WILLIAMSON - The Mingo County Commission met for their first regularly scheduled meeting for the month of November. The first item on the agenda was the appointment of the new prosecutor and commissioner, those being Teresa Maynard and Mike Carter.
“It’s a tough day for us,” stated County Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith. “I personally feel that we shouldn’t have to be the ones that choose these replacements, it should be done by the voters of this county. However; the law stipulates that this responsibility falls to us.”
“We’ve had a black cloud hanging over Mingo County. We want that to change - we want transparency. It pleased us to see a total of 20 people step forward and apply for the positions they felt would allow them to help the county, to see it grow and prosper, and we want to thank each and every one of you.”
After the announcement was made that Maynard would remain in the position as prosecutor, a ripple of discontent could be heard through a small portion of the crowd. Don Stevens, a former businessman who operated as a private investigator before being accused and arrested on charges of wiretapping, addressed the commissioners and voiced his opinion about their choice.
“No one affiliated with the prosecutor’s office who worked under Michael Sparks (the former prosecutor) should be appointed to fill this vacancy,” said Stevens. “They have been under scrutiny and investigation and are not to be trusted. I for on,e know what it’s like to be attacked and targeted by them.”
Smith assured those in attendance that he had spoke with the WV Bar Association, the Disciplinary Counsel and others, and was told that Maynard was in no way connected to the federal investigation.
Next on the list was the appointment of Mike Carter as a commissioner, and Smith and Commission President John Mark Hubbard spoke of Carter’s impeccable character, his many years of community service and what a fine job he had done for the children of the county during the 11 years he served as a Board of Education member.
The commission then continued to address items on the agenda, including a funding request from the Beech Creek Fire Department, which was approved. The Chattaroy Fire Department asked to utilize an ATV owned by the county that would assist in trail rescues, and was granted the permission to do so. The Town of Delbarton was presented with a 2006 GMC Truck that was owned by the commission for their maintenance workers to use.
An announcement was made concerning the opening of the Laurel Lake Shooting Range, that is scheduled for this Saturday, Nov. 9. The range will be open on a daily basis from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. The commission encourages everyone to familiarize themselves with the rules governing the use of the range and to use the facility in a safe and cautious manner.
The range will be manned by a member of the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department if the schedules can be worked out and an officer would be available during these hours of operation. Sheriff James Smith told the commission he would speak with several of his deputies who may be interested in the position.
Mingo County Clerk, “Big Jim” Hatfield had submitted a diagram and a cost sheet for renovations to the front desk of his office, explaining that he now has two employees in that location and the current space and set up does not accommodate their needs. A bid to complete the job at a price tag of $4,600 was approved.
Charlie Justice, a former deputy with the county, was nominated and approved to serve on the Sheriff’s Civil Service Board, a position that he previously held.
Several items on the agenda were tabled until the next regular meeting that will be held at 9 a.m. on Nov. 20. If you would like information on the meeting or to be added on the agenda, please Call Tina Abbott at 304-235-0380.