UPDATE: Parkersburg City Council won't consider changes to public forum

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va.-(WTAP) Updated: 9/12/2017

Parkersburg City Council will consider several items when it meets Tuesday night.

But there's one agenda item council will not take up.

Council was to consider a resolution eliminating the end-of-the meeting opportunity for the public to speak on non-agenda items.

But City Clerk Connie Shaffer says four council members asked her to pull the item from the September 12 meeting.

But Councilman Dave McCrady says that did not mean the public would not have been allowed to speak on non-agenda issues.

It simply was a return to the format that existed before July. That's when any city-related issue could be addressed at the forum held at the beginning of each council meeting.

McCrady says before changes are made, council needs to clarify how it gets public input on issues facing the city.

Throughout the years, there have been different procedures as to how the public could comment at council meetings.

For some time, in addition to a public forum at the beginning of the meeting, people could comment on agenda items during the meeting, while they were on the floor for a council vote.

Shaffer says that practice was discontinued years ago.


For the second time since June, changes could be coming to the agenda for Parkersburg City Council meetings.

A resolution scheduled for a council vote at the September 12 meeting eliminates the second forum for public comments.

It was added in June to allow citizens to comment on non-agenda items.

It was widely believed at the time the action was due to large numbers of people commenting on the proposed non-discrimination ordinance. Council defeated that ordinance at its August 8 meeting.

If the change is approved by council, citizens would get one opportunity, near the beginning of council meetings, to speak on city matters.

Also on council's Tuesday agenda: resolutions allocating money for a splash park at the Parkersburg City Park Pool, and for a senior citizen apartment building on Rayon Drive; and final reading on a measure creating and regulating outdoor dining on public sidewalks in the city's central business district.