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Parkersburg City Council sets workshop

Opportunity for members to discuss goals, priorities

PARKERSBURG – Parkersburg City Council members will gather Friday to discuss the issues they hope to focus on this year.

Council President Zach Stanley said he wanted to have a workshop similar to the forum former Councilman John Reed organized when he served as president in 2018.

“It was a good way to kind of get everybody on the same page,” Stanley said.

Everyone who runs for council has certain goals they want to accomplish or issues they hope to address, Stanley said. The workshop is a chance for the five incumbent and four new members of council to discuss these goals, see how they fit into the city’s role of providing essential services and set priorities in concert with the administration, he said.

“Everybody’s perspective is respected,” Stanley said.

Mayor Tom Joyce said he looks forward to hearing what the council members have to say.

New Councilwoman Wendy Tuck said she appreciates the effort the city has put into demolishing dilapidated structures in District 4, which she represents.

She said she’d like to follow that with “a comprehensive strategy to build up our district.”

Tuck suggested something akin to a homeowners association, but open to “anyone with a stake in the area.”

“They would determine priorities and work with the city on a pilot project to preserve, maintain and repair homes in a given area and prevent an increase in blighted property, homelessness and crime,” she said. “After a few blocks or a street has been improved significantly, we would move on to the next priority. This allows for organized, efficient progress toward the goal of neighborhood development.”

Today, council’s Personnel Committee will meet for the first time in 2021 to consider updates to the Personnel Policy and Procedure Manual and a proposed internship program for the Police Department.

The internship positions would pay $10 an hour and expose potential officers to various facets of the job, from dispatching to evidence and photography to shadowing detectives and patrol officers on different shifts.

Joyce said the program could be ideal for younger candidates who might not be ready for certification yet and help ease the transition into the lifestyle that accompanies the job.

“It’s just another mechanism to enhance recruitment,” he said.

The committee will also consider updates to the city’s policies on equal employment opportunity, equal pay and harassment to mirror federal statutes, as well as a new code of conduct.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

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Meetings

* 5:45 p.m. today, Personnel Committee – discussing the creation of paid Police Department internships and updates to the Personnel Policy and Procedure Manual concerning equal employment opportunity, equal pay, harassment and a new code of conduct; executive conference room, second floor, Municipal Building.

* 5 p.m. Friday, Committee of the Whole – Discussion or recommendations on short-term and long-term goals, objectives and priorities for 2021, executive conference room.

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