the city.
The swearing-in ceremony and first meeting of the new council happened to coincide with Mayor Charlie Hatfield’s birthday. He said: “This new council is the best birthday present I have ever gotten.”
Only a few items business were on the agenda for the first meeting for the new council. However, the council did approve several sets of minutes presented to them from previous meetings including the election certification, a special meeting and the meeting of June 8, which was the last regular meeting that a quorum could be achieved.
The new council also received two sets of sealed-bids that had been advertised for municipal contracts. The first contract was for the mowing and grounds maintenance at Fairview Cemetery. That bid was awarded to Calvary Commercial Property Care. This is the same company that had the contract last year. The second contract was for a payroll contractor which went to Dianna Maynard with Appalachian Management, Inc.
Jon Burchett updated the council on the status of various activities taking place in conjunction with the Tug Fork River. Among those were the upcoming Tire Tug of War which has become an annual event with the city of Williamson and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. The tire clean-up event will be Aug. 17, 19 and 21.
Burchett said, at that time, it is hoped that the Mingo section of the will be given a West Virginia Water Trails designation.
“It is a 60-mile stretch from Ben Creek to Kermit. The designation will open us up to funding opportunities and grants,” he said. “We are doing unheard of things right now and the Friends of the Tug Fork River are pulling (government agencies) from both states (Kentucky and West Virginia) together.”
The Williamson City Council traditionally meets only once during the month of July to allow city employees and council members better opportunities for summer vacations. The previous council voted to cancel the July 22 meeting this year. The next regular meeting for the council is slated for Aug. 12 at 5 p.m.