Primary may go up for vote

FOLLANSBEE – Voters in Follansbee’s general election may be asked to consider whether future primary elections should be eliminated, under certain conditions, and if terms for City Council members and public officials should be extended from two years to four.

The issue was among several discussed at Monday’s City Council meeting.

City Clerk David Kurcina earlier suggested eliminating the primary election after this year, saying it’s often difficult to get poll workers and the measure would save the city about $5,500.

Council also had discussed extending terms for the five council seats and other elected offices, all of which are two terms that end in the same election year. Staggering the terms so that not everyone would be on ballots in the same year also has been suggested.

City Attorney Michael Gaudio suggested polling residents on the two matters through a survey attached to ballots in the June 11 general election.

City Manager John DeStefano said at this time council seems to favor eliminating the primary election only in the event that no more than two candidates file for all of the offices, meaning a third candidate for any race in the non-partisan races wouldn’t be eliminated through a primary election.

Council took no action on the proposal Monday.

In other business:

Council agreed to seek a contractor’s opinion about measures to address recurring flooding on Blosser Lane following heavy rainfall. Resident Sharon Kowalik has approached state, county and city officials about water that flows from the adjacent hillside and Allegheny Street, which is above it. Officials with the West Virginia Division of Highways have agreed to install a drain between the two streets and have suggested creating a 40-foot trench along the lane’s north side to divert runoff into the creek. DeStefano said it’s also been suggested installing a drain at a bridge there could be effective.

Council agreed to seek bids for hanging flower baskets along Main Street. The bids are not to exceed $2,500. The 72 flower baskets currently found along the street were supplied previously by a business that has closed.

Council agreed to advertise for cashiers, maintenance workers, certified lifeguards and supervisors for Follansbee Park this summer. Applications for the temporary, part-time positions may be obtained at the City Building between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays and should be submitted no later than April 12.

Council also agreed to advertise for a certified police officer for the City Police department at the request of Chief John Schwertfeger. Members also agreed to send a letter of thanks to officer Tim Robertson, who is leaving the department after five years to serve as a Brooke County sheriff’s deputy.

Eric Fithyan, owner of James Funeral Home, told council the business will host an event sponsored by the Center for Organ Recovery and Education to encourage organ donation. Slated to include testimony from an organ recipient, it will be held at 4 p.m. on April 1 at the funeral home.

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