Board proposal shows dysfunction

Last week, Weirton Council opted to vote down a proposal which would have expanded the voting membership of the Weirton Area Water Board.

While the decision was a wise one, given potential adverse effects to the ongoing expansion plans for the city’s water treatment plant, discussions prior to the vote raise some concerns. In particular, there appeared to be some confusion over who actually proposed the change and why.

Representatives of the Water Board, including the utilities director and the board’s attorney, seemed to be under the impression the idea was a request from city council itself in order to have more representation on the board.

Council noted there had been no such recent request made.

In fact, there was a resolution, passed several years ago under a different administration, stating a desire to have council representation on all municipal boards. Memberships on council and those boards have changed multiple times since then, and today there are some boards with councilmembers sitting on them, and others without. Some of them are voting members of those boards, and others are ex officio members, with no voting rights.

So, why the push with the Water Board and why now?

We’re not going to speculate on the root of this particular issue, but, as we stated, it does raise concerns.

Effective leadership requires cooperation and communication. Somewhere during the discussion on this matter, someone fumbled the ball.


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