Council Members Failed Residents by Walking Out
Part of being an elected official means that sometimes you have to sit and listen when a constituent doles out a grievance, whether you agree or not.
That’s why the action of six of the seven members of Weirton City Council a few weeks ago is simply unacceptable. During a regular council meeting, former city manager Joe DiBartolomeo announced that he was both leaving the post and having an investigation conducted on certain decisions by the city’s elected officials. After listening for a few minutes, six of the seven members of council opted to walk out and end the meeting.
Only Mayor Harold Miller and Councilman Mike Adams remained.
This resulted in the meeting being halted for lack of a quorum and the calling of a special meeting later that week for council to vote on the business which was to come before them that night.
We understand this was the culmination of months of disputes between council and the former city manager. However, council members had other options than to walk out and abandon their duty to the public.
The mayor is responsible for leading all council meetings. The mayor, for example, is the one tasked with deciding whether speakers may yield their time to others.
Points of order may be called by members of council under certain circumstances. These tools and others are a better, more professional option than walking out.
We don’t know what the future will hold with Weirton’s municipal government, but we can hope calmer heads and a more cooperative nature begin to prevail.
Shirking your duties and walking out the door is never the right decision.