Annual Meeting: Special Speaker Barbara Howe
Annual Meeting 2015 promises to be an interesting and enjoyable event. At the Aull Center on Wednesday, May 13, at 6:00 p.m. we will begin with a Meet and Greet social session, followed at 6:30 by a special presentation by Barb Howe, “Evolution of the Voting Rights Act (up to 1965)”. Barb Howe taught American women’s history and women’s studies at WVU and has taught classes in women’s history for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). She is a member of the Community Coalition for Social Justice’s steering committee and developed a timeline on expanding the right to vote for CCSJ-Main Street Morgantown’s Ninth Annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Day Celebration on “The Road to the Vote” in January 2015. Her presentation for the League of Women Voters is based on that work. This would be a great opportunity to bring a friend!
Wednesday 6:00-9:00 p.m. Aull Center
351 Spruce Street (Garlow House)
May 18 Board Meeting
Monday 6:00 p.m. Pot Luck
Lyndell Millecchia’s Home
476 Lawnview Drive
For the second time, we will be giving awards to certain organizations or people who have done important work that furthers the democratic values of the League of Women Voters. Come and be surprised!
The wonderful finger foods and sweets for which the League has long been famous will be provided by you, our faithful League members, with beverages provided by the Hospitality Committee.
During the Business portion, the League will elect officers and board members, discuss and accept the proposed Local Program for 2015-2016, and discuss and accept a budget for the coming year.
We welcome your dues at the Annual Meeting!
Dues are $44 for an individual and $66 for a household.Checks should be made to LWV Morgantown-Mon County and, if you do not attend the meeting, may be mailed to: Joseph Marshall, 194 McCormick Hollow Rd., Morgantown, WV 26508You can also pay online with your PayPal account or credit card at http://tinyurl.com/paylwvmm or you may send money from your PayPal account to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Our League co-sponsored the OLLI Legislative Wrap-Up & Reception on March 31 at the Mountaineer Mall. It was the first time OLLI planned an event like this, and it was very successful. The refreshments were wonderful, and the center-court location worked out very well. Most of the Legislators from our area attended. They reported on their successes and impressions of the Legislative session, and responded to participants’ questions. We are planning to continue this collaboration with OLLI next year.
The local League held a City Council candidate forum this April, at South Middle School. The venue pleased attendees, and both the candidates and the audience were very grateful to the League for holding the forum. The meeting was filmed by West TV as a service to the community and may be watched at:
Local Government Committee
Currently we are looking for a member from the League to volunteer to chair the committee so that it may continue moving forward from where it left off last year, after making notable progress.
On March 25, four members of the Natural Resources Committee met with Tim Ball, the Director of MUB. The committee was interested in his views on the two new gas wells to be fracked across from our water intake by Northeast Energy. He was somewhat reassuring that they are using practices that will protect the water as much as possible. However, they are planning to use a synthetic drilling fluid that may have some unknown results as it is relatively new. Tim has concerns about the synthetic fluid and continues to meet with Northeast Energy to present his concerns. He has stated that he has maintained good communication with the company.
The committee plans to meet with Tim Carr, the head of a WVU study of horizontal drilling which will be using these wells as the object of their research.
We welcome new member Judith McBride.
Those of you who participated in the Public Library financing study and consensus held in in our league in September, 2014, will be interested in the final consensus from the State LWV, as follows:
PUBLIC LIBRARY FINANCING CONSENSUS
The LWVWV believes that public libraries are essential in communities for both children and adults. Therefore, the primary sources of fundingfor West Virginia’s public libraries should be tax based. This tax-based funding should be adequate, predictable and sustainable.
The LWVWV believes that there should be a basic state funding level for WV public libraries, based on the population of the area served by the library.
The LWVWV believes that additional local tax-based funds should be provided from those agencies which authorize libraries; that is, County Commissions, municipalities and/or County Boards of Education.
Other state options the LWVWV supports are:
- Adjust the local share of the school aid formula to fund public libraries in each county.
- Designate a state tax or percentage of a tax for public libraries.
The following local funding options are acceptable:
- Require these local governing authorities to contribute a given percentage of local property taxes for libraries, as required in existing “special local laws.”
- Increase the property tax rate with the resulting revenue going to libraries.
- Require Boards of Education to include a defined level of funding for libraries in the county in excess levy elections.
- Permit Boards of Education, County Commissions and municipalities to impose an additional levy on property for libraries.
The LWVWV does not support a constitutional amendment to allow public libraries to form tax districts and ask voters to assess themselves to support libraries.
The LWVWV does not support library user fees at the state or local level.
The LWVWV believes public libraries may form county-wide or multi-county systems. (11/8/14)
Proposed 2015-2016 Local Program
- Local Government:
- Study of County Government, including:
- Laws concerning the number of County Commissioners, their responsibilities and authority.
- Taxation, revenues and budget disbursements.
- Organize a public meeting with the County Commission on County Government issues.
- Revive Observer Corps
- Planning: Action to promote orderly development in Monongalia County and monitor the work of the Monongalia County Planning Commission.
- Monitor and take action where needed with regard to improving traffic conditions, including pedestrian and cyclist safety.
- Monitor the implementation of the Complete Streets legislation so that the design of our transportation system can be inclusive of all forms of transportation.
- Voters Service: Continue to advocate for open access to registration and voting.
- Natural Resources:
- Study water quality in the Monongahela River including Morgantown Utility Board and Department of Natural Resources testing and their relation to Marcellus Shale gas extraction processes and coal mining.
- Study current state regulation of Marcellus Shale gas extraction. Work with legislators to amend the Marcellus legislation with regard to those issues that still need regulation.
- Study current municipal and county ordinances related to extractive industries. Work with local officials to ensure that the strongest ordinances possible are promulgated to protect the health and safety of citizens.
- Study Source Water Protection Program (SWPP).
- Strategize and act to promote an efficient county solid waste recycling program.
- Social Justice: Create a Social Justice committee; explore local collaborations.