In January, David Nohe went from being an administrator as Mayor of Vienna, to being a lawmaker as a member of the West Virginia Senate. And he's disappointed some issues which looked passable failed to make it through the legislature.
A bill to shore up the Other Post-Employment Benefits fund failed, he says, because of the lack of a funding mechanism. He says a bill to set regulations for Marcellus Shale drilling failed, in spite of hopes an ammended bill would pass.
"It first had the forced pooling in it, and everybody was against it," Nohe says. "When that was removed, I seemed to get the same amount of e-mails from the landowners as from the drillers. And I thought we had a good bill with (Senate Bill) 424. But, unfortunately, it didn't make it through the House."
Nohe was one of just a handful of lawmakers who opposed pay raises for government employees, citing financial concerns. He also opposed a bill making the cold medication pseudoepedrine, the main ingredient in the manufacture of methamphetamine, prescription-only. But he says that, in spite of the larger 34-member Senate, he says getting support for a proposal is sometimes easier than in the smaller Vienna City Council.
"As you take your positions on what you feel as well as what the people in your district want to vote on, I think certain groups stay with you. With council, it's seven completely different individuals. When there's only seven, there are going to be four or five. With 34 people, you're going to have 10 on your side."
In spite of the failures of major bills, due in part to succession issues early on, Nohe doesn't believe there will be a special legislative session this year.
"It was quite a mess; they got through it, and I think they'd just rather see this year go on," he notes. "There will be an elected governor, elected by the people, and then, next year's session will probably be a lot more normal."
And Nohe says he is sticking to his pledge not to run for re-election as Vienna's mayor this year.
He says that in spite of the weather, he made it to every Vienna City Council meeting but one during the past two months.