It’s public knowledge Governor’s Mansion costing state dearly

It’s doubtful the Governor’s Mansion is the only vacant floor space costing the state dearly.
Last summer, state taxpayers learned that the state had paid nearly $1 million for vacant office space at a Fairmont mall over three years.
However, it’s public knowledge the Governor’s Mansion has remained vacant for most of Gov. Jim Justice’s term in office since January 2017.
Justice has admitted any number of times he lives in Lewisburg, a couple of hours from the state capital.
This despite the state Constitution clearly requiring governors “shall reside at the seat of government during their terms in office.”
In case anyone doesn’t know the state Constitution also notes, “The seat of government shall be at Charleston, until otherwise provided by law.”
To our knowledge this document makes no exceptions and Charleston remains the seat of government.
In the past two years, Delegate Isaac Sponaugle, D-Pendleton, has sued Justice over where he’s supposed to live. The previous two suits were tossed over technicalities.
Sponaugle’s ongoing third lawsuit may still be ongoing in 2020 judging by the motions Justice’s lawyers continue to file. Furthermore, the Kanawha County Circuit Court judge hearing the case halted discovery last week in the case until he decides how to resolve other related issues.
The last thing West Virginia needs is a commuter governor who probably doesn’t make that commute to Charleston more often than not.
The Constitution is clear enough on this matter, but simply from a businesslike — functional — perspective, the executive of any organization, company or government needs to be at the helm or nearby, and set an example.
Why can’t the clerk do his or her job in their pajamas from their porch, too? Why can’t legislators just call it in from a golf course after watching the debate online?
We’re also puzzled why the governor attorneys cannot understand that “reside” and “live” are synonymous words. Look it up. And it’s curious too that the governor repeatedly falls back upon his busy schedule and claims that he’s all over the state all the time for why he cannot return to Charleston.
Yet, he’s able to return to Lewisburg, but for some unexplainable reason cannot make it to Charleston.
We’re unsure Charleston is in the exact geographic center of our state but it certainly is closer to it than Lewisburg.
Finally, the legal team that is defending the governor in this lawsuit has already cost the state more than $21,000 in taxpayer dollars. If the governor is intent on making this all about him then he should cover his legal fees.
Can this lawsuit force the governor to live in the state capital? Perhaps not. But an election sure can send him back to Lewisburg, where he prefers to “reside.”

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