FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Official action has been taken by Fairmont City Council over recent comments made by Fairmont Mayor Tom Mainella.
Close to a month after an argument between Mainella and a Fairmont resident over a parking spot became viral, Fairmont City Council decided to officially censure the Mayor of Fairmont during their regular meeting Tuesday. The decision was unanimous, with Mainella himself voting in approval of the censure after there were several calls for Fairmont City officials to take action over the past few weeks.
“He lost his temper and he said some things that he definitely should not have said, and it was an embarrassment to the city, and it was not fair to the city, and it was not fair to the gentleman that he was talking to,” said Fairmont Deputy Mayor Donna Blood regarding the actions leading to the censure.
The string of events resulting in the censure, started on September 10, when Mainella got into an argument with Fairmont resident Bobby Bombard, over the position of Bombard’s car in a parking space causing traffic to pile up around the shopping center. The argument eventually escalated into a shouting match, with Mainella insulting Bombard in front of his wife and daughter, while insinuating the police would back him up as it was being recorded by Bombard. The response from that video, along with Mainella’s actions in it, prompted the decision to be made by Fairmont City Council as well as a formal apology during Council’s last regular meeting in September.
“As far as we’re concerned it’s over,” said Blood regarding the incident on WAJR’s Talk of the Town Wednesday. “He thoroughly apologized to Mr. Bombard, that came from his heart, I have known him for a while and I believe what he said that he was extremely sorry,” she said.
With the censure officially passed, no other action is expected to be taken by Fairmont City Council on the incident involving Mainella. Blood stated on WAJR’s Talk of the Town that aside from the censure, that Council is limited to what can actually be done in response to the incident with a voter petition being the only course of action now to formally remove Mainella, who’s also part of Fairmont City Council. Even if there were other options, Blood is firm that the action taken by Fairmont City Council in censuring Mainella was the right one.
“He’s served on all kinds of boards all over Marion County, the Marion Harrison Airport Authority Board, he’s done so many good things,” said Blood regarding Mainella’s work in civil service. “And it was hard to watch one incident hurt his reputation,” she said.
Mainella, is now the third member of Fairmont City Council to have been censured since the beginning in 2020. Council member Karl “David” Kennedy, was censured in January 2020 after comments he made regarding the bombing that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Council member Barry Bledsoe was censured in September 2020 after comments he made regarding now Vice President Kamala Harris and Monongalia County Delegate Danielle Walker. Despite the censures, Blood and the rest of Fairmont City Council is ready to move forward with Fairmont housing projects and city beautification plans that have been in the works for close to half a decade, among several positive initiatives coming out of the City of Fairmont.
“The beautification of our city, that we have been working on for the last four years, and that’s a really important feature,” said Blood regarding what Fairmont City Council is looking forward to working on. “We want people to come to Fairmont and enjoy the friendly city,” she said.