Parkersburg mayor looks back at the first four years

Published: Dec. 31, 2020 at 4:17 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - This weekend, Parkersburg Mayor Tom Joyce begins his second term in office, and he says he’s accomplished a lot in his first four years.

Joyce cited increased investment in streets and infrastructure improvements-something he says continued this year in spite of shutdowns.

One of his biggest accomplishments he noted: increased funding of the police and fire pension funds, and the transfer of another pension plan to West Virginia state control.

”Those plans have not been properly funded for a number of years,” Joyce said in an interview Wednesday. “By closing the plans and coming off the alternative funding methods, we’ve done a great service to the members of those pension plans and also, for the next 50 years, the citizens of Parkersburg.”

The mayor cites making repairs and renovations-from Parkersburg City Park to the city streets.

The park saw major renovations to the pool, including the addition of a “splash pad”, and the replacement of the park fountain, heavily damaged during a storm two years ago.

Parkersburg, Joyce says, is in its best financial shape in a generation, and he hopes the next city council, with several new members, can keep it that way.

“I hope this new council will look past each budget cycle and take a long-term approach to our budgeting and our financing,” Joyce says, “and also the projects that we undertake to make sure we’re working toward what’s best for the long-term and not just what’s good for the next election.”

Joyce is full of praise for Parkersburg City Council, something that’s not always been the case with previous mayors. He notes its support of his programs to help businesses in a year of uncertainty helped move the city forward.

“I’m very happy with some of the things city council endorsed, with regard to the Small Business Relief Fund. That program is helping small businesses in the community right now, as is the Family Relief Fund.”

The mayor is concerned changes such as people working from home rather than in downtown offices, and not patronizing downtown businesses, could change the city’s financial landscape.

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