Give Home Rule Power to Local Cities

Wheeling is among four cities that have enjoyed limited home-rule authority during the past several years. In giving city officials more power, the action has been beneficial.

Now Moundsville and Weirton officials want the same flexibility. Their proposals for home-rule authority are much like Wheeling’s.

But the local communities are in something of a competition. There are 23 applicants for participation in the home-rule program – but only 16 openings. Other cities from throughout the state have applied, too.

Applicants have submitted proposals for what authority they are seeking through the home-rule process. In addition to their written applications, city officials will be interviewed by the five-member state Home Rule Board. Those meetings may be held later this month.

Obviously, officials in all the applicant cities believe they have good cases to make to the Home Rule Board. But Weirton and Moundsville officials have looked closely at Wheeling’s program, and have benefited from knowledge about it.

Home Rule Board members should approve the Moundsville and Weirton applications for a variety of reasons. Among them is that officials in both cities have practical, restrained plans for home rule authority. Granting it would allow both cities to move forward.