Also, two candidates for governor addressed voter concerns, including home rule and the issue of user fees.
Around 40 people came to the Judge Black Annex Monday night to get information on the procedure to conduct a recall election of the mayor and city council members who vote in favor tonight of the $2.50-a-week user fee. The Parkersburg Tea Party handed out information regarding the Parkersburg city code on a recall as well as information on the issue of home rule, which has been brought up locally.
Tea Party officials played a recording on YouTube of Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell, listed on the agenda as ”Worst Mayor Movie,” at a recent city council meeting talking about the amount of issues put on local government to handle and fund without help from the state as well as how local governments are the first to be blamed for problems and other concerns.
The mayor also talked about the possibility of cutting services and personnel if funding is not available.
Sandy Staats, president of the Parkersburg Tea Party, said if the user fee passes, the Tea Party will hold a press conference Wednesday to announce its intention to organize a recall election.
’'I really hope it doesn’t pass,’’ she said.
Staats encouraged everyone to attend the city council meeting with the Tea Party making T-shirts they will have members wear during the meeting signifying their displeasure with the user fee.
City officials have said the fee is needed to maintain needed services.
’'When a city is in financial straits, I think it is time to cut back just like you do in a home,’’ Staats said. ’'You cut back on other things.’’
Staats has said a recall mobilization would be organized by city council districts with petitions circulated calling for the recall of the mayor and any city council member who voted in favor of the user fee. She had also talked about getting people registered to vote while going out looking for petition support. There are still issues she is working on in how to organize a recall vote, she said.
Two conservative candidates who plan to run for governor spoke to those in attendance.
Betty Ireland, former secretary of state, spoke about the need to bring the U.S. Constitution back to the people, how bailouts have hurt the American economy and the increasing unwanted federal control over aspects of people’s lives. She also talked about living in Charleston and having to deal with a user fee.
’'This is the third year and it started at a dollar a week,’’ she said. ’'That $1 turned to $2 and there is talk of changing it to $3. I don’t know where it is going to end.’’
Ireland told people to make sure there is a ceiling on it locally and any change needs to be implemented by a vote of the people. She also advises the people to make sure their leaders spell out exactly how that money will be used.
Mark Sorsala, the Putnam County prosecutor, spoke about being unhappy with the direction the state and the country were heading in and about lawmakers passing laws that are unconstitutional just to see if they can get away with it.
’'That really bothered me,’’ he said. ’'You shouldn’t run government that way.
’'There are many people in government who have lost sight of what the people expect of them.’’
It was not addressed during the meeting, but when asked by The Parkersburg News and Sentinel about the issue of whether rhetoric from the national tea party movements might have prompted a gunman in Arizona to kill people and injure a U.S. congresswoman, Staats said the Parkersburg Tea Party was very saddened by the shooting and continues to pray for those affected.
’'We are a very peaceful group,’’ she said. ’'We have never been violent and have never encouraged any kind of violence and never will as long as I am the director of this tea party.’’
Staats criticized those in the media and elected officials who politicized something that was not about politics, she said; it was about a crazed and mentally ill individual who harmed people for his own reasons, she said.
’'How can they politicize something like the deaths of six good people, including a 9-year-old girl,’’ she asked. ’'We are concerned citizens that are trying to make our country better and right now we are starting with Parkersburg.’’
And, from WTAP:
The Parkersburg Tea Party says it has heard different stories about the intent of the $2.50 user fee.
”My understanding was that it was because of St. Joseph’s Hospital going non-profit that there was going to be a projected budget defecit,” said Tea Party Director Sandy Staats. ”Then, about two weeks later, it came out that the money from the user fee would go to police, fire and public works projects.”
Mayor Bob Newell says, however, that the intent has always been the same…to replace services which have been reduced in the past two years.
”We have been balancing the budget by not doing things,” the mayor says. ”The streets are the number one thing we haven’t been doing. That user fee is for police, fire and streets.”
Mayor Newell will not comment on what the tea party says is a ”last resort”…the removal by recall of the mayor and all members of council who have voted for implementing the user fee.
The fee, as ammended, so far, has been passed by an 8-1 vote, with Sharyn Tallman being the only council member to vote against it. That would mean recalling every member of city council except one.
”If that’s the way the vote goes,” Staats says, ”that’s what it would mean.”
Mayor Newell does say that if the tea party wants change, it would do well to focus on a major reason for the fees…the fact that the West Virginia Legislature won’t allow cities to impose a local income tax.
”The root problem they need to address is that, at the state level, the legislature passes the laws that limit the city to these ridiculous fees that we are passing and have passed.”
Monday’s meeting is set to take place a little more than 24 hours before what is to be council’s final vote on the user fee.
Asked if this was a way to influence some members of council who have voted against the user fee to change their votes, Staats answered, ”Absloutely.”
See Video of Council Meeting the day before criminal background checks were done: http://youtu.be/f_nQSisWlBs
See any threats?
I have received much recognition for work I have done. On the wall in my office is a plaque from Freedomworks- Sons & Daughters of Liberty award
”For superior service on behalf of the cause of Liberty”
I was also awarded a certificate from Americans for Prosperity. It states: ”Americans for Prosperity Hereby Confers the Rank of ”Champion of Prosperity” upon Sandy Staats–In Recognition of invaluable contributions to the Americans for Prosperity and for tireless efforts in defending the principles of limited government and individual liberty”
On May 17th, 2011 I received a letter from the Fraternal Order of Police, Blennerhassett Lodge 79, inc., personally thanking me for my help in promoting the 2011 Police Week awards luncheon and memorial service. I attended the ceremony and was treated with the utmost respect by local police.
I have not done this alone. I have all of you who have helped me to thank, and I regret that your names are not also on these awards.
For the record, I am NOT a criminal, as I have been portrayed. Parkersburg Tea Party members have never been violent, and this fact is well known by all who have attended, and by local police.
Now I ask you…Do you see violent tendencies? Have you ever seen any violent tendencies by any members of our Tea Party?
Check out our You Tube Channel where everything has been documented: http://www.youtube.com/user/sandystaats?feature=mhee
(Please overlook the videos of my grand children’s birthdays and family get-togethers.)
God Bless the USA and forgive us our trespassers as we forgive those who trespass against us.