MAN — An old problem reared it’s head again Monday night at the June meeting of the Man Town Council when a school employee complained about the lack of police protection at the Man Middle School area. The woman, who was identified as a Mrs. Caldwell, said that she was speaking on behalf of other Man Middle School employees who wished the town would annex the school so that at least it would be able to call on the Man Police Department, for occasions when the West Virginia State Police and the Logan County Sheriff’s Department cannot answer emergency calls.
“We desperately need police protection,” she said. “We recently had an incident about three weeks ago, where one of the students assaulted some of the staff. We called the police and nobody showed up. We called the Sheriff’s Department but nobody came.”
Councilman Roger Muncy said he agreed with the lady noting that several times in the past the town had tried to annex the area where the old hospital and the High School were located, to no avail.
“What has to happen?” Caldwell asked. “Does somebody have to die before we can get this passed?”
Former Man Mayor John Perry was also present at the meeting and said he would agree to support a new initiative for annexation.
“Back when the bank opened down by the Rite Aid, they asked us why they did not have town police protection. It was because they were out of town limits. The town has tried to offer this police assistance to businesses and people around the hospital and school before without much luck,” Perry noted.
Blevins said the annexation concept might not be dead.
Blevins explained that he had looked into the matter and said that if enough people would sign two petitions the proposal could be placed on a ballot for the public to decide.
“We need 100 signatures on one of the petitions and we currently have 48,” Mayor Blevins said.
“We have tried this in the past and it did not work, but now we are looking at it from a different approach,” Councilman Daryl Mangrum said, referring to a past effort that would only have included those who wished to be inside city limits via a minor boundary adjustment.
Blevins said that if the matter came to a vote and passed, the town’s boundaries would extend to where White Armature is located.
Mangrum said the public needed to know the two petitions were out there and that landowners who wanted to see it pass could come by city hall and find out more about the topic.
“Then, if they are in favor of it, they can sign a petition,” Mangrum said.
“The world we live in today is very different today than the one we grew up in,” Muncy said. “I would like to see those people and places get extra police protection.”
Councilman John Fekete said he believed that by letting the public decide on the matter themselves and vote on it would be the best way to decide the matter.
Blevins said the matter would be prepared and ready for a ballot soon.
A second lady approached the council saying she had several compliments and one complaint. The resident then proceeded to praise Man Police Chief David Walls and the Man Police Department noting that the Man Police Department had been “Johnny on the Spot” when it came to answering calls for assistance.
She said she also liked the new sign on the hill installed by the town of Man. Blevins said that soon electricity would be turned on to the sign, which would then be able to broadcast different messages across it’s screen. The woman asked about putting up a message about a special Block Party the Man Methodist Church would be having soon.
She noted that her complaint revolved around a litter problem at a residence in South Man where raccoons were getting into piled up garbage and strewing it across the neighborhood. She said she hoped something could be done soon as she worried a child might get bitten by an aggressive rodent in the trash pile.
Blevins said the town had spoken with the resident before in regards to the problem and would try to do something about the matter.
He noted another residence where the resident was told to clean up his act or face a fine. The man cleaned the property up, Blevins noted.
“I will get Chief Walls to go with me and talk to the lady,” Blevins said.
Former Logan Banner writer J.D. Charles contributed to this report.