Commonwealth Journal

Local News

July 18, 2013

Soaring local gas prices topic of city-county summit

Somerset —

A citizen spearheading a push for change in local gas pricing is meeting with community leaders next week on the issue. 
Mickey Williams, of Fairway Lane, Somerset, appeared before Somerset City Council during the Monday, July 8 meeting to discuss what he stated is the county’s most pressing issue: What many are calling unfair gas prices in Pulaski County in comparison to surrounding areas. 
 “Everybody’s talking about it,” Williams said during the meeting.
Williams has appeared before city council several times recently as a representative of the Citizens United Advocacy Group (not to be confused with the Somerset-Pulaski County United group, which is exploring a possible merged city-county government). The main focus of the group is to get to the bottom of the alleged unfair gas prices and effect change. 
During the meeting, Williams said he took an informal survey of local citizens and asked whether they felt gas prices or the merged city-county government was the most important issue facing them. Williams said 186 people answered that gas prices was the most important, while 10 answered that unified government was most important to them. 
Williams has received support from several city officials, including Councilor John Ricky Minton, who has long pushed for some type of action on the city’s part in lowering gas prices. Although Minton didn’t speak on the situation during the July 8 meeting, he has been vocal on the issue in past meetings. 
“Are we going to do anything or are we going to sit here? ... I think it’s our job to speak up,” Minton said during a February meeting. “I think it’s time. I’ve brought it up for the last two years.”
But the city’s hands are tied, according to Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler and Somerset City Attorney Carrie Wiese. 

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