Weirton water board looks to expand membership
WEIRTON — The structure of the Weirton Area Water Board could soon have some slight alterations, if a request made to city council is approved.
During its meeting Thursday, the board approved a resolution requesting Weirton Council amend provisions of Article 161 of the city’s ordinances which includes the makeup of the Water Board.
According to board attorney Dan Guida, the proposal was to affect only two sections of the code, Article 161.02 and Article 161.03, which include regulations for the number of board members, as well as members terms and compensation.
The proposed ordinance would expand the membership of the board from five members to seven, allowing for two of the spots to be filled by members of city council or a city officer or employee.
“That will be capped off at two,” Guida said.
The two additional members would be established with five-year terms, keeping in line with the terms of other members.
“Initially, when the board was set up, they were staggered,” Guida said, noting it ensured the board would have some veteran members at all times.
Ward 4 Councilman George Ash, a voting member of the board, said previous councils had passed legislation requiring all city boards to have up to two members of council among their members, thus providing lines of communication while also making sure council didn’t have too much control over board operations.
“It keeps the council happy, it keeps the board happy, it keeps the bond counsel happy,” Ash said.
Ash explained similar ideas had been set to go before council during a special meeting Nov. 12; however, the ordinance was killed after Mastrantoni and City Attorney Vince Gurrera explained the plans could cause difficulties for the bond structure.
Ward 5 Councilwoman Flora Perrone currently sits as an ex-officio member of the board, which provides no voting rights.
In addition to those changes, board member Ronnie Jones recommended an adjustment in the board’s pay scale. Currently, members are paid $50 per meeting attended, with a maximum of $150 per month. Under the proposal, the pay would be $75 per meeting attended, with the $150 per month cap remaining.
The only concerns expressed, Thursday, would be if council were to make any amendments when it is presented. Ash said he didn’t feel that would be an issue.
“It will not be amended,” he said. “I can almost guarantee that.”
(Howell can be contacted at email@example.com, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)