Riley denies misleading SWA board
During the Pocahontas County Solid Waste Authority board (SWA) meeting on May 26, chairman Ed Riley defended himself from recent allegations that he misled the board regarding an upcoming appointment.
Riley said he did not mislead the board during April's meeting when he said the county commission had asked for a recommendation to fill a July 1 board vacancy.
During the April 28 SWA meeting, Riley stated:
"David Henderson's appointment expires on June 30. He's appointed by the county commission. The county commission has always asked, in the past, for a recommendation from the board, so he will serve again, if we want him to. It's up to the board whether they want to make that recommendation or if they want to recommend somebody else."
"I have the feeling it's the county commission's responsibility to the board to go out and get a board member," SWA member Jim Burks replied.
"Well, they asked for a recommendation from the board," Riley responded.
"Well, then let's tell them we don't have one," Burks said.
"Is there a motion that we recommend him?" Riley asked.
"I just don't think it's our job to endorse individuals to sit on this board," Burks said. "It's not our responsibility."
The board voted 2-1 to recommend Henderson's re-appointment, with Riley and board member Buster Varner voting in favor and Burks voting nay because he said it was not the board's duty to make the recommendation.
On May 17, former SWA board member John Leyzorek posted an open letter to county commissioner David Fleming, which stated, in part:
"At the last public meeting of the PCSWA, on April 28, Chairman Riley announced that the county Commission had requested that the SWA recommend someone for an upcomingﾠ appointment, since their last appointment of David Henderson (Riley's protege, trainee and successor as Sanitarian, and faithful supporter on the SWA) ends in June.
"This is clearly intended to defeat the Legislative intent to have a diversity of opinions and to prevent perpetuation of a single faction's power, on the SWA.
"Perhaps more important, it was as far as I have been able to determine a deliberate lie by Mr. Riley, since the Commission seems to have made no such official request."
During the May 26 meeting, Doug Bernier, of Buckeye, said he had spoken with all three commissioners, who told him the commission had not requested a recommendation for the July 1 appointment.ﾠ
"I was talking about the prior appointments," Riley responded. "Mine came up and they said they were not going to appoint me because I did not have a recommendation from the board. So, they said, 'you have to come with a recommendation.'
"I checked with other agencies in the courthouse, asking, 'what must be made?' and they said they are asked to come with a recommendation. So, I said, 'we need to recommend.' I thought that was still the policy. It's my fault if it's not the policy but nobody, yet, has told me it's not the policy. I know there's lots of agencies that come with recommendations and they don't object."
"I just feel that you misled the board by saying that the county commission had asked for a recommendation and they hadn't," Bernier said.
"They have asked in the past for recommendations," said Riley. "I did not mislead the board."
According to commission clerk Sue Helton, the county commission requests board recommendations on a case-by-case basis and accepts recommendations from whoever submits them, but did not request a recommendation for the July 1 SWA vacancy.
The commission advertised in last week's newspaper seeking applicants for the SWA board seat and isﾠ scheduled to make a selection during its June 1 meeting.
Moving to other business, the board heard a report from SWA office manager Mary Clendenen on the recent electronic device recycling collection day.
Clendenen reported 22,460 pounds of electronic devices were dropped off at the collection point below Pocahontas County High School. She said the school had collected a large amount of electronics for the recycling effort.
The cost of the collection/recycling contractor was $1,572, which was covered by a Department of Environmental Protection recycling grant.
In other business, the SWA board:
- selected Pocahontas Recycling for a one-year contract to recycle newspaper, cardboard, magazines, bimetal and metal cans and plastic at a cost of $2,200 per month.
- selected Allegheny Disposal for a one-year contract to recycle white goods from the county landfill at a cost of $0.
- selected Emanual Tire, of Appomattox, Virginia, for a one-year contract to collect and recycle tires from the landfill at a cost of $100 per ton.
- reviewed three bids and voted to purchase a landfill leachate pond aerator from Aeromix, Inc., of Minneapolis, Minnesota, at a cost of $8,272.
- approved the financial statement for May, which indicated $28,345.71 in income and $57,613.68 in outlays.
The next meeting of the SWA is scheduled for June 30, 8 p.m. in the courthouse jury room in Marlinton.