UPDATE: Vote of "No Confidence" For Ravenswood Mayor

By  | 

UPDATE 2/19/2014 5:05 PM

They tabled it nearly six months ago.

But Tuesday night, Ravenswood City Council gave the mayor a vote of "no confidence".

We tried to reach members of council for their thoughts but they did not return our phone calls.

The four members of council who were present - there are six in all - were in favor of the "no confidence" vote for Mayor Michael Ihle.

Mayor Ihle, who was elected two years ago at the age of 25, has been at odds with city council throughout his tenure.

He says he's trying to work with council members to improve the city, but adds they won't work with him.

"I'm very receptive and open to change, and they're not," says Mayor Ihle. "I operate in ways they're not used to, and I feel they're having a difficult time adjusting to that."

Mayor Ihle is a candidate for the West Virginia House of Delegates, and believes that, as well as his young age, is a factor in the dispute.

The mayor says he plans to continue business as usual.

UPDATE: 09/04/2013 12:44 AM

"Motion passes 6-0."

After more than two hours of discussion Ravenswood City Council members decide to table a controversial agenda item.

The vote of "no confidence" against mayor Michael Ihle stirred tension and began a long sequence of finger pointing.

"To be blunt, this motion serves only to air dirty laundry over personal differences. I find it deeply insulting on a personal level. Worse, it is unnecessary and embarrassing to everyone involved. It serves as a distraction from the important issues facing Ravenswood," Mayor Ihle said in a prepared statement.

Council members say the vote of no confidence stems from several issues, largely attributing a lack of communication between the mayor and council.

But they site many instances where they feel the mayor usurped their powers, doing what he wants without their input.

In particular, a union job at the water plant they feel wasn't properly advertised and vetted.

"We gave an order for that job to be advertised. Because even though we are accused of not looking at State Code, Mayor Ihle forgot the Federal Code of Equal Opportunity Employment," says City Recorder Kathy Garrett.

But Mayor Ihle says it's city council who's unwilling to budge from their old way of doing things and embrace a more forward thinking government.

"The constant barrage of pseudo-scandals prevents the city of Ravenswood from ever moving forward. It blocks the ability of principled leadership from ever being able to govern. It saps the energy and willingness of volunteers to serve their fellow citizens. It destroys the ability of well-intentioned individuals to improve the lives of the people of Ravenswood," says Mayor Ihle.

It was actually a suggestion from the audience to table the "no confidence" vote. A plea from the people to start working together to create progress in the midst of compromise.

We were first to inform Mayor Ihle of the vote to table the item.
Tuesday night he told us, "I don't know if this means they're willing to work with me, I hope it does. But I'm just going to focus on doing my job to the best of my ability according to the law. I hope that the cooperation is there and that we can move forward."

It will be up for discussion again in three months.

It won't remove him from office, but the mayor of Ravenswood faces a "no confidence" vote Tuesday night.

City Recorder Kathy Garrett, who we were unable to reach for comment, is the sponsor of this legislation..

The city council of late has been at odds with Mayor Michael Ihle, elected last year when he was just 25 years old.

He says his age may be a factor in his differences with council. Ihle admits he looks even younger than he is.

But he believes the real reason is his determination to follow state and federal laws, which he says override local city ordinances.

And he says the publicity over all this isn't good for Ravenswood.

" It really damages my ability as the mayor to try to bring the town forward," Ihle says, "bring new businesses into town, and help us prosper, when this image of bitterness and negativity is being sent all around the region."

An area resident, who shops regularly in downtown Ravenswood, says Ihle hasn't done a bad job.

"All in all, I think Mayor Ihle started out with a good program," says Lou Donna, "and, given the opportunity to do something for this city."

Again, this action, if council takes it, doesn't have any effect on whether ihle stays in office.

As for the future, Ihle says, if someone wants his job, they can run in the next election.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus