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Marlinton Mayor’s Corner

When setting goals, I often reference a scene from the The Wizard of Oz. It has a great life lesson.

Dorothy comes to the fork in the road and does not know which way to go. A scarecrow speaks to her and asks, “Where are you going?”

She replies, “I don’t know.”

The scarecrow responds, “Then, take either road!”

The lesson is clear. We must know where we are going and make the right choices to reach our desired destinations. This was the intent in creating a Comprehensive Plan for the Town of Marlinton. I thought it would take six months, but the entire process took three years.

By the time the plan was adopted by Town Council in August of this year, many goals were already accomplished or in progress. 

I want to emphasize the Plan was adopted by the Council, but it is the community’s plan. Local citizens developed the Comprehensive Plan, through a total of 16 public meetings and one open house.

It is intended to be a 10-to-15 year plan that one administrative council can lay down at the end of a term, and the next council can pick it up and continue implementing it.

Throughout the process citizen involvement has been exceptional. The open house was well attended with tremendous input. Local citizens have attended the regular planning commission meetings and have been willing to go out of their way to provide comments and suggestions.

It is the citizens’ plan and we/Marlinton Town Council have adopted it.

A copy is on file at the Pocahontas County Courthouse.  

As we go forward in 2020, I hope to revisit many of the goals in this plan. For instance, beginning on page 3-26 under Recreation and Tourism – “Generally, existing plans envision a project to restore wetlands in a strip of land between the Greenbrier River Trail and Fourth Avenue. A wetlands project could not only serve as a demonstration project, but could also serve as a natural storm water retention area.”

The town is also working with other government entities and groups on the wetlands project, as the area has already been partially restored. A focus grant of $5,000 will be used early in the new year to complete an environmental assessment and further design work. 

If you would like a copy of the Comprehensive Plan, send an email request to and an e-copy of the plan will be sent to you.

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