Keyser seal

KEYSER, W.Va. — The Keyser City Council voted 3-1 to appoint Ron Metcalf to its ranks Wednesday night.

Metcalf’s appointment fills the vacancy left when former Councilman William Zacot resigned from his seat last fall. While the council had originally voted in November to appoint previous council candidate Curtis Perry, that move was ultimately rescinded by a 3-1 vote in January.

In both votes, Councilman Harry “Billy” Meek cast the opposing ballot.

Councilman Mike Ryan, who introduced the motion to appoint Metcalf, shared a bit of his background with the rest of the council.

Metcalf grew up in Keyser and retired a few years ago from a career with Pepsi that took him to several states, Ryan said. He moved back to Keyser to be closer to his daughter and two granddaughters.

Ryan said Metcalf hopes to use his sales and marketing experience “to make a positive difference in the community where he spent his youth.”

Councilman Jim Hannas seconded Ryan’s motion and Councilmember Jennifer Junkins also voted in his favor.

“Ron Metcalf, from what I read here, it sounds like he’ll be a good asset,” Mayor Damon Tillman said after the vote passed. “He’ll be somebody that will work with the council. That’s what we want. That’s what we need.”

In voting against Metcalf’s appointment, Meek said he had “an excellent resumé” and that he knew the man well, but that he understood Perry might take legal action regarding the council’s previous decision to revoke the motion for his appointment.

Tillman read from a letter prepared by city attorney Scott McClure defending the council’s actions during the Feb. 10 meeting.

“Ultimately the motion to rescind the appointment was approved by a two-thirds vote of the council in accordance with applicable law,” Tillman said during that meeting. “At no time prior to the vote on the rescission had Mr. Perry qualified to serve by taking the oath of office. Accordingly, he was only a prospective appointee and not yet a member of the council.”

Appointing Metcalf, Tillman said Wednesday, is “well within the council’s rights.”

“You know, I just want to say this: Just because somebody comes in fourth or fifth place on a vote doesn’t mean that that person has to be appointed,” Tillman said. “This council has every right. And it’s in your charters, all you guys should have a charter and should read your charter if you haven’t and know your charter, and that would answer a lot of your questions.

“I mean, you voted against it, Billy,” Tillman continued. “I understand, that’s your prerogative, that’s your right. But we do have attorneys who give us advice and who govern us, who govern you, and, you know, when you go against them, I mean that’s you, that’s on you.”

Tillman said Metcalf will join the councilmembers when they convene next on March 10.

Lindsay Renner-Wood is a reporter for the Cumberland Times-News. Follow her on Twitter @LindsayRenWood.

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