Mayor Joe Smith and Marlinton Town Council met Monday night for a special meeting to wrap up a few things before handing the mantle to the next administration.
In lieu of his usual Mayor’s Report, Smith took time to thank council and to express his appreciation for their service and for the opportunity to serve the Town of Marlinton.
“It has been my privilege to serve as mayor, and it has been my privilege to work with the people at this table,” Smith said. “We have had our disagreements, but we always left this room pretty well as friends.”
Smith went on to recognize the council members who will be leaving that table – Louise Barnisky, who has served on council for six years and three months; Loretta Malcomb, for her 10 years and six months on council; David Zorn, who served for 13 years and three months; and Robin Mut-scheller who has been recorder and/or council member for 15 years and six months.
Smith presented a certificate to each of the “retiring” councilmembers, a certificate which read: “In recognition, and with deepest thanks and gratitude for your continuous service to the Town of Marlinton. The Town of Marlinton appreciates the hard work and dedication that you have provided, not only to your community, but also to your fair citizens. In recognition of your service, the Town of Marlinton presents you with this certificate of appreciation.”
Incoming Mayor Sam Felton was in attendance, and Smith wished the “best of luck” to Felton and to Sue Helton and Norris Long, two council members who will remain on board for the next four years.
Smith spoke of the last four years and referred to “heartbreaks.”
During Smith’s and this council’s tenure, the town suffered through a derecho, the loss from fire of a half block of Main Street businesses, sub-zero temperatures and power outages that resulted in frozen water mains, as well as drained water tanks due to a frozen and broken sprinkler system at the Edray Industrial Park.
Those issues are behind the town now, but there is still plenty of work to do, including completion of a costly but necessary upgrade of the town’s water system.
“We got some things accomplished,” Smith said. “But we have had lots of heartbreaks in the last four years. A lot of bad things have happened. Hopefully the next council will have it better.”
Moving toward a more hopeful time for the town, the council agreed to designate as one-way the alleyway between the Old Bank of Marlinton property and the S. B. Wallace building. The move was a means to assist Zach Chittum in his plans to construct a Tudor’s Biscuit World on the old bank property. The one-way alleyway would provide safe access to his proposed drive-thru.
In other business:
• the council upgraded the building inspector position from temporary part-time to permanent part-time, making that position eligible for benefits.
• approved payment of bills which were due and on-hand as of June 29.
Installation of the new mayor and council was set for Tuesday, June 30, at 7 p.m.
The next council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 6, at 7 p.m. in council chambers.