Mayor’s meeting series still being planned

PARKERSBURG – Mayor Bob Newell said he still plans to hold town meetings this fall, but hopes to have two commissions up and running before the series begins.

In June, Newell said three town hall meetings would be held in September and dates, times and locations would be announced after the beginning of the new school year.

The meetings afford residents a chance to speak to Newell and other officials about concerns and to receive updates on projects and changes throughout the city. The meetings were not held last year because it was an election year.

On Tuesday, Newell said those meetings have yet to be scheduled.

“These meetings are always well-received,” Newell said, ” but I want to have them after I get the current commissions appointed.”

Also in June, Newell announced he would re-activate two commissions, one on crime and delinquency, the other on parks, which were established more than 30 years ago through city ordinance but have not been in use in recent years.

Newell said the intention is to have the Advisory Commission on Crime and Delinquency and the Advisory Commission on City Parks represented by residents members from all nine city districts, but he has had difficulty in filling those slots.

Newell said it was especially important to have the crime commission appointed because he wants to use the meeting series as a kickoff for the commission meetings.

“The plan is to have the commission meet once a month in a new location each time, preferably in the evening when residents can attend,” he said. The mayor’s meeting series “is just an easy way to roll out that this commission is up and running.”

Newell said he also hoped to have the final report on the baseball feasibility study being conducted by consulting group AECOM. Newell said the report, which was based from business and resident surveys, has been completed, but city officials asked for the report to be expanded and clarified before presenting it to the public.

Newell said he expects the report to be available within the next several weeks.