Pocahontas Commission Approves Contract For Magisterial Redistricting

Marlinton, WV – At the Pocahontas County Commission meeting last week, the Commissioners agreed to contract with Jo Vaughn for $3500.00 for her expertise in redistricting due to changes in population according to the 2010 census. Pocahontas County Clerk Melissa Bennett says the redistricting is a requirement.

“We have to redistrict because of the population,” she says. “We have to change magisterial districts because we have to be even; right now we should have a little over 2900 in each magisterial district. The northern district we would not have to do anything with, but the central and southern, there’s a big difference. It’s law; we have to restructure the magisterial districts so they’re even in population.”

Vaughn will create the redistricting maps to be delivered within 10 days of payment. Bennett says Vaughn has done this service for the county before, most recently after the 2000 census. The precincts could be also be renumbered at this time, but the choice of whether to do that or not is up to the Commission.

Bennett says there is some urgency to get this done in time for the January 2012 candidate filing window. She says they have 30 days from the official announcement of the redistricting to complete the process. During that period, the Commission must also hold a hearing to take public comments. Commissioner Saffer asked if they could wait until the December 6th Commission meeting so they could speak to Vaughn in person, but Bennett says that would push the 30 day timeline too close to the beginning of the January election filing window. In the end, the Commission agreed to contract with Vaughn and Commission President Fleming made a formal announcement about the redistricting process.

“Well, I hearby announce that the procedure for realigning the magisterial districts and precinct boundaries is underway,” says Fleming.

In other business, Fleming says the person who had contacted him about the scrap metal at the East Fork Industrial park has withdrawn their request in light of questions about related clean up issues at the site. Fleming says he’s also spoken to John Simmons about securing the buildings on the site and making sure there is sufficient no trespassing signage. Commissioner Martin Saffer asked that Simmons come to their next meeting to talk about the cost of cleaning up the building site for possible future business use.

The Commission also requests that engineer John Swecker appear at the next meeting to talk about the final phase of capping the sludge pond at East Fork.

The Commission also heard an update on the Community Corrections program from Chuck Alexander and appointed Shawn Dunbrack and Melvin Martin to the 9-11 Advisory Board.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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