New council members eager to begin

PARKERSBURG – Four newly elected members of Parkersburg City Council will attend their first meeting Tuesday.

Roger Brown, Kim Coram, J.R. Carpenter and John Kelly won seats in the November election to the nine-member council, which will hold its first meeting of 2013 on Tuesday.

“My goals haven’t changed since I ran,” said Brown, who won the District 3 seat. “I still want to do away with the user fee, and my other goal is to help the mayor do whatever it takes to get new industry here. We’ve lost too many plants, and we’ve not rebuilt.”

Brown said he hopes the first several meetings will be informative and looks forward to his committee assignments.

“Until I get involved with some of the committees and begin to see what’s going on, I don’t want to speculate on anything,” he said.

Coram, who now represents District 4, said she sees the first meeting as a chance to learn.

“Right now I’m just focusing on learning about stuff, getting familiar with the way everything works so I can start out doing some things,” she said.

Coram said she is focused on helping improve her district, which has struggled with high crime rates in recent years. She would also like to see the area reinvigorated and see more done with alternative transportation.

“We have a very historical district, and I’d like to recapture some of that charm,” she said of District 4. “I’m also very focused on alternative transportation, such as biking or walking. Fifteen percent of the people in Parkersburg don’t own a car, and I want to make sure those people are included whenever we talk about transportation.”

Carpenter, who represents District 5, said he also believes Tuesday marks the start of a learning process.

“As a freshman (council member), I’m looking at getting my feet wet,” he said. “While I was campaigning I came across several issues in my district which I will address as I learn the proper avenues of action.”

Carpenter said his main concerns are with bringing businesses to the area, bringing more residents to the city and to improve Parkersburg’s infrastructure.

He would also like to see the city’s user fee removed but admits it might be a long shot.

“I don’t know if that will happen,” he said.

Kelly, the District 7 representative, was unavailable for comment Friday.