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A mix of clouds and sun. High 47F. Winds light and variable..
A few clouds. Low 32F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph.
Updated: December 21, 2021 @ 2:23 pm

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This editorial originally appeared in the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.
Anyone who has ever asked a child, “Why didn’t you tell me about this?” and been met with the response, “You didn’t ask,” can sympathize with members of the West Virginia Joint Legislative Committee, who earlier this month discovered that RISE West Virginia has been under federal investigation and put on a corrective-action plan.
Senate Minority Leader Stephen Baldwin, D-Greenbrier, was rightly frustrated when he said, “We’ve talked about this program for the last three meetings. That has never been mentioned. So that’s the answer to the question, ‘Why has this program been paused?’ It’s been under federal investigation.”
In fact, the program, which was put in place to make sure the state was doing what it was supposed to do for families hit by a flood five years ago, was found by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to be in need of corrective action back in August. It seems there was a lack of a duplication of benefits analysis by the West Virginia National Guard, which helped administer the program.
Surely, Michelle Tharp Penaloza, program director for Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery for the West Virginia Development Office, knew she was being somewhat disingenuous when she said, “It’s been 100 percent transparent on everything that we’ve discovered. … For us to walk away with only one finding, I know that it doesn’t feel like a success story, but it really is.”
In other words, they never actively hid or lied about what was going on, they just didn’t tell anyone, either.
According to Penaloza, the program, which received $6.8 million to demolish flood-damaged properties, with $3.5 million spent on 46 projects so far, now meets all HUD requirement.
Fantastic. But the lack of communication thus far certainly leads one to wonder what else we are not being told about a program that is supposed to be helping families recover from a disaster that occurred in 2016, and still is not projected to have construction completed for all families until June of next year.
Lawmakers must make regular inquiries and demand thorough communication from program officials, if we are to be assured the program is operating within requirements and truly accomplishing its goal. To be clear, that goal is not to allow King Bureaucracy to keep serving itself, but to do right by West Virginians who are counting on it.