Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

December 22, 2013

Mineral County officials overstep their legal bounds

Apparently, the Mineral County Board of Health and the county commissioners (except Mr. Whisner) that represent voters, taxpayers and veterans of Mineral County can make up regulations and fines without following the legal steps.

We law-abiding citizens must follow the following legal process in order to make a bill/regulation into a law. But not the Mineral County Health Department?

1. A bill is only introduced by a member of the House or Senate.

2. Then referred to a committee by the speaker or Senate president. This bill will be considered by the committee and a report will be given to the House or the Senate. After the third reading, a vote will be taken by the House or Senate and that vote can be vetoed by legislators.

3. If passed into law, the governor must sign it. Then the process is repeated. This has never happened to my knowledge. If it did, this would be a law instead of a regulation.

If these legal guidelines were followed by the board of health or the commissioners, it was never mentioned in the meetings or newspaper. Only two groups can vote to make a bill into a law — all elected by voters — 34 senators and 100 delegates. Nowhere does it mention the board of health or its appointed members. Which leads me to the following legal questions:

1. Who has the authority to enforce a law that doesn’t exist per West Virginia Legislature laws — police, health department board members or commissioners?

2. Who can enforce a fine when no law exists? Once outside, nobody in a veterans club has legal say. Does the Mineral County Health Department have the right to enforce, arrest or detain anything that happens outside of an establishment? And what if the town/city has bordering property (alleys), who’s responsible, Mr. Root?

3. Veteran organizations aren’t privately owned, they’re national, so who gets this fine?

This entire process has made a mockery of the legal system in West Virginia and Earl Ray Tomblin, Gary Howell, Richard Lechliter, AJ Root, Janice LaRue, Layna Valentine-Brown, Roger Ammons and Rodney Leatherman need to be voted out or removed from office for not supporting veteran organizations or the laws of the state of West Virginia.

On Jan. 2, from 5 to 6 p.m., at the Wiley Ford Volunteer Fire Department, state Sen. Craig Blair will conduct a meeting about smoking in veteran organizations/clubs. The impact on donations to children, local scholarships, volunteer fire departments, food banks and local churches will be discussed.

In closing, I hope that all veterans and those who value their freedoms remember this at the voting booth. Please show up on Jan. 2.

Paul S. Dornsife

Carpendale, W.Va.

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