Council to consider resolution promoting civility

November 26, 2018

HUNTINGTON — Huntington City Council members on Monday will vote on a resolution promoting civility in public discourse, setting an example on how to work together despite political differences.

Mayor Steve Williams, who is president of the West Virginia Municipal League, presented the resolution to members of the city’s Administration and Finance Committee earlier this month.

The Municipal League is asking West Virginia cities to pass similar resolutions to “restore civility,” becoming the first league of cities in the nation to do so.

“We are operating in an environment, as we observed certainly in this election season and in more recent years, where there is a lack of civility in the way we even debate issues,” Williams said. “We don’t have to necessarily agree with everything that someone is doing, but we certainly should set an example of how to have a proper discourse and come to conclusions.”

The resolution promotes “listening to each other and listening across the difference for understanding” and recognizes that civility is “important for building respect and sustaining a sense of community.”

Members of the Administration and Finance Committee agreed to forward Williams’ resolution to city council with a favorable recommendation.

“All of council needs to read this, I think they will all agree,” said Joyce Clark, committee chairwoman.

Also during Monday’s meeting, city council members will hold a second reading of an updated trespassing ordinance. The updated ordinance will add the possibility for jail time and increased fines for people found to be trespassing.

Under the existing ordinance, police said they write tickets that often go unpaid and fail in deterring alleged trespassers.

The proposed update to the ordinance will give police an option to jail first-time offenders for up to three days and issue them a citation not exceeding $100. Officers may jail repeat offenders no more than 30 days and issue a citation up to $500.

The ordinance must undergo three readings before officially being adopted.

Travis Crum is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. He may be reached by phone at 304-526-2801.

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