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Battle against dilapidated buildings must continue

Clearly frustrated with his part-time job on behalf of Brooke County residents, Anthony “Butch” Rotellini quit on Tuesday.

Rotellini has been a part-time investigator of illegal dumping and dilapidated structures. Showing county commissioners a stack of 12 pending complaints, he said efforts to address the problems have “gone stagnant.”

It appears that is through no fault of Rotellini. In accepting his resignation, Commissioner Stacey Wise said Rotellini is to be applauded for his efforts. They have resulted in noticeable progress in getting some neglected buildings cleaned up and others torn down.

But commissioners share Rotellini’s frustration. They noted that pursuing legal action against owners of dilapidated structures can be costly and time-consuming.

Yes, it can. Like most local government bodies in our area, the amount of money Brooke County commissioners can dedicate to the task is limited.

Still, we hope they can find a successor to Rotellini swiftly. Neglected buildings can be health and safety hazards. They are an impediment to economic development. The work of dealing with them needs to continue.

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