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The Quorum Quandary

Updated: Mar 30

Well, my friends, Christmas has come and gone and the New Year is once again all-too-soon upon us. This year has been rife with magical Bramwell memories including numerous outdoor music concerts at the Train Depot, Independence Day fireworks, Bramwell Historic Home Tours, one amazing chili cook-off and much much more. It is no insignificant wonder that a great part of Bramwell is made up of expatriates and émigrés alike. Bramwell is enthralling and those who do not call it home are jealous of the fortunate few that do and for very good reason. There is a magnetism that draws the soul to this place and only those who have experienced this charming town intimately understand the feeling, yet are still powerless to put it into words.

I hope you too are anxiously anticipating the upcoming year as I believe this is the year of change, change for the good and for the better. Some would-be locals would argue that change is not desirable or wanted. Unfortunately even some narrow-minded natives would agree that change or progress is unnecessary, but as the cyclical seasons of life bring bloom and vigor in the summer and wilt and decay in the winter, change is paramount to the growth and flourishing of everything. Yes, even a town. The Good Book says, "There is a time for everything." (See Ecc.1-8)

As much as I fervently look forward to this upcoming year and a season of much-needed change for the beautiful town of Bramwell, it is incumbent upon me to mention that with each season of growth, there are accompanying growing pains. In order for wounds to heal, the infection must be cut out and the poison drawn from the body.

Now, more than ever, is it apparent that there is an infection in our town and I ardently encourage each and every resident of our amazing town to examine our current leadership and choose to no longer turn a blind eye to corruption, power-hungry hypocrisy and even crippling complacency. Examples of such dealings would take days for me to write and hours for you to read. If you have been in Bramwell for any amount of time, most assuredly you have had similar experiences and no explanation is needed. If you haven't resided in Bramwell long or have simply been living under a rock, you can easily review some of the past posts on this blog and be reminded of many examples.

For those wishing to save time, I will focus on the most recent exhibition. It is town custom that the Bramwell town council is to meet every second Monday of the month, making the evening of Monday December 12th, 2022 the expected date of December's town council meeting. However, the meeting was inexplicably postponed the day before the assembly was to gather, ostensibly due to illness, but I believe that that excuse was feeble and contrived at best and you will see why.

The December 12th town council meeting was "rescheduled" for the following Monday December 19th, 2022, but as the crowd gathered on the 19th some 15-20 minutes prior to the 7PM commencement, the Bramwell volunteer fire department (where this meeting was to be held) was not cleared of its emergency response vehicles and no tables and/or chairs were set up for the prospective meeting. It is rumored that one congregant even heard a volunteer fireman casually mention that the volunteers were instructed not to set up for the meeting until 6:59PM. Suspicious? Quite.

Upon calling this alleged "meeting" to order, the mayor proclaimed that as there were only 4 of the 7 council members present, the conditions for a quorum were not met, and the Bramwell town council meeting could not proceed. This is absolutely absurd, however, as West Virginia Code §31E-8-824 states, "(a) Unless the articles of incorporation or bylaws require a greater number or unless otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, a quorum of a board of directors consists of:

(1) A majority of the fixed number of directors if the corporation has a fixed board size; or

(2) A majority of the number of directors prescribed, or if no number is prescribed the number in office immediately before the meeting begins, if the corporation has a variable-range size board."

Needless to say, as this whole charade was most obviously orchestrated to undermine a growing dissidence and avoid repartee from opposition, the mayor and perhaps other council members devised to prevent a December town council meeting in its entirety. As there is supposedly "no business in January" according to the mayor, it is unlikely that the Bramwell town council will meet until February. This was most likely the goal of the mayor's shenanigans and has in all likelihood granted her a temporary reprieve from the town’s collective dissatisfaction with her and the town’s administration.

I move from the mismanagement of our lovely town to my previous more welcome topic of change. I vehemently urge all of those capable, willing and able to consider the following when selecting our new leaders in the upcoming Spring election:

  1. Bramwell, West Virginia deserves a local government that holds consistent and regular monthly town council meetings. Dialog is a vital component of government, discourse is necessary not only between the governing body and its constituents, but also amongst and between its leaders.

  2. Town communication is often ambiguous as there is no clear and dependable means of communicating with its citizens. I advocate a .gov website, a texting and auto-dialer service to keep locals apprised of all town announcements, and an up-to-date public notice board located at the Bramwell town hall to help keep residents informed.

  3. Bramwell, West Virginia citizens are entitled to transparency. Financial transparency is almost entirely nonexistent and the Bramwell financial reports should be made available for public perusal as transparency would cultivate accountability. Further promoting transparency, I urge the town to make complete and transcribed copies of all town ordinances available to the public, digitally and in print. One could hardly expect residents and visitors alike to abide by the local laws if they are unaware or ignorant of the laws.

  4. Bramwell, West Virginia residents deserve a mayor and town council that has Bramwell's best interests always at the forefront of their agenda, not their own. We the people demand it and we will no longer accept nothing, but the very best that our leadership has to offer us.

I imagine that whoever takes over the administration of this amazing town is going to have their hands full cleaning up the debacle that we are currently in. Sadly, I've seen PTOs and HOAs managed more effectively and with greater integrity than the current Bramwell administration. I urge all of you, my friends, give Bramwell a fighting chance to be the remarkable place we know it to be, not just in spirit, but in deed and in truth. We can espouse change while preserving Bramwell's history and tradition. I urge all of you, let your voice be heard. #SayNoToLou

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