I want to publicly thank Follansbee Councilwoman Kathy Santoro. In my opinion, Mrs. Santoro truly understands city government and really represents the people.
In January, Mrs. Santoro spoke out in support of city manager John DeStefano when the rest of council had plans to fire him. Mr. DeStefano is an excellent city manager and represents the city very well.
Mrs. Santoro also spoke out against council's plan to tear down the Follansbee City Building. The city building is the anchor for downtown businesses, is easily accessible, and has great historical significance. The citizens of Follansbee should not be financially burdened for decades to come for the construction of a new city building which is not needed.
Finally, Mrs. Santoro has declared herself "pro-business" and spoke out against council's plan to restrict traffic flow on State Street to the old Follansbee Steel property, which is currently for sale. With the unemployment rates where they are, we should welcome every single new business that wants to come to town with open arms and assist them in any way that we can.
I read in the newspaper where Mrs. Santoro recently called Councilman Skip Cutrone on the carpet for making telephone calls to other council people to discuss city business. Mr. Cutrone admitted in an open meeting making those calls. In my opinion, that could possibly border on a violation of the state sunshine law. All city business should be discussed on the open floor at public meetings, and not on the telephone behind closed doors.
There is a rumor circulating around town that several council people are now voting as a block and that they are, once again, making plans to fire the city manager. Let's hope and pray that those rumors are not true. In my opinion, council people need to put their personal agendas aside and focus on representing the citizens of their ward. Follansbee is a good town. Let's keep it that way.