Warwood Neighborhood Watch members and residents had a chance to meet two candidates seeking re-election and the officer newly in charge of enforcing the law in their area.
Wheeling Mayor Andy McKenzie and Ohio County Magistrate Joe Roxby addressed a room of about 20 people Thursday evening, talking law enforcement, city improvements and the judicial process. Meanwhile Cpl. Rick Roxby - a cousin to the magistrate - announced his new role as the public's link to the Wheeling Police Department.
McKenzie centered his points around Warwood's needs. He reminded his audience of the increased patrols in Warwood during the last four years, to which some of the residents replied positively.
Photo by Zach Macormac
Wheeling Mayor Andy McKenzie addresses the Warwood Neighborhood Watch on Thursday.
Some residents wanted to hear about what he could do about W.Va. 2 and long-running issues such as a traffic light at the Warwood Commons intersection and speeding vehicles coming from the north. The mayor noted, however, alterations to the road are at the West Virginia Division of Highways' will. In discussions with DOH personnel, he said the state is unwilling to change anything at this time.
He assured residents the tennis courts along Richland Avenue that will be removed for the housing of a new water filtration system will be rebuilt elsewhere due to demand from several residents.
Resident Grace Norton questioned whether the city will crack down on property owners who allow their sidewalks to decay. City code mandates that property owners are responsible for their respective portions of sidewalk, but McKenzie noted that fact is not common knowledge. He said the Water Department is capable of writing personal messages on utility bills and it may be used to remind property owners of what is required.
Meanwhile, Roxby described his job and what he handles as a magistrate.
"We're not the offense or the defense - we're the referee," he said.
Before anyone had a chance to ask, he addressed the question, "Why are so many cases dismissed?"
He explained there are a number of reasons, such as witnesses or victims not showing up to court and reducing a crime to a lesser charge. He noted, for example, a DUI charge could be "dismissed," but it would be replaced with a reckless driving charge, for which a defendant could be more likely to enter a plea agreement.
Officer Roxby, also a Warwood resident, stood up to introduce himself and describe his duties. He is the department's senior K-9 handler and now works with the German shepherd "Dux." His cruiser is also equipped with a license plate reader, which quickly "takes a picture" of plates and determines if a vehicle has been reported stolen.