Submitted by Darren Smith, Guest Blogger
While attempting to rediscover the procedures to replace a recently resigned mayor, city officials in Sisterville, WV noticed the 175 year old City Charter declared women are denied the right to vote.
While it certainly is unenforceable on account of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, city officials are raising objections to making the change to the charter due to cost.
One official, City Recorder Julie Scheiler reportedly said “We don’t need to amend it because the 19th Amendment takes care of it. It would be a waste of paperwork.”
The waste of paperwork would include legal fees, having public hearings, and the cost of printing a new charter in “expensive leather-bound books.” Newly appointed Mayor Ann Doig claimed that she wants to work on altering the charter’s text “but to change a charter is extremely expensive.”
The elected officials who have grievance with formally adopting the idea of allowing the other half of their population to vote must have other issues that are more pressing to a representative democracy.
Other items on the council’s agenda recently included a public hearing to record their agenda of Council approving the payment of $395,230.11 accounts payable and $498,559.28 payroll for the Sistersville General Hospital. They approved the payment of $16,833.55 in invoice listings and $58,866.53 for credit card bills. The council held several readings to repeal certain zoning laws in the city. And, a part time police officer was approved to full time status. Plus, the now recently appointed Mayor Doig said that she will try to be available in City Hall for at least a couple of hours every day.
It is good to see that a high priority is placed by a local government on officially recognizing the right of women to vote. Maybe they can find the resources and resolve to do so within the next seven years before the 19th Amendment’s centennial.