Doing Public’s Business in Public

Editor, News-Register:

Mayor Elliott: “Several different projects are taking place in different phases over the course of two decades and are expected to cost around $280 million in total.”

Mayor wants to raise your water, sewer and garbage rates. Mayor stands behind a 45% increase of sewage rate hike. Mayor added a City Service fee.

Mayor buys a building voted NO at this time by the community to build.

Mayor ignores most concerns voiced by the public, and opinions must be voiced at the end of the City Council meetings and are not open for discussion.

Where are the COVID relief monies?

“Eligible uses of the money must meet three conditions:

“The expenditures were incurred because of the COVID-19 pandemic;

“They were not budgeted prior to March 27;

“They were incurred between March 1 and Dec. 30.”

“While Ohio County will receive just over $8 million as part of this plan, the city of Wheeling will receive $29.51 million — the most of any local West Virginia municipality.”

Wheeling taxpayers voted against costs of another city, police, fire department building, so the Mayor bought the (Ohio Valley Medical Center), despite the NO vote by paying citizens. In all probabilities this oversized antique medical building requires extensive renovations and updates for intended non-medical use, with magnificent costs.

Again an underhanded expense not approved by the citizens.

Police need more officers. Mayor declined with the decreased population. So with the decreased population, why did you feel the need for a bigger building? Wheeling is losing an average of 1,000-plus citizens yearly.

“Wheeling is currently declining at a rate of 0.84% annually and its population has decreased by 8.76% since the most recent Census.”

The plague of substance abuse is at an all-time high. Maintaining a routine amount of officers makes zero sense. Police need empowered for public safety.

Downtown has few businesses and is not a bustling city with massive water-sewer system needs. This is not a priority.

Wheeling is possibly being downgraded to a micropolitan statistical area.

Vice Mayor Thalman did admit to a familial relationship with the politically connected Robin Capehart. Why do you deserve an apology for a family connection brought to the public’s attention? Would jury picking exclude this person, as a juror? Think before you leap.

The medical and police entities are mandated to hold themselves up to much higher standards, than those of select city officials. Any DUI would be an automatic loss of job, mandate reporting to official agencies and repercussions for substance abuse, with loss of that professional license. City officials need a mirrored policy on substance abuse (including alcohol), similar to the above-mentioned professions.

Has a policy and procedure been implemented for Wheeling officials’ expectations of professional and ethical conduct? The best character in the world can have flaws prohibiting one from functioning in a professional official capacity.

We the citizens of Wheeling deserve professionals, we expect no conflict of interest when making decisions, for which the community literally pays.

We deserve dialogue and feedback. No closed door decisions.

Are assistant upper management jobs for a declining populace, less income and more expenses, to cover for inadequacies?

Why are meetings held behind closed doors? Easy answer. To accomplish your intentions.

This has happened to me and seems to be the commonality. You agree with those in your own profession immediately and never challenge for lack of fairness or righteousness. Equal protocol and treatment of my home and neighborhood was not implemented, as I am a senior and can be taken advantage of. My homestead has been ruined for quality of life with public buildings blighting this residential neighborhood. Colleagues are granted requests.

Why in the name of God shall any entity wish to start a business in downtown Wheeling? WVNCC has done a remarkable job cleaning up the most blighted part of Wheeling, with preservation and beautiful facilities. Now look at the position you intend to put them into.

How about this scenario hitting the micropolitan- indebted City? All colleges currently here leave. Then what?

Rita Dofka



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