3/25/2014 4:58 PM
by Stuart Hammer
BLUEFIELD – Two cities in Mercer County are trying to get more authority within their borders.
Bluefield and Princeton are working to apply for Phase II of the West Virginia Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program.
Charleston and Huntington were accepted for Phase I and now more cities are coming on board.
Officials say the Home Rule is a way for cities to gain more independence and the authority to alter the state codes to better fit their needs.
Assistant city manager Joshua Cline says what's best in one city doesn't mean it's best in another, and that’s what the Home Rule aims to fix.
An example of one change is to shorten the time it takes to make an agreement with another municipality.
“Currently it takes a couple of meetings; we want to reduce that down to one,” says Cline.
There will be a public hearing regarding the Home Rule on April 1 at 5:30 p.m. at the Bluefield City Hall.