Jaynell Graham\r\nEditor\r\n\r\nMarlinton Town Council had a fairly lengthy agenda, but not much action was taken at its meeting Monday night.\r\n\r\nMayor Sam Felton advised council that West Virginia Paving had one of its men on Fourth Avenue last week with regard to the paving project for that area. The company had planned to move the paver into place Monday, but that did not happen.\r\n\r\nThe 4th Avenue Gallery is anxious to have its parking area paved, but that work needs to be done in tandem with the paving of Fourth Avenue. This project has taken months of correspondence with the Department of Highways, but, as yet, the paving has not begun.\r\n\r\nMarlinton Town Police Officer Travis Cook reported that he had had a busy month with 24 calls, 26 traffic stops, three assists with warrants, two arrests, responded to three incidences of breaking and entering, three reports of larceny, two animal control issues, one incident of intoxication as well as assisting with EMS calls.\r\n\r\nMarlinton citizen John Neely commended Cook for helping to keep the gazebo area in order.\r\n\r\nCouncil approved payment of $125,970.49 for the ongoing Water Improvement Project, with the funds coming from IDJC and Small City Block grants as well as from a loan.\r\n\r\nTwo issues on the agenda were tabled \u2013 \u201cChanges in the West Virginia Conservation Agency Operation and Maintenance;\u201d and \u201cT-Mobile Network\u2019s proposal for placement of a communications facility\u201d at the municipal building \u2013 as the two spokespersons did not appear at the meeting.\r\n\r\nCouncil addressed requests for variance permits with regard to the RV ordinance, wherein it denied one application due to inadequate space, and took no action on two other requests until the application fees are reviewed and FEMA reports for those properties are received.\r\n\r\nCouncil tabled an agenda item titled \u201cChanging to a more simplified Rules of Order.\u201d \r\n\r\nThe proposed changes were compiled by former town attorney Bob Martin.\r\n\r\nCouncil member Norris Long said the change from Robert\u2019s Rules of Order to this simpler form was not something council should jump into.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe have Bob\u2019s rules, but we don\u2019t have Bob,\u201d Felton said.\r\n\r\nMartin resigned as town attorney at last week\u2019s Special Town Council Meeting which dealt with a request for a Special Permit to allow more than three pets at one residence within the town limits.\r\n\r\nMartin gave what could be called his closing argument at that meeting because of council\u2019s action on the special permit issue in his absence at the regular MTC meeting October 1.\r\n\r\nSome council members were concerned about Martin drafting a special permit form.\r\n\r\nRecorder BJ Gudmundsson said she was concerned that \u201cthe tail was wagging the dog\u201d and that Martin was doing things that the council was not aware of, and she found it unsettling.\r\n\r\nMartin questioned council\u2019s attempt to change its Animal Ordinance at that meeting, based on a recommendation, rather than on an amendment to the ordinance. He reminded council that the Animal Ordinance was passed in 2012 and in the six years since, no permits had been requested nor issued.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou were on notice since May that a Special Permit had been applied for,\u201d Martin said. \u201cPart of the problem is that the town had no permit [application].\r\n\r\nMartin created a form in response to the request made to the town.\r\n\r\n\u201cI have written a lot of permit applications,\u201d Martin said at the Special Meeting, \u201cand they have never been questioned.\u201d\r\n\r\nAt the October 1 meeting, a recommendation was presented to change the Animal Ordinance to reflect that no special permits would be granted, and that the change was effective as of that night.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhere the idea came from that one reading is sufficient [to change an ordinance], I have no idea,\u201d Martin said. \u201cThat is contrary to what I have preached. My duty is to make sure that you don\u2019t mess up. \r\n\r\n\u201cWhen I took this job, I told you I would not tell you what to do, but when you decide, let me help you to do it right.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou have no amendment. Nothing was presented. You had a recommendation, but you had no written amendment.\r\n\r\n\u201cI was very distressed at what was said at the meeting about \u2018the tail wagging the dog.\u2019\u201d\r\n\r\nMartin gave an overview of his work for the town, but said he didn\u2019t want to be shot at in his own foxhole, and that he had no alternative but to resign. \r\n\r\nHis resignation was effective November 1.\r\n\r\nThe tangled Special Permit issue drug on for months, and at the end of that time, the town resident received his special permit, but it cost the town its legal counsel.\r\n\r\nThe Animal and Fowl Ordinance was on council\u2019s agenda again at Monday night\u2019s meeting. \r\n\r\nA committee will meet to review it, and council noted that the ordinance has never been enforced.\r\n\r\nIn other business, council approved\r\n\r\n\u2022 a $500 donation to Alleghany Mountain Radio\r\n\r\n\u2022 a $500 to Pocahontas County Free Libraries and Information Centers\r\n\r\n\u2022 the Christmas Parade to be held Friday, December 7, at 7 p.m. in downtown Marlinton.\r\n\r\nMarlinton Town Council meets the first Monday of each month, holidays excluded, at 7 p.m.