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New safety committee planned in Weirton

WEIRTON — Weirton municipal officials are looking for ways to better coordinate addressing the safety needs of area residents.

During Monday’s meeting of Weirton Council, City Manager Joe DiBartolomeo announced plans to create a new Public Safety Committee.

“It’s a collaboration tool,” DiBartolomeo said. “It’s going to report directly to me.”

According to the city manager, the new committee will be chaired by Assistant City Manager DeeAnn Pulliam, and include the police chief, fire chief and Public Works director, as well as one citizen.

The citizen selected to fill the role is Weirton resident Tom Zielinsky, DiBartolomeo announced.

“Tom is a smart guy,” DiBartolomeo said, noting Zielinsky’s management experience. Zielinsky worked for seven years as the executive director of technology and communications for Hancock County. “I think Tom will keep us on our toes.”

While the precise duties of the board have not been fully defined, as yet, DiBartolomeo explained he wants to work toward improved communication between the departments involved, and also develop a better structure of how to receive and address complaints and concerns from residents.

Ward 5 Councilwoman Flora Perrone asked about the possibility of including a representative from the city’s Inspections Department on the committee, as they also deal with public safety. DiBartolomeo said that could be possible.

He reiterated the committee would be aimed at improving communications, saying council would continue to be included in discussions of issues in their individual wards and the city at large.

“We’re not taking anything away from council,” he said.

DiBartolomeo also announced plans to look into better utilization of office space at the Weirton Municipal Building, noting much of the building is used for storage.

“We need office space,” he said.

He also wants to develop a plan for a recycling program for the municipal properties.

(Howell can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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