NITRO, W.Va. -- After five years as the city attorney, Richie Robb was replaced by the city of Nitro.Mayor Dave Casebolt introduced the new attorney, Johnnie Brown, of Pullin, Fowler, Flanagan, Brown and Poe LLC, to the City Council Tuesday night.Brown took over Feb. 1. Casebolt said the city attorney is under his discretion.The agreement with Brown involves several items, including that either he or a senior associate attend every City Council meeting, address all issues that arise from the meetings, provide training on various employment issues and assist with drafting and updating city policies and ordinances.
"We appreciate everything that Mr. Robb did for us," said Casebolt. "He worked hard for us, he attended all the ordinance meetings, he was valuable to a lot of aspects, but we just feel that Johnnie offers us a lot more services."Brown and his firm do require a higher fee than what was paid to Robb. Council unanimously approved a $500 increase to make the new monthly fee $3,000. Brown will also be paid $175 an hour for any issues not covered by the retainer.Council also heard from Roland Meffert, a local chiropractor, about a citywide wellness initiative that would benefit all age groups.Meffert presented a list of ideas, including a community-based discount card, a Nitro "Biggest Loser" competition and health fairs throughout the year."One great thing about probably 90 percent of the suggestions I have in here is that it doesn't cost anything ... Although there are grants and funds out there," Meffert said.Several council members and the mayor volunteered to be on the committee with Meffert to start planning and organizing the initiative."He's very dedicated to this," said Casebolt. "He is correct, this is a huge effort. I think once it gets initiated, once it gets started it will take on a life of its own."Meffert provided a timeline of eight weeks for implementation to begin and six months before activities begin.Finally, council accepted the resignation of Craig Matthews, who recently moved to Putnam County.Brown will review the city charter to make sure council members can nominate a replacement. If that checks out, nominations will be made at the next council meeting.