Pocahontas Commission Says No to Greenbrier County Day Report Center Proposal
At their previous meeting, the Pocahontas Commissioners heard from Judge Rowe and employees of the Greenbrier Community Corrections Day Report Center about possibly severing the ties between the Pocahontas Day Report Center and the Randolph County Day Report Center, and partnering with the Greenbrier County Day Report Center. At that meeting the Commissioners asked for a Memorandum of Understanding to be drawn up between Greenbrier and Pocahontas Counties about this, and have it considered at the February 16th meeting.
Since the Commission began seriously considering this move away from Randolph County, all the employees at the Pocahontas Day Report Center have resigned. This left the 11 current Day Report participants in danger of being violated since they were not being monitored, drug tested or attending mandated therapy and classes. Since that last meeting, the Commission’s Attorney, Bob Martin has worked with Judge Richardson and they have cobbled together a temporary staff to keep things operating at the Day Report Center for up to 2 months. They convinced Cheryl Jonese a properly certified Therapist to do the therapy and mandatory classes for up to two months. They also borrowed two Sheriff’s Department employees to run the Center temporarily. Martin says this temporary measure is working well.
At the February 16th meeting, Commissioner Jamie Walker explains that after talking with other counties who had struck out on their own, he concluded that not joining up with Greenbrier County’s or any other county’s Day Report Center was the way to go. Jamie.
“I talked to three different ones (counties) and they was all more than pleased that they went on their own” said Commissioner Walker. “Number 0ne, that they control what happens there. Number 2, the Judge makes recommendations and changes as to how it needs to be run according to what’s going on in that county. And number three, you got control over your money and your people.”
Commission President Bill Beard agreed.
“Well, I agree with Jamie on his comment” said Commissioner Beard. “I talked to a Commissioner from Nicholas County and he said that was one of the better things they did by going independent.”
The Commission voted unanimously to reject the Greenbrier County Memorandum of Understanding to include Pocahontas County in its grant application for the next FY. Instead the Commissioners decided to strike out on their own and apply for a grant to run their own Community Corrections Program with its own Local Advisory Board and employees. They now have only until March 8th to submit a grant application to the State to fund the Day Report Center from July 1 2016 through June 30, 2017. They will have to continue to use existing funding obtained for them by Randolph County’s last year’s grant, to start up and run the Pocahontas Day Report Center through June 30, 2016. They have set a special Commission meeting for Monday afternoon, February 22nd to appoint a Local Community Criminal Justice Review Board
In other actions at the February 16 meeting, the Commissioners heard Grazia Apolinares present the annual update from the Water Resources Management Taskforce. Grazia plans to issue a “State of the County Waters Report” by June, and is still looking for residents of the Knapps’s Creek drainage area to apply for financial help in replacing or repairing failing septic systems or pumps.
They heard County Clerk Melissa Bennett talk about storing County records older than 1900 with the WV Department of Culture and History at no charge to the County. These records can still be accessed if necessary.
They reviewed and accepted the only bid received for the purchase of used vehicle for the Process Server, a 2015 Jeep Patriot Sport 4×4 with 24,400 miles on it for $16,570 after trade in.
They approved budget resolutions for Law enforcement, Emergency Management and the Water Task Force.
They approved appointments to 3 year terms to the Local Emergency Planning Committee’s Board for the following people:
Cindy Wilfong of the Health Department
J.P. Duncan of the Marlinton Fire and Rescue
Jaynell Graham of the Pocahontas Times
Wanda Wyatt of Seneca Mental Health
Preston Cline of Snowshoe Resort
Steve Tritapoe of the Frost Fire Department
Randy Wilfong II of Shavers Fork Fire and Rescue
And Barbra Lay of the Hospital.
Again there will be a special Commission Meeting on Monday, February 22nd at 2 pm to appoint a Board for the new Day Report Center, an agreement with Interstate Hardwoods to use a building in the East Fork Industrial Park and a proposal to require background checks on all new County employees.