(11/12/2007)
OPINION AND COMMENT - By Bob Weaver

Gov. Joe Manchin gave a weak-kneed explanation of the sudden firing of long-time state archivist Fred Armstrong.

Armstrong was escorted unceremoniously out of the building, with no recognition of his exemplary service to his agency and the people of West Virginia.

It would be a hard press to come up with a single employee of the State of West Virginia whose body of work has been the call, duty and performance of Mr. Armstrong.

Manchin mumbled and stumbled in giving an explanation for Armstrong's firing, trying to avoid acceptance of responsibility.

Those of us who know how state government is now micro-managed by Manchin, we just say "Huh?"

In previous years, media or the public could go to the community agency head or state agency head and ask questions, get answers.

Now, it has become exceedingly difficult to get public information without going through some kind of state house clearance.

It appears that Mr. Armstrong was canned because he internally opposed the transition of the State Archives Library to a gift and coffee café.

What about his steadfast faithfulness to the preservation of the state's records and history? God bless him for doing so.

Mr. Armstrong needs to be reinstated immediately, negating his "at will" employment.

There will be a rally this Friday evening, November 16th at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Science & Culture Building in Charleston.

Supports of the archives and Armstrong are asked to attend.

The group chose to wear Blaze Orange (vest, jacket, sweat shirt, etc) and are requested to make a sign to pin on individuals backs saying, "SAVE THE ARCHIVES LIBRARY".


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