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There’s a better way to handle disputes

During this month’s regular Weirton Council meeting, during an announcement by former City Manager Joe DiBartolomeo that he was leaving the post and having an investigation conducted on certain decisions by the city’s elected officials, six of the seven members of council opted to walk out.

Of those elected individuals currently holding office, only Mayor Harold Miller and Councilman Mike Adams remained.

This resulted in the meeting being halted for lack of a quorum and the calling of a special meeting later that week for council to vote on the business which was to come before them that night.

We understand this was the culmination of months of disputes among members of council and the former city manager. We understand tempers were running high, and had been for quite some time.

There were, however, other options than to walk out, and essentially abandon their duty. The eight individuals — the mayor and seven council members — are elected to be the voice of the people of Weirton and to conduct the city’s business.

Parliamentary procedures exist as a way to ensure a meeting is conducted properly and as smoothly as possible.

The mayor is responsible for leading all council meetings. The mayor, for example, is the one tasked with deciding whether speakers are able to yield their time to others. Points of order may be called by members of council under certain circumstances.

These, and others, are tools at their disposal and a better option than to walk out.

We don’t know what the future will hold with Weirton’s municipal government, but we can hope calmer heads and a more cooperative nature begin to prevail.

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