May 2019 Newsletter - Mon Dems

May 2019 Newsletter

As state legislators return to Charleston for interims and a special session, Democrats in the State Senate are taking the initiative to respond to the parents, students and teachers who have spoken up to change education for the better in West Virginia. They will introduce eight bills aimed at actually helping students and teachers, rather than draining their resources for the enrichment of private charter schools. As Democrats, we stand ready to fight for teachers, school personnel and all the working people of West Virginia. In the meantime, we’re getting ready for our first spring brunch, continuing to fight for better roads, and, sadly, mourning the loss of a dear friend.

Democratic “Spring into Action” Brunch Saturday, June 8

We are at a crossroads and can’t wait until 2020. We must come together NOW and fight to turn this state and nation around! Are you ready? Come to the first Mon County Democrats “Spring into Action” Brunch!

All are welcome. This is your chance to meet and talk to some of your legislators – State Senator Bob Beach and Delegates Barbara Fleischauer, Rodney Pyles, Danielle Walker, and John Williams will be there to meet and greet.

When: 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, June 8

Where: Morgantown Church of the Brethren, 464 Virginia Ave., Morgantown

Menu: Delicious quiche, fruit salad, pastries, coffee and tea.

Tickets: $12 per person Space at the venue is limited, so purchase your tickets online today!

All proceeds will benefit Monongalia County Democrats.

Mon County legislators fight to fix the roads!

North Central West Virginia is among the fastest growing areas in the state, but our roads continue to deteriorate, endangering citizens and causing countless dollars of damage to our vehicles. Our great legislators have been working hard to remedy the situation, both during and since the recent session.

A study by Delegate Evan Hansen proved what many had long suspected – state highway dollars are being unfairly allocated, with the state refusing to follow its own formula for allocating maintenance dollars, and North Central West Virginia receives much less than our fair share, explaining their deplorable condition.

“I crunched some numbers and found proof that road maintenance funding allocations to Mon County and Division of Highways District 4 have been significantly below what they should have been,” said Hansen, “because DOH hasn’t been using its own funding formula.”

Hansen said that Highways representatives acknowledged under oath before a House committee that its formula for allocating maintenance funds hasn’t been used for about 15 years – during which time the road maintenance needs in District 4 have increased significantly.

“As a result,” he added, “Mon County and the district as a whole face a road maintenance emergency.”

During the recent session, the legislature passed HB 3044, which would have required the Division of Highways to update its formula and actually use it, but the governor vetoed the bill.

To better understand the condition of our roads, our legislators have been conducting their own research by touring the county and inspecting the problems (and potholes) firsthand. The delegates will meet with the Division of Highways to discuss their findings.

Delegate Barbara Fleischauer urged citizens to report their local potholes to the Division of Highways.

“We can call and we can complain,” she said, “but the only way to be certain your local road gets on the DOH list is by putting it in writing. Nominate your potholes to the WV Division of Highways on this form:

In Memoriam – Sandy Barton

The Democratic Party in Monongalia County lost one of its most loyal members on April 26 when Sanford “Sandy” Barton, 62, passed away from a sudden heart attack. Sandy was a longtime member and former vice-chair of the Mon County Democratic Executive Committee and was named “Democrat of the Year.”

Sandy is survived by his devoted wife of 31 years, Mary Ann Guido Barton, and two children, Dena Marie and Frank Joel Barton.

Sandy worked for state treasurer John D. Perdue as manager of the regional office in Morgantown, where he enjoyed helping people improve their lives. Last year, for the second year in a row, he helped generate more than $1 million in unclaimed property for the four counties he represented.

Sandy attended Grafton High School and graduated from WVU in 1979. Everyone who knew him fondly remembers his generosity and zest for life.

“We are saddened at Sandy’s passing,” said Kathleen Abate, chair of the Committee, “and will greatly miss him.”

Memorial contributions to Sandy’s family may be made in the form of checks payable to Mary Ann Barton and sent to her c/o Huntington Bank, 201 High Street, Morgantown, WV 26505. Your generous contribution will greatly help with the continued care of Sandy’s son.

News Notes

Volunteers are needed for the next mobile food pantry, Sat., May 25, 9:30 a.m. to noon, downtown Morgantown, exact location to be announced. Volunteers should be able to lift 40 to 50 pounds. Contact Micah Weglinski at for more information.

Committee changes:

Best wishes and good luck, Kendra Fershee! Congressional candidate Kendra Fershee resigned from the committee, announcing that she and her husband, Joshua Fershee, will soon move to Nebraska, where he will become the dean of the law school, and she will be a full professor of law at Creighton University in Omaha.

“Josh oversaw home and kids for 18 months while I ran for Congress,” Kendra said, “so I told him on Election night it was his turn to follow his dream. We didn’t know lighting would strike quite so quickly, but it did, and now he will get the chance to show what he can do. It’s hard to leave West Virginia, but I’m grateful for the time we had and people we met here.”

We are so grateful to Kendra for all her efforts and will miss her.

Carye Blaney returns – Monongalia County Clerk and former committee officer Carye Blaney rejoined the committee to fill a position that opened when another member moved. “We’re so happy to have Carye back,” said Chair Kathleen Abate.

Vacant committee positions – Due to several members relocating, a number of positions have opened up. To be appointed as a voting member, you must be a registered Democrat and live in the district for the position; each district has a slot for one male and one female. Find your district on this map

Current committee vacancies: District 11 – one male, one female – Westover, south along the river, Booth, Arnettsville, Booth, Harmony Grove, University Town Center. District 2 – one male, one female – Evansdale. District 10 – one male – Rt.119 south, I-79 south, Goshen Rd., Halleck Rd. District 5 – one male – North Hills, Colonial Park Apts., Morningside Drive, Morgan Drive, Oakview Drive.

For more information or to express interest in joining the committee, email

Next meeting!

All Democrats and supporters are invited to attend our meetings, held the second Monday of each month, and participate in everything we do. Next meeting info:

Date: Monday, June 10, 2019 Where: Plumbers and Pipefitters Hall, 100 Richard Drive, Morgantown, WV (off Greenbag Road near Mountainview Elementary School). Time: 6:30 p.m.

Send us your news – To contribute stories or photos about any activities of interest to Mon County Democrats, email Susan Case, editor, at or

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