By Stephen Smoot
As most of the world counted down to Christmas, the Harrison County Commission held their final meeting of 2023. The commission started the meeting by wishing each other a Merry Christmas. Commissioner David Hunkle opened with an invocation, saying “Dear God, I end this year with a simple prayer, to heal our broken world.”
Commissioners next recited the Pledge of Allegiance and then opened the official meeting. Commissioner Patsy Trecost joined via Zoom call.
Susan Thomas, Harrison County Commission president, noted that “everyone’s sitting at their desks, anticipating” the results of the first annual office and staff decoration contest.
Judges from senior services visited each contestant to judge in seven categories.
The “MacGyver Award,” based on the 1980s action drama, rewarded the office that best repurposed existing materials. A “leash tree” and other creative decorations won Animal Control the award.
For interactive fun and games, such as a scented room, a ginger ale tree, and other fun, the West Virginia University Extension Office won the “Chuck-E-Cheese award.
The Voter’s Registration Office earned the D. I. Y. (do it yourself) award for an office decorated with a white coat hanger tree and paper snowflakes.
Inventive and festive ornamentation won the County Clerk’s office the Curb Appeal Award.
The Sheriff’s Tax Office went old school, festooning their work space with classic Christmas style, which naturally earned them the Bing Crosby Award.
In the Circuit Clerk’s office, judges said that every inch of the surface of the room, including staff, was covered in Christmas cheer, earning them the “To Infinity and Beyond Award.”
Judges still needed time to sort among the close finalists for best desk award. Hinkle then said “we decided that everyone did such a great job that we’ll supply each location . . a pizza party.” He added that “it’s too hard to just choose one” as the best of the bunch, also stating “we want to thank everyone who participated. It put everyone in a great mood.”
After the fun, the commission settled in to discuss their work agenda. They discussed the memorandum of understanding concerning City of Clarksburg elections running on the state primary schedule. Laura Pysz, Harrison County Administrator, asked “do you have two different MOU’s” referred to as 12 A and 12 B?
The commission did have them, the difference being that 12 B represented an amended version. Hinkle responded “I read through it and I didn’t see anything” and judged it “okay as it is.” He then made a motion for the commission to accept 12 B, which it did.
Toward the end of the meeting, the commission approved an ABCA license for the Dollar General in Enterprise to sell alcohol. Pysz then informed the commission that gas cards had started “to trickle out” to county employees who needed them. Cards will prevent the often inconvenient need to use the county gas pump.
Finally Pysz praised those who participated in the office decoration contest, saying that :it surpassed anything we imagined and talked about” and wished all a Merry Christmas. Hinkle added that “I hope it’s something that we continue and there might be ideas for other future competitions.”
Hinkle and Thomas then wished all a Merry Christmas,