By Jim Hunt
Many years ago, I met a young fellow who was just getting started in local government and it seemed to me that he had a future in politics. He was one of the youngest mayors in the state and was eager to learn and work with the other mayors in the county. He was also one of the tallest mayors in the state and I really didn’t notice that until I was in a picture with him, and he towered over me. He led the town of Stonewood for several years before moving on to other opportunities.
Jim Terango is currently the Chief Tax Deputy for Harrison County under Sheriff Robert Matheny. Few people have ever had as much experience in that position as Terango and he has instilled a sense of teamwork in the office that has collected record numbers of tax dollars and cleared millions of dollars from the delinquent taxes owed to the county. A look at some of the positions held by Terango gives a hint as to why he is so effective in his job.
He served as a Harrison County magistrate and learned his way around the court system, which comes in handy when dealing with tax issues. It also gave him an understanding of the many things that face citizens and how to fairly assess the situations brought before him by taxpayers. A stint as Chief of Police in Shinnston, West Virginia also gave him a unique look into law enforcement and a further education into the law and how it impacts cities and their citizens.
Former West Virginia Auditor Glen Gainer hired Terango to work with him to assist local governments properly account for their tax dollars and to educate local officials on their roles and responsibilities. The West Virginia Municipal League also turned to him to help do the municipal judge training classes that they offer each year.
In addition to his public roles, Jim has operated a private investigation business which serves legal papers for area law firms and other investigative services. As if he needed any more legal skills, this venture has added immensely to his career knowledge.
It is often said that if you want to get a job done, ask a busy person. In this vein, Jim Terango returned to his original position as Mayor of Stonewood a few years ago and is leaving his mark on his hometown. The town celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 2022 and the entire city came together to put on a fantastic celebration and show off some of the accomplishments in the past 75 years.
Jim Terango stands out in the state of West Virginia, and it is not only his 6’5” height. He has put in the hours, days and years while dedicating his talents towards his hometown, his county, and his state. Jim Terango is one of our state’s Amazing Public Officials!