CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A controversial petition to annex the Institute, West Dunbar, and Pinewood communities into the city of Dunbar is no longer under consideration, Dunbar Mayor Terry Greenlee announced Monday.
The petition for annexation, filed by the group Citizens for Positive Change, was met with great opposition from many in the unincorporated communities and has been withdrawn, he said.
Citizens questioned the methods in which the petition signatures were obtained and the motives behind the proposal.
"The annexation was for the people of West Dunbar and Institute, and we wanted whatever they wanted," Greenlee said.
He said the city had been prepared to let a court decide the issues with the petition, but it never came to that because the petition was withdrawn before any decision was made.
Greenlee said Citizens for Positive Change decided the timing was wrong and wanted to take time to reconsider the matter. Though the issue is dead for now, someone could petition the city again in the future.
Council also announced the city would do away with its local publication The Scoop to make way for a new publication called Dunbar Town & Country, which will be more widely circulated.
Publisher John M. Jarman III explained the publication would be distributed for free to various locations in Dunbar, West Dunbar, Institute, Cross Lanes, and Charleston's West Side.
Jarman also publishes Clendenin Town & Country and Sissonville Town &Country; however, he explained the Dunbar edition would contain positive articles and information "catered to its own community." The newspaper will also include comics, obituaries and crossword puzzles, in addition to community announcements.
The first issue of the bi-weekly publication will be available Aug. 16. Jarman said citizens may obtain copies at area gas stations, churches and libraries.
In other business, council gave initial approval to an amendment to the Electronic Communications Devices ordinance, which makes talking and texting on an electronic device a primary offense, in accordance with state law.
While Dunbar Police can write citations for these offenses, the matter has to go to Magistrate Court. If passed on second reading at the next city council meeting, these violations will be handled by Dunbar City Court, thus bringing more revenue from fines to city coffers.
Council members also:
* Rejected an estimate in the amount of $6,909.20 to install electrical outlets on the Zamias property for Fall Festival.
* Appointed Mike Williams as director of public works, effective July 1, 2013.
* Appointed William "Chester" Wingo to the Board of Appeals.
* Accepted a motion to purchase a 2007 Jeep Cherokee for $7,620.00 to be used by the Mayor.
* Named Paul and Janet Nelson as Dunbar's first ever Citizen of the Month.
* Announced an open house workshop to help develop the city's comprehensive plan for 6-8 p.m. Aug. 12 at the Dunbar Recreation Center.