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Rambling thoughts and observations

I’ve had a few random thoughts floating around in my head this week; not really enough to constitute a full column, but at least to get a couple of paragraphs on each. So, here we go.

First, I must remember to carry sunscreen with me pretty much everywhere I go. I used to have a small bag of “just in case” items in my car, and I should probably do a better job of stocking up. I’ve, unfortunately, received more than a little extra sun more than once already this summer. The first, at a WVU baseball game, ended up being incredibly painful for several days, with a fair amount of peeling skin. The most recent was last Saturday, while walking around Weirton’s 75th anniversary festivities, with the worst being the back of my legs.

Aloe gel has been a big help, but if there’s a way to prevent it, that’s the preference.

••••••

Speaking of the 75th festivities Saturday, from the five or six hours I was there between the parade and the celebration it seemed as though everyone was having a good time.

There was plenty to do if you wanted to go downtown for a couple of hours, get some food, hear some music, check out the vendors and then go home. The Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Top of WV Arts Council offered free, hands-on activities at their location, and I’m hoping those attending the festival took some time to stop by. There are still residents who don’t know we have an art gallery in Weirton, after all.

Thanks to all those involved in putting these events together.

••••••

Anyone deciding to seek public office, especially if they are part of a board, council or committee, needs to attend at least a few meetings of said government body prior to the election so they at least have some understanding of the issues or the work being done.

There’s a steep learning curve in government, and if you don’t understand what is going on, you’re going to fall behind quickly.

Those hoping to be elected to office also should familiarize themselves with Robert’s Rules of Order and the state’s open meetings laws. Certain offices, as part of their prescribed duties, automatically are tasked with acting as the presiding officer of a particular governing body. Others are put into such a role through a vote by their fellow members. There is a right way and a wrong way to run a meeting, and if it is done incorrectly, there may be consequences.

When it comes to open meetings laws, officials should remember the issues of quorum. If, for example, you are part of a five-member board, you will need at least three members participating in order for any official actions by such board to be taken. If not, no motions, no votes, no decisions. At the same time, if a majority of a board is gathered outside of an official meeting, it could be looked upon as suspicious by observers. In those cases, if they cannot be avoided, it’s always best not to be discussing business.

••••••

It occurs to me that, while we still in the midst of summer, we are realistically only about six weeks away from the next school year beginning, which means various preparations by our local teachers and students, school athletic programs will be kicking off for another season, homecoming activities and more.

Even as an adult, that doesn’t seem fair.

••••••

There are still some busy weekends coming up, with festivals and activities taking part in many of our local communities. I would encourage our residents to take some time to check as many of them out as you can. See what there is to offer in our area, and enjoy yourselves.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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