PRINCETON — A farewell to City Manager Mike Webb and the unwelcome spectre of coronavirus dominated discussion at the Princeton City Council meeting Monday night.
Mayor David Graham called Webb up to the front of the Council chambers to present him with a certificate of recognition from Gov. Jim Justice and a plaque from the city.
“Mike has served the city well and the seeds he planted will continue to grow our city,”Graham said.
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Ken Clay was chosen, on a motion by Councilman Marshall Lytton with a second by Councilman Dewey Russell, to serve as Interim City Manager for the second time in his 26 years with the city.
He also served as City Manager for roughly two years with Webb as Assistant City Manager. He will continue working as City Clerk and City Judge.
Webb came to Princeton approximately four years ago to serve as Assistant City Manager after 20 years of government service in Kanawha County. He was named City Manager approximately two years ago.
Webb was praised by Council members and department heads alike.
For his part, he said, “I have been fortunate to work with the same City Council for the past four years. My interactions with the department heads have been excellent and, sometimes, fun. I learned a great deal in working with Ken and (City Attorney) Paul (Cassell).”
Webb will finish his duties as City Manager on March 31, with Clay taking over the next day.
As for his next position, Webb will become the City Manager for Clarksburg.
As for the major changes in Princeton during his tenure, Webb said, “Seeing the transformation of Mercer Street to become a gathering place again. Getting the city government located in the new city hall. Reducing the drainage problems on Stafford Drive and the surrounding area. Getting LED lights installed on Rogers Street.”
As for the coronavirus, the Princeton Public Library is closed until April 1, but with on-line and outreach services still active. The closure will be reviewed on April 1. Fines will be suspended for the duration of the closure.
The Princeton Railroad Museum will be closed until further notice.
The Princeton Recreation Center will be closed until further notice.
The Princeton Fire and Police departments will operate under slightly different procedures, such as limiting contact with the public as much as possible. The 9-1-1 Center will advise both agencies as to special circumstances involving calls.
The city offices in the Municipal Building will be handling paperwork for bills, permits and other transactions through the windows in the lobby entrance. There will also be a drop box for bills.
Jeff Harvey is a freelance reporter and columnist for the Princeton Times. Contact him at email@example.com