In interviews this week, Sheriff David Jonese, County Clerk Missy Bennett, Assessor Tom Lane and Marlinton Mayor Joe Smith articulated their goals for the coming year. Next week's edition will include more interviews.\r\n\r\n<strong>\u00a0Marlinton Mayor Joe Smith<\/strong>\r\n\r\nMayor Smith has four major goals for the coming year: renovation of the town water plant; completion of a combined sewage overflow (CSO) project; repair of water system leaks; and redevelopment with emphasis on the burnt-out area on Main Street.\r\n\r\nRenovation of the water plant is expected to cost between $1.2 and $1.5 million and funding has yet to be obtained. The CSO project is part a DEP-mandated effort to remove stormwater from municipal sewage systems across the state by 2025. Contractor Kanawha Stone completed Phase I of the project in January 2010, paid for with $1.4 million in stimulus funds.\r\n\r\nTown crews recently located and repaired a major water leak at the intersection of Third Avenue and Main Street, but an estimated 50-percent of town water still is lost to leakage, increasing the cost to ratepayers. Smith wants to reduce water loss to below 30 percent by the end of 2014. The state average for water loss is 25 to 35 percent.\r\n\r\n<strong>\u00a0Sheriff David Jonese<\/strong>\r\n\r\nSheriff David Jonese said training of his deputies and improved investigations are his primary goals for 2014. The sheriff said those goals go hand-in-hand.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe two main goals we want to incorporate into this year's plan is to improve our training, both individual and collective, as a department,\u201d he said. \u201cThe other thing would be to improve the effectiveness of our investigations, as far as investigating the actual case, and in closing them up in a more timely fashion, faster than we have. Those are my two goals.\u201d\r\n\r\nOfficers will receive training to improve their investigative skills.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe will be sending officers to interview and interrogation training and to investigative training, just to improve different skills that they've already learned - taken to another level,\u201d said Jonese. \u201cSo we become more effective as an organization.\u201d\r\n\r\nJonese said Chief Deputy David Walton had attended homicide investigation training in Vienna, Virginia, and will continue with that training.\r\n\r\nWeapons training will be limited by funding.\r\n\r\n\u201cAs far as weapons training, that becomes more of a challenge because it is very difficult to procure ammunition for training,\u201d the sheriff said. \u201cIf you do manage to get the ammunition, it is extremely expensive. If we were trying to do any increase in weapons training, our training budget's going to be impacted about 30 to 40 percent, just for the ammunition we require. We can do the basic weapons training, just basic qualification, that's all we can do. We can't do any more than that because we can't afford it.\u201d\r\n\r\n<strong>\u00a0Assessor Tom Lane<\/strong>\r\n\r\nCounty Assessor Tom Lane said continuity of established procedures and a well-functioning office were his major goals.\r\n\r\n\u201cI want the office to continue to run smoothly and try to treat everybody in the community fair, and be as honest and upright with them as possible,\u201d he said. \u201cWe have an excellent staff and I feel that we're always trying to get better and do our jobs more efficiently.\u201d\r\n\r\nLane will continue his office's policy of personal visits to assess personal property.\r\n\r\n\u201cFor personal property, most counties have gone to mail-outs,\u201d he said. \u201cI've continued to go door-to-door because I feel that, if you meet with someone and you talk to them face-to-face, you understand what's going on better.\u201d\r\n\r\nLane is implementing a change in the schedule for real estate appraisals.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhen we started off in the first part of 2013, we were understaffed,\u201d he said. \u201cWe had to do the door-to-door re-appraisals for the entire county. We've kind of re-phased that to where we're breaking it into a three-year period. We will visit all places within the county in a three-year period.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe former policy was to visit 100-percent of properties in the county every third year.\r\n\r\n<strong>\u00a0County Clerk Missy Bennett<\/strong>\r\n\r\nIn a written statement, County Clerk Missy Bennett described her four major goals for the coming year - an efficient and uneventful election process; successful implementation of two new software systems; deputy clerk duty instructions and location of more storage space.\r\n\r\nIn November, voters will elect two county commissioners, state senators and delegates, a circuit court judge and other officials.\r\n\r\n\u201cIn order to have a successful election process, long hours and dedication are required of all parties involved, from candidates to election workers,\u201d Bennett wrote.\r\n\r\nIn July, Bennett's office began using new budgetary\/accounting software, used for the budget, accounts payable and payroll for all county offices.\r\n\r\n\u201cAt the completion of the year end, it is my goal that this software will have provided a complete and accurate accounting process,\u201d Bennett wrote.\r\n\r\nAlso in July, the clerk's office started using document imaging software, which enables scanning of documents, as they are received, and scanning and preservation of documents, such as deeds, in electronic format.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe goal is to place terminals in all the record rooms to allow public access to the records electronically,\u201d Bennett wrote. \u201cThe completion of the goal to scan older books will probably take several years; however, I would like to have at least one public terminal that will allow access to scanned documents by the end of 2014.\u201d\r\n\r\nBennett directed her deputies to prepare written instructions for their job duties, so that other deputies can perform those duties, when necessary - and she wants that process to work smoothly this year. She also wants to acquire more storage space for her office this year.\r\n\r\n\u201cStorage is a problem for most courthouse offices,\u201d Bennett wrote. \u201cA joint effort by all county officials will be required for this goal to be met.\u201d\r\n\r\nNext week's edition will include the goals of the county commissioners and prosecuting attorney for the coming year. In January 2015, The Pocahontas Times will follow up to see what progress was made in accomplishing each official's goals.