FOLLANSBEE — The present govt director of the Port of West Virginia and a former Weirton metropolis official has been chosen to function Follansbee’s new metropolis supervisor.
At a particular assembly Tuesday, the council voted 4-2 to just accept Mayor David Velegol Jr.’s nomination of Joseph DiBartolomeo following a virtually 90-minute govt session during which council members had been invited to query him.
Casting votes for the hiring had been Councilman at massive John Casinelli, fifth Ward Councilwoman Wendy DeAngelis, 2nd Ward Councilman Charles McCoy, and 1st Ward Councilwoman Tammy Johnson.
Voting in opposition to had been third Ward Councilman Nick Cekinovich and 4th Ward Councilwoman Alexis Russell.
Cekinovich mentioned he was impressed by the credentials of DiBartolomeo, who served as Weirton metropolis lawyer for 12 years and as its metropolis supervisor for 3 however needed extra time to think about the hiring.
“I really feel this can be a huge determination for the town,” he mentioned earlier than asking for per week for the council to think about the nomination.
Russell additionally requested fellow council members to postpone their determination, saying it was “unrealistic” for the council to make that call 90 minutes after being offered with a candidate for the job.
Velegol mentioned he needed a clean transition between the brand new metropolis supervisor and his predecessor, Jack McIntosh, including McIntosh’s final date on the job has modified from July 29 to July 20.
The mayor mentioned Cekinovich initially didn’t assist McIntosh’s hiring however has since reconsidered.
Cekinovich mentioned he had points with the method by which McIntosh was employed however not less than the council had seen him at work, McIntosh having served as water superintendent and interim metropolis supervisor previous to his appointment to the town supervisor.
Casinelli famous Velegol was following metropolis code in nominating a candidate for council’s approval.
Velegol informed the council there had been three different candidates: Trevor Barnhart, the town’s wastewater superintendent; a person at present serving as metropolis supervisor in Kansas and a 3rd candidate who requested to not be publicly disclosed.
He later admitted to Russell one other candidate had withdrawn his or her utility whereas one other who expressed curiosity didn’t submit one.
Velegol informed the council that DiBartolomeo is properly fitted to the job, noting that along with his previous expertise, he has a legislation diploma, a grasp’s diploma in accounting, and 36 years of expertise within the navy.
Whereas introducing himself to the council, DiBartolomeo confused he shall be taking orders from the council and different metropolis officers.
“You’re the leaders. I’ll do the managing,” he mentioned, including later he felt he may use his expertise and contacts with others to assist the town streamline processes.
Following the assembly, DiBartolomeo confirmed he plans to proceed to function govt director of the Port of West Virginia, a riverfront property within the metropolis Empire Diversified Vitality hopes to determine as an intermodal transportation hub.
The corporate has introduced plans to determine a pig iron plant utilizing iron ore buried there, a medical waste recycling plant, and a petrochemical storage facility on the 8,000-acre web site which was as soon as occupied by Koppers, Wheeling-Pittsburgh Metal, and Mountain State Carbon.
DiBartolomeo mentioned he and others have been in talks with Cleveland Cliffs, which just lately closed Mountain State Carbon, and he hopes it’s going to grow to be constructive information someday within the subsequent a number of months.
Requested if it will likely be troublesome to divide his time between the town and the port, DiBartolomeo mentioned an excellent supervisor is aware of the way to arrange methods and delegate duties to get the job accomplished.
Requested if having an area enterprise chief within the place would current a battle of curiosity, Velegol mentioned DiBartolomeo gained’t be voting on any matter and has made it clear he’ll name consideration to any that may create an look of impropriety.
“Joe’s made it very clear he’s clear,” mentioned the mayor, who added, “On the finish of the day, Joe doesn’t want this job.”
Requested what him within the place, DiBartolomeo mentioned he noticed a possibility to use his expertise to assist the town at a time when it faces each main enhancements to its water and sewer therapy methods and the lack of a serious business.
“For a small group, they’ve quite a bit to supply. The town may be very secure, with good individuals and a whole lot of potential,” he mentioned, noting its entry to state Route 2, the Ohio River, and native railway for growth functions.
DiBartolomeo mentioned he’s no stranger to the town as a result of his kids attended faculty and took part in sports activities there, whereas he has labored with metropolis officers up to now.
Requested what he likes most concerning the metropolis, he mentioned, “The hometown really feel. Follansbee’s at all times been a small, tight-knit group.”