Published On: Wed, Jun 4th, 2014

County Commission makes several board appointments

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Pocahontas County Assistant Prosecutor Robert Martin, on the left, speaks to the County Commission on June 3, 2014. Martin told the commission he thought it was a bad idea to allow Snowshoe resident Richard Marker to speak about a proposed modification to a petition to create a resort area district at Snowshoe, because two public meetings on the petition have been scheduled in July. Seated to Martin's left is Snowshoe president and CEO Frank DeBerry. Marker is on the right in the photo.

Pocahontas County Assistant Prosecutor Robert Martin, on the left, speaks to the County Commission on June 3, 2014. Martin told the commission he thought it was a bad idea to allow Snowshoe resident Richard Marker to speak about a proposed modification to a petition to create a resort area district at Snowshoe, because two public meetings on the petition have been scheduled in July. Seated to Martin’s left is Snowshoe president and CEO Frank DeBerry. Marker is on the right in the photo.

The Pocahontas County Commission filled several vacancies on local boards during its meeting on Tuesday morning.

The commission considered two applicants to serve on the Solid Waste Authority Board: John Leyzorek, of Marlinton; and Paul Rader, of Huntersville. SWA board member Doug Bernier, whose term expires on June 30, told the commission he did not wish to be re-appointed.

Rader worked for 30 years with the Department of Environmental Protection. He currently works part-time with the Post Office as a rural letter carrier.

Leyzorek is a former SWA board member and chairman. He is self-employed designing, building and repairing machinery. He is a member of the Local Emergency Planning Committee and a former member of the Farmland Protection Board.

SWA Office Manager Mary Clendenin noted that Leyzorek is currently involved in a lawsuit against the SWA involving green box fees. Leyzorek said he opposes the flat fee charged on every landowner in the county to support the green boxes. The applicant said he would prefer a fee system based on usage.

Commissioner William Beard said people had expressed to him that Rader’s experience with the DEP would be helpful on the SWA board. Beard also expressed reservations about Leyzorek’s ongoing litigation with the SWA.

Commissioner Jamie Walker said the green boxes had greatly eliminated the amount of illegal trash dumps in the county.

“The amount of trash going down over the hill was cut drastically,” he said.

The commission voted 2-0 to appoint Rader to the SWA board. Commissioner David Fleming was not present.

In other appointments, the commission appointed: Franklin Murphy and Cheryl Cassell to the Dramas, Fairs and Festivals Board; and Shawn Dunbrack, Cindy Wilfong, Joseph Smith, Jaynell Graham, Preston Cline, Tom Taylor, Randy Wilfong and Steve Tritapoe to the Local Emergency Planning Committee.

Snowshoe resident Richard Marker was on the commission agenda to request a modification to the Snowshoe resort area district (RAD) petition. Specifically, Marker wants a dissolution clause inserted into the petition.

Pocahontas County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Robert Martin said a dissolution clause is not authorized under the state law that authorizes creation of RADs, and recommended that the commission not allow Marker to speak, because public meetings have been scheduled in July regarding the proposed resort area district. Martin said the commission risked being sued by Snowshoe if it allowed comments outside of the scheduled public meetings.

Marker requested to speak and Walker allowed him to speak. Marker gave his opinion that the process to create the RAD is undemocratic and recommended having a dissolution clause in the charter creating the RAD, if it is approved.

A public meeting to hear comments on the RAD petition is scheduled for Monday, July 7, at 5:30 p.m. A public meeting to consider and act on the petition is scheduled for Saturday, July 19, at 10 a.m.

Members of the Pocahontas County Farmers Market board requested a $10,000 donation for construction of a Farmers Market pavilion in Linwood. Another non-profit group, Linwood Alive, received $10,000 for the same project last December.

Commissioner William Beard said he would support the additional money if the group showed proof that the Farmers Market board approved the full donation for the Linwood project. Beard moved to grant the contribution request, contingent on the proof.

Commissioner Jamie Walker opposed the contribution. Walker said the commission had already contributed $19,000 to Linwood groups in the current fiscal year. Walker said the commission policy is to contribute a maximum of $10,000 to any group during a fiscal year. He said a second $10,000 donation for the same project, through a second group, would violate the spirit of the policy.

Walker objected, therefore the motion did not pass.

In other business, the County Commission:
- Approved an expenditure of $7,000 to Total Tech, LLC, to repair heat pumps in the Hanover Building.
- Tabled action on a drug testing policy.
- Accepted a $34,000 Homeland Security grant for rescue training.
- Referred Snowshoe RAD administrative items to Martin for action.
- Approved the sale of a county-owned vehicle, currently used at the animal shelter.
- Took no action on Health Department funding.

The next County Commission meeting is scheduled for June 17 at 7 p.m.

About the Author

- Geoff Hamill can be contacted at gshamill@pocahontastimes.com