by Ron Gregory
CHARLESTON – Governor Jim Justice has announced that an informational meeting concerning the upcoming road bond election will be held at 6 p.m., Thursday, September 21, in historic Courtroom Four at the Kanawha County Courthouse in Charleston.
Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper confirmed the plans and said the commission “is delighted to welcome the governor to the courthouse. While the commission has endorsed passage of the road bond, this will strictly be an informational meeting where we will not be advocating passage or failure of the bond.”
Nevertheless, Carper made it clear that he and his fellow commissioners favor the bond. “It will do great things for Kanawha County, if the voters approve it,” he said.
Carper said, as commission president, he has always “extended an invitation to the governor to attend our meetings or come here to speak on matters of importance.” Those invitations have been included former Governors Cecil Underwood, Bob Wise, Earl Ray Tomblin and Joe Manchin, he said.
Both Justice spokesman Butch Antolini and Carper emphasized that the meeting is open to the public. “We hope a huge crowd turns out,” said the commissioner. “Everyone is invited and we hope they overflow this beautiful courtroom.”
Carper said light refreshments will likely be served. “This is a meeting to provide information,” he said, emphasizing that “if opponents asked to hold a meeting, we’d welcome them as well. At this courthouse, we all have an open door policy.”