Mercer County resident unhappy with lack of attendance during public hearing

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PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — A public hearing regarding the county wide mask mandate was held Monday, October 19, 2021, in Mercer County but the public didn’t show.

That’s what Mercer County resident and business owner Nic Webb walked into Monday afternoon.

“When I got there nobody was there. I was there about 10 minutes late. I was speaking to one of the news crews there and he said that it only lasted 2.5 to 3 minutes because no one showed,” said Webb.

Webb said he was looking forward to hearing from the community, but he says because of the time and location of the meeting, that didn’t happen.

“I think if they gave it a chance in the evening time I think a lot more people would’ve shown up. I think if they really wanted to hear from the public I think they would’ve made it an evening time so a lot more people would’ve shown up too,” said Webb.

Director of the Mercer Health Department Roger Topping said the time was originally scheduled for 4 but was changed so more people could come. Topping says he believes the meeting wasn’t heavily attended because the community understands the masks are working.

“People realized that the mask mandate is really something that’s good for the community. There has been a huge drop in the number of new COVID cases in the month of October compared to September,” said Topping.

Webb said he wishes county officials would have thought more about the community when planning the hearing. Topping said while he was disappointed in the lack of turnout, he thinks it’s still positive because of the lower positive cases. He said there will not be another public hearing regarding the mask mandate. The mandate is scheduled to end Friday, October 22, 2021. However, a meeting with the Board of Health and county commissioners will be held Wednesday, October 19, 2021 to decide whether to extend the mandate past Friday or let it expire as originally scheduled.

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