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The Mingo County Commission meets at their regularly scheduled meeting on Jan. 8.

WILLIAMSON — The Mingo County Commission voted to retain Diann Hannah as president at the first meeting of the New Year on Jan. 8.

Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith made a motion for Thomas Taylor to be named the president pro tem, and the motion was approved. Taylor replaced Smith, who had been serving as president pro tem.

Also in the meeting, Mingo County grant coordinator Leigh Ann Ray made a request that the Commission change the time of its second monthly meeting, which occurs on the third Wednesday every month.

“We would like for you to consider changing the second meeting and making it early in the day, so that our people who have to travel long distances don’t have to be out later, especially in the winter months,” Ray said. “We were thinking maybe a 2 p.m. meeting instead of a 4:30 meeting. That way we could all be out and get on the road before it got dark or before the weather gets bad.”

Ray also mentioned how the County Commission meetings are now streamed live on their Facebook page as a reason to not hold the meetings so late in the evening.

“I don’t mean to be a Scrooge, but there’s more to it than just people being able to view the meetings,” Smith said. “Yes they can view, but if someone wants to be on the agenda, the only way that they can get on the agenda is if they appear in person. If that person works, and if we have the meeting at 4, then they have to miss less work or they can be later on in the agenda to make it. That would be my concerns with the general public ... I think that we ought to leave it in the afternoon to where those members of the public that do what to utilize it will do so.”

Ray said it seems the Commission receives much more participation in the morning meeting, which is at 9 a.m. on the first Wednesday of every month.

Commissioner Taylor also said the Mingo County Board of Education’s monthly meeting on the third Tuesday of every month conflicts with the Commission’s second weekly meeting, which sometimes limits the media in attendance. But he did agree with Smith that a later start time did benefit the public, even though public participation has been thin.

Eventually, the Commission decided to compromise and change the start time for the second monthly meeting to 4 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month and kept the start time for the first monthly meeting the same, on the first Wednesday at 9 a.m.

The County Commission also voted to keep Tina Abbott as the county’s purchasing agent and kept BB&T, all locations of Bank of Mingo, Community Trust Bank and First National Bank of Williamson as depository banks for the county.

The Commission also set dates for the 2020 meetings of the Board of Equalization. Those dates are Feb. 3, 5, 10, 13, 18, 21 and 26.

The Courthouse will remain open from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in 2020 and will operate under the statewide guidelines for their holiday schedule.

The Commission also unanimously approved a request from Willene Moore of the Williamson Branch of the NAACP to have the annex open from 5-6 p.m. each Monday in February so that Black History Month Activities can be held inside the Williamson library.

Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at jmccormick@HDMediaLLC.com.