picture by: Eric Ayres
WHEELING — Users of Wheeling City Council on Tuesday evening voted unanimously to make a few reappointments and one new appointment to the Better Wheeling Sports and Amusement Authority board right after twists and turns over the previous two weeks eventually led to a consensus.
The action did not occur without some ruffled feathers, finger pointing and recommendations of discriminatory procedures, a deficiency of diversity amid appointed associates and personalized vendettas to oust a board member.
In the wake of Tuesday night’s Wheeling Town Council meeting, GWSEA board customers Wealthy Lucas, Robert “Rocky” Fitzsimmons and Karen Shuler-Stakem ended up all reappointed to new terms. New nominee Cecily Spangler was also appointed to provide on the board, and the nomination was unanimously supported by all council users in attendance.
Councilman Ben Seidler was absent from Tuesday evening’s assembly.
Although his name was not stated at all all through the conference, longtime GWSEA board member John Culler’s phrase on the board was not renewed with a reappointment.
In the course of the to start with metropolis council meeting this month, council voted 4-3 in opposition to a resolution to reappoint all 4 board customers — Culler, Lucas, Fitzsimmons and Shuler-Stakem — following it was discovered that their phrases all experienced expired and experienced not been renewed. Some had been expired for a amount of yrs.
Metropolis council customers who on Sept. 5 voted against the collective reappointments cited a lack of ample notice about the resolution and the unusual circumstance in which four reappointments had been being made at the exact same time.
Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott – who serves as chairman of the GWSEA board — went on to publicly point out that though volunteer company to city boards is appreciated, the town must not be in the apply of assuming board appointments will be quickly renewed without providing other men and women in the local community an chance to deliver fresh voices. Elliott went on to describe the GWSEA board as getting 1 with a deficiency of diversity — owning customers that are practically all white males about the age of 50, with the only exceptions currently being a single of gender and 1 with age.
Following the unsuccessful vote at the final council meeting, metropolis leaders advised that each and every person’s reappointment be regarded as independently at a potential meeting, and that is what took place on Tuesday night. Elliott proposed the reappointments of Lucas, Fitzsimmons and Shuler-Stakem but not Culler. Councilman Dave Palmer, who also serves on the GWSEA board and who manufactured the authentic proposal to reappoint all board associates, experienced submitted an specific nomination for Culler’s reappointment, but subsequently withdrew the nomination. Councilman Jerry Sklavounakis submitted the new nomination for Spangler to serve on the board.
On Tuesday night time, Palmer expressed his displeasure with the way the reappointments ended up dealt with, suggesting that the absence of reappointment on the foundation of someone’s race, gender or age could alone be regarded as an act of discrimination.
“During the council conference on Sept. 5, there have been some discriminatory phrases directed at a specific race and age,” Palmer said Tuesday night time. “These words and phrases can be perceived as a violation of town code 169.03 — Illegal Discriminatory Methods. We as users of metropolis council ought to be careful not to violate the ordinance we so proudly handed.”
Palmer did not point out Culler’s title but indirectly applauded him for his support to the board.
“It however saddens me that we’re not reappointing a tough-doing work, non-compensated Bigger Wheeling Sports activities and Amusement Authority board member,” Palmer explained. “As the city constitution reads: a member shall be appointed without having regard to their political affiliation, but with regard to their organization, qualified knowledge or standing as citizens.
“Please, let’s strive to do greater and be much better.”
Later in the conference when council members voted for the GWSEA board seats, Elliott responded to Palmer’s statements.
“Looking back on whatsoever comments I may have explained at a prior conference on discrimination, or whatsoever, on diversity — the point that they may have been perceived to be discriminatory certainly was not the intention that I experienced,” he explained.
Elliott famous that the distinct board seat in question had technically expired in 2018, and for whatsoever cause, a vote for a reappointment was under no circumstances introduced to council’s interest. At that time, Wheeling Town Supervisor Robert Herron was serving as the chairman of the GWSEA board.
“I don’t know why,” Elliott mentioned of why reappointments never obtaining made it to the flooring of city council. “It would have expired yet again in 2022, and it was never introduced to council’s attention. I don’t know why.”
When officers realized that some conditions had expired, some members of council had asked no matter if they ought to go in a new way to bring some new faces to a board that “quite frankly has not experienced a great deal of turnover.” Elliott noted that he and metropolis council have been speedy to reappoint men and women to metropolis boards.
“But if you read through the town constitution and the metropolis codes, people are not intended to be lifetime appointments,” he mentioned. “There is no proper to have that seat eternally as soon as you get that seat on the board.”
Elliott said the metropolis is thankful for individuals who are keen to serve on city boards voluntarily and without compensation.
“But the idea that the moment you have that seat, you’re untouchable — is just one that I do not settle for,” Elliott reported, reiterating that this is a incredibly significant board dependable for overseeing management of the Capitol Theatre and WesBanco Arena — the main leisure venues in the neighborhood.
“I don’t believe it’s inappropriate to appear for some new new faces for this board,” the mayor reported in a fairly irritated tone. “I know some tips have been made that this is personalized. The individual in concern has been reappointed to a further board, which he serves as president — I assume it was by this council in 2020. So it’s not a personal issue.”
The mayor mentioned it is “important that we test to deliver some new faces that glimpse a whole lot far more like the city of Wheeling as a entire on to these boards.”
Just after Tuesday’s assembly, Culler expressed his effectively needs for Spangler’s foreseeable future company on the board.
“I’ve appreciated my time on the GWSEA board,” Culler said. “We did a lot of good matters. I desire her the finest of luck in serving to transfer the theater and the arena towards even higher issues in the future.”
Elliott observed that he experienced requested Spangler to go to Tuesday night’s assembly, but she could not do so mainly because of a prior commitment.
“She needed to be right here,” he said. “She extremely substantially appreciates the nomination and looks ahead to serving on the board.”