Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

St. Albans to Apply for Home Rule Status

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

St. Albans to Apply for Home Rule Status

Article excerpt

St. Albans City Council has given final approval to an ordinance authorizing the city to apply to participate in the state's home rule pilot program. Home rule expands the power of participating cities to govern locally. Mayor Dick Callaway has said the city is seeking the same powers it sought in last year's application. He said the city does not seek permission to impose a city sales tax and that the city's proposals are revenue-neutral.

During a public hearing Tuesday evening prior to the regular council meeting:

* Ward 7 Councilman Desper Lemon pointed out that the city needs help with parked campers and other vehicles some residents park around their homes. He asked if the city could, under home rule, write an ordinance regulating such problems. Mayor Callaway said it's possible, as long as a proposal doesn't violate any existing state or federal laws.

* A resident the mayor referred to as Jerry, but who declined to give his name, asked if home rule can give the city more power to enforce its ordinances. Callaway said it will help the city act faster and more effectively.

The decision to send the application to the Home Rule Board came in a unanimous vote during the regular council meeting. Ward 1 Councilman Robert Keiffer, Ward 4 Councilwoman Cheryl Thomas and Councilman-at-large John Boles Jr., who is fighting health issues, did not attend either the hearing or the meeting.

Callaway said the application would be submitted to the Home Rule Board on Monday. It will then be up to the Home Rule Board to accept or reject the application.

In other action, council gave final approval to ordinances that amend the city code to prohibit keeping livestock and that repeal language in the code that refers to animal pens and coops.

Callaway said the old ordinances had been on the books because the city once had a petting zoo.

Also at the meeting, council:

* Gave preliminary approval to an ordinance that would restrict parking on the north side of Seventh Avenue between Cunningham and Abney streets. …

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