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Ward wants to put dispute with other council members to rest

November 21, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Charles Town City Council member Matt Ward made an attempt Monday night to put to rest a controversy that has been brewing between him and other council members over comments he made on a local radio station.

Council members first made an attempt to censure Ward over comments Ward made on WRNR radio station in Martinsburg, W.Va., on Oct. 4 about fellow city council members having their campaigns financed by developers.

Now the same developers are petitioning the city to receive development approvals, Ward said on the radio show.

After a city attorney told council members that a censure attempt was not appropriate, city council members decided to determine if Ward's comments are in violation of Roberts Rules of Order, which are a common set of rules that governments use to run their meetings.

City Council member Geraldine Willingham has said that Roberts Rules of Order dictates that elected officials shall debate issues and not get involved in personality conflicts.

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Council members decided to turn the matter over to the state Attorney General's office to determine if the council could rely on Roberts Rules of Order to control Ward's comments.

Ward said Monday night that he has learned that the deputy state Attorney General has determined that Roberts Rules of Order do not apply to comments he makes outside of meetings.

Ward said he wants to move on and told council members, "I'd like to work with you positively."

"We would move on if you quit slandering us," said council member Don Clendening.

Mayor Peggy Smith said the issue has yet to be reviewed by the Attorney Generals office.

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