On the request of a council member, the Alderson City Council will contemplate starting elimination proceedings in opposition to Mayor Travis Copenhaver within the December assembly.
Shortly earlier than the Thursday, November 11, assembly ended, Councilmember Charlie Lobban known as for council to debate the fees in opposition to Copenhaver and the consideration for elimination proceedings to start.
Copenhaver known as for a movement to adjourn after he and native legal professional Ryan Keesee spoke on Copenhaver’s felony costs rising from an incident in July – felony housebreaking, conspiracy, youngster neglect and misdemeanor assault.
“I’ll make that movement, [but] I would really like this placed on the agenda for the following assembly for us to debate, for the council to debate,” stated Lobban.
Along with the Thursday assembly, Keesee has beforehand spoken on the October City Council assembly, in addition to the September council particular session.
“Because the final assembly, my challenge earlier than the council was why hasn’t a vote been taken as as to whether to start elimination proceedings in opposition to our mayor,” stated Keesee. “… In case any of you missed it, a preliminary listening to was held in Greenbrier County Justice of the Peace Courtroom River County match report and the case was sure over, which means possible trigger was discovered after a full listening to. These circumstances are usually not going away. They’re shifting ahead. It’s nonetheless a stain on our city. … I’m nonetheless urging this committee to place [it on the agenda for] the following assembly, a vote, up or down, to start the proceedings.”
Within the September session, Metropolis Legal professional Grady Ford defined that in response to West Virginia State Code 6-6-7, elected officers are topic to elimination just for official misconduct, neglect of obligation, or incompetence. There are a number of events that may make that call, together with City Council.
“This council can start the proceeds and your city counsel confirmed that, however lots of you act like we will’t,” Keesee stated. “Nicely, it’s true that you would be able to’t summarily dismiss the mayor. That’s completely true. He’s not an worker. These elected officers can solely be eliminated by a sure statutory course of. I’m simply asking that this council vote to start that course of or not. And your silence speaks volumes. Do one thing.”
|Councilmember Charlie Lobban (seated, far left) requested potential starting of elimination proceedings in opposition to Mayor Travis Copenhaver (seated on the desk) be mentioned on the subsequent council assembly.|
Keesee additionally pointed to problem in acquiring the city’s municipal code, having paid $25 for an entire copy. Whereas he famous he had not learn all of it, he expressed that felony ordinance’s, now in a position to be higher enforced by means of the not too long ago permitted Homerule program, have been old-fashioned.
Copenhaver denied Keesee’s out-of-date declare, not together with modifications to the State Code handed in latest legislative periods, the place municipalities usually lag behind code updates to match new state legal guidelines. Copenhaver additionally talked about Keesee’s chickens, saying they have been out of the pin, saying they “created points that Ms. Alderson known as me for each morning for 2 weeks beforehand.” Alderson objected, stating the calls have been over a distinct concern years in the past. The tense trade resulted in Copenhaver talking on the general public remark and the fees.
“I’m going to let you know one thing that everyone would love for me to say. None of us on this room are excellent,” stated Copenhaver. “I, by far, am not excellent. I promise you that I don’t look down my nostril, nor do I in any approach really feel judgmental in the direction of you. I exploit the reference of [getting a call in the] morning at 6 a.m. many, many, many mornings. We couldn’t tackle the problem of the hen, the rooster with out a municipal ordinance that’s not state code. I’m sorry, should you took offense to that. … It was not my intent.”
Copenhaver then spoke of his earlier position as municipal decide, a place he isn’t at present serving in after the preliminary felony costs have been filed.
“The opposite factor I’m going to say is I’ve been completely amazed on the individuals who have berated, belittled, and made threats towards my household and myself. I’ll let you know now, I’ve helped the vast majority of these folks in many alternative methods, whether or not it was to maintain their driver’s license after they have been convicted of a DUI, whether or not it was to have the ability to assist them when their youngster moved into an dependancy or rehab program, and we use diversionary ways to do this.”
Copenhaver additionally referenced a petition, signed by over 100 folks, to start the method of eradicating him as mayor.
“I promise you that the signatures in your petition, Mr. Keesee, are usually not all residents of the city of Alderson. However I may also additional say this, I’ve given Alderson my dang-gonest to make it higher. I’m not excellent. My actions weren’t me because the mayor of the city Alderson and also you, as an legal professional, swore to uphold the Structure and we now have very a lot forgotten that you simply’re harmless till confirmed responsible. That’s all I’ve to say. Do I’ve a movement to adjourn?”
Lobban agreed to make the movement, then requested for the initiation of elimination proceedings to be positioned on the agenda for dialogue through the December assembly.