Pocahontas County Commission Hears Opposition To Hiring Two New Deputies

Marlinton, WV – Northern Pocahontas County resident Buster Varner questions why the county needs to hire two new Sheriff’s deputies.

“But I’m saying the numbers don’t add up to have them,” says Varner. “Take that money and give it to the deputies you’ve got now; you’ve got another thing on there now to take $5000.00 and give it to him [Sheriff David Jonese] for overtime.”

Sheriff David Jonese says it’s because he’s been two deputies short since last October that he’s exceeded his overtime budget and had to go before the County Commission to get enough funding to carry him through the end of the fiscal year. Varner says Randolph County with a much larger population has less deputies on the payroll. But Jonese says Randolph also has considerably more in the way of law enforcement resources.

“Your numbers on the deputies based on Randolph County are greatly flawed, because in addition to that they have 20 City [of Elkins] deputies and they have a state police detachment,” says Jonese. “The Elkins Sheiff’s department does not operate after midnight, we do.”

While there is a small West Virginia State Police detachment in Marlinton, the detachment in Elkins is a larger headquarters office. Varner also questions why the two proposed new hires are both from out of the county. But Jonese says although local applicants took the civil service test, none passed. And he stresses that the two proposed candidates Samuel Hummel and James Peteet were recommended to the Sheriff by the county civil service board. A motion to hire the deputies died for lack of a second. The issue is not dead though, as the Commission will discuss this once again at a special meeting on Tuesday, February 28th.

In other business, the Commission agreed to write a letter of support for the county Public Service District in favor of the site chosen for the new sewer plant. PSD member David Litsey explained some of the background discussion in making their final site selection and is pleased that Snowshoe is also in agreement with the site selected. The letter will be sent to the West Virginia Public Service Commission, and copied to the Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council and the West Virginia Dept of Environmental Protection.

The Commission approved the hiring of Gary Kramer as a deputy county clerk. Kramer will start on March 12th at a salary of $2000.00 per month.

The Commissioners also discussed a WV DEP required Asbestos inspection that must be done prior to dismantling buildings at the East Fork Industrial Park in Frank. Elkins Recycling won the bid to do that work, but there is a question as to whether or not they are willing to pay for the inspection and related paperwork. As the Commission didn’t have information on the cost of the inspection or the possible liability if no inspection is done prior to removing the building, no action was taken at the meeting on this subject. This will also be discussed at the special meeting on February 28th.

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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