By Stephen Smoot
The Harrison County Commission conducted its first meeting for the month of December last Wednesday. Susan Thomas, Harrison County Commission president, was not present and Commissioner David Hinkle presided over the proceedings.
First, Commissioner Patsy Trecost led the commission and meeting attendees in prayer, saying “thank You for the opportunity for the people of Harrison County to do their business.” Next, the commission led the room in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
First, commissioners took up the issue of MuniCap Inc, a public finance company. The county last month decided to retain the company “for services related to the administration of the Senior Tax Increment Refunding Bonds Series 2021,” as well as other bonds under county purview.
Additionally, MuniCap was retained “for services related to the administration of the Tax Increment Revenue and Refunding Bonds” as well as other bonds related toTIF funding.
Hinkle brought up the matter of a Memorandum of Understanding written between Harrison County and the City of Clarksburg. The MOU states “the intergovernmental agreement for the County to administer the City’s regularly scheduled elections concurrently with the statewide primary elections.”
West Virginia Code 3-1-31 states that “beginning July 1, 2022, all local municipal elections may be held concurrently with a regularly scheduled statewide primary or general election.” It goes on to say that municipalities exercising this option “ may negotiate an agreement with the county commission to establish the election date, election officials, registration books to be used, and other matters pertaining to changing the municipal election to be held on the same day as a regularly scheduled statewide primary or general election.”
Furthermore local governments “shall share in the administrative costs of holding the election, but which costs shall not exceed the municipality’s pro rata share of voters registered in the municipality compared with the total voters registered in the county.”
The MOU also states that “the County has aligned the County voting precinct boundaries with the City boundaries pursuant to West Virginia Code.”
With Thomas absent, Hinkle elected to propose tabling the MOU until the meeting to be held the following Wednesday.
Much of the meeting time was spent by the commission in hearing a request for the removal of William G. Kehrer as the executor of the estate of Dorothy Kehrer. Family members and a lawyer made the case for each side.
After the conclusion of testimony, Hinkle said “I hate these kinds of issues” and suggested that a third party is usually the right answer in such disagreements. He proposed that the current executor be removed and replaced by the Sheriff of Harrison County. The two commissioners voted to affirm it, then, with all business conducted, adjourned the proceedings.