SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — South Charleston City Council heard from residents Thursday night about the city’s proposal to apply for home rule.

The expanded program is aimed at enabling city’s more control over how they do business and Mayor Frank Mullens thinks it can help them be much more efficient.

“Our staff would be able to do on-site citations for property maintenance issues and help clean up neighborhoods,” said Mullens. “Things like selling public property in a more traditional way rather than a public auction.”

Home Rule has also enabled other cities to become more flexible in how they generate revenue. Mullens said it would be a mistake to think it’s a license to simply raise taxes.

“We can be a little bit more diverse so we’re not so dependent on the B&O tax,” he said. “But in Charleston and Huntington when they implemented a sales tax, they had to lower the B&O tax, that’s part of the law. If we look at our revenue stream and look for a different avenue, I’d like to lower the utility.”

Mullens sees the opportunity as a “win-win” for the city.

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  • BS

    Oh beware, you give any government more authority they will use it to extract more and more control and revenue generation. They will shift taxes from the businesses to the residents and while also increasing them. Even if the current government pledges not to and doesn't (fairy tale though) the future ones will have the authority to do so. Once enacted, it will be impossible to repeal.

    A non-South Charleston resident

  • Please

    I could gladly pay double if the city would take over the rest of Myrtle TreeRd and clean it up!

  • Worm

    I would agree. But, South Charleston had plenty of revenue streams 10 to 15 years ago from the chemical industry. With the death of that industry I'm sure it's a challenge to maintain South Charleston to past standards. Robb was great mayor. Mayor Mullens does a great job under very different conditions.

    • Silas Lynch

      In no way was I comparing one mayor to another. I was merely referencing a time frame. -- My point was meant to be: Mayor Mullens is blowing smoke by trying to garner support for "Home Rule" by implying it would finally enable the City to properly inspect property and to clean up neighborhoods. A task he would leave you to believe they currently can't do without Home Rule
      As to the rest of the alleged benefits of Home Rule,, I can't comment about.

  • Silas Lynch

    Under Mayor Robb, South Charleston operated the finest Health Board in the county with little cost to the City. A health board member, usually a civic minded volunteer, would make scheduled inspections with the Fire Chief and Police Chief and would routinely issue citations for poorly maintained property-- no home rule was required for that.