Commission kept several plates spinning during 2009
The end of a decade did not necessarily mean the end of some of the county commissionﾒs more controversial topics and, indeed, 2009 ushered in a couple more for the countyﾒs lead governmental agency.
David Fleming took his seat on the commission, after being elected in 2008 to represent the northern district. Fleming was hardly given a honeymoon period before the big issues fell into commissionersﾒ laps, some of them invited.
Fleming and commissioner Martin Saffer wrote a letter to the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council asking the state agency to stop funding for the Slaty Fork Wastewater Treatment Plant. The commissioners were skeptical of the need for a regional system. The plant, which has been a county issue since about 2002, is still on the commissionﾒs radar and, since the Public Service District voted to move the plant to its original location on Snowshoe Drive, is again in the planning stages. The IJDC later denied the commissionﾒs request. The Public Service Commission said no thanks to a commission request for a second public service district in the county. Commissioner Reta Griffith voted against both measures.
Saffer and Fleming paired up again to request members of the PSD resign from their posts. The PSD members said no.
At long last, the county adopted a drug use policy for the countyﾒsﾠ safety-related employees and new hires after about two years of intermittent discussion.
Commissioners entertained a request from several citizens that it hire a county coordinator. After much discussion earlier in the year, the issue died briefly, but was revived when Seebert resident Jay Miller offered to do the job for two years at a salary of $1 a year.
Miller got in on one newer issue of the yearﾗanimal control. Along with humane society members, Sheriff David Jonese and animal control officer Sandy Mallow, the commission had ongoing discussions about the problem. After Mallow, who told commissioners she had been threatened, resigned, the commission voted to reallocate the remainder of her budget to the humane society which contracted with Allegheny Recreational Center on Second Avenue to provide shelter for unwanted and stray pets.
And one old issue from the 1990s is almost, but not quite, finished. The sludge pond at East Fork Industrial Park lacks only a cover before the site can be declared clean by the Department of Environmental Protection.
Wind energy took up a good bit of commissionersﾒ time in the latter part of the year, as Saffer and Fleming took up the cause to fight Highland New Wind Development in its effort to place wind turbines on Tamarack Ridge, very close to the stateline and Camp Allegheny, a pristine Civil War battle site. The commissionﾒs energy did get the governor to appoint a boundary commission, which determined that HNWDﾒs surveyor had correctly plotted the stateline.