Lack of Quorum Derails Traffic Commission Meeting

Requests are heard, but no action taken

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correctly identify traffic commission member Ron King. An earlier version had incorrectly listed him as Ron Klug.

WHEELING — The Wheeling Traffic Commission made history Thursday when, for the first time, it failed to seat a quorum for its regular meeting.

Traffic Commission members Ron King and Alan Duvall arrived in time for the 2 p.m. meeting in council chambers, and then waited for member Patrick Duffy and newly appointed member Lloyd Adams to show up. As time ticked by, attempts were made to reach the absent members without success.

Several members of the public who had submitted requests to the commission were in the audience, waiting to comment on their issues. Taking that into consideration, King and Duvall agreed to hear the requests, but said they could not vote on any of the issues due to a lack of a quorum.

The traffic commission routinely has five members. However, it has one vacancy. Adams, former engineer for the city, was appointed by Wheeling City Council at Tuesday’s council meeting, making him the fourth member.

He was to be sworn in officially at Thursday’s traffic commission meeting.

Contacted at home after the meeting, Adams said he had notifed the city clerk’s office at about noon that he had a previous appointment and would not be attending Thursday’s meeting.

He said he was told he would receive an agenda and packet of materials in the mail prior to the meeting, but it never arrived.

Duffy, meanwhile, also said he never received the packet and wasn’t aware there was a meeting scheduled.

“I will apologize to them, but I never received the packet,” Duffy said Thursday afternoon. “I figured that meant we didn’t have anything on the agenda and there was no meeting. I was taking a veteran buddy to the dentist in Moundsville. I just didn’t know there was a meeting.”

Duffy said he has recommended several people to serve on the commission, but no action has been taken by the city to fill the vacant position.

Timothy Birch, assistant operations supervisor for the city, who advises the traffic commission, said it was the first time he can recall that there was not a quorum. He said since members of the public were present, King and Duvall could hear their comments, but take no formal action.

“We will try to schedule another meeting this month but you would not have to come back again,” Birch told the audience.

Duvall told those present that their comments would be recorded and considered for a vote at the next scheduled meeting.

“We can listen, but we can’t vote for or against anything today,” Duvall said.

Submitting her request, Arlene Nickerson, of 42 Biltmore Ave., described her and her husband’s physical challenges and the need for a handicapped parking space in front of their home. The commission members said they would most likely recommend approval of the request at the next meeting.

Also speaking was Cynthia Young who presented signatures from 10 residents of her neighborhood who are requesting a three-way stop sign at Betty Street and McClurg Avenue. She said speeding in the area is a concern at that intersection.

“Wheeling Jesuit University has a dorm up behind there and those people come flying down the street,” said Young. “I’m a school bus driver and I know how fast they’re going. I’ve talked to their security, but nothing happened.”

Duvall said the matter will be taken up by the full commission and thanked her for her comments.

Meanwhile, Woodsdale Elementary School Principal Ashlea Minch said she has been working with Wheeling police officers regarding traffic control around the school, especially during drop-off and pick-up times. She had requested four temporary changes in parking and traffic patterns in the alley behind the school and on Poplar and Maple avenues on either side of the school.

“The major problem is parking all around the school,” Minch said.

She said as the school continues to grow in population, there are more parents dropping off and picking up students, which creates traffic congestion. Minch said she is in discussion with the police department to work out the best solution.

Birch thanked Minch for working with police as he said they will be responsible for enforcing any rules regarding the flow of traffic at the school. She agreed to finalize her requests and bring them back to the commission. Birch said his department could make up signs indicating the new temporary traffic patterns when and if approved.

In another matter, Birch said he will recommend to the commission to limit parking to the west side of Jayson Street from Glen Hollin Road to Faircrest as requested by residents there.

No set time or date was set for the next traffic commission meeting, but Birch said he hoped to have another meeting this month rather than wait until September.