I believe phonetics is the way to learn to read.
I believe the Palmer method is the way to learn to write.
I believe the multiplication tables are the way to learn arithmetic.
And, although there may be some legitimate concern over Common Core, there should be none about approving the levy needed to repair our faltering school infrastructure.
I would like to express my support for the school levy, which is on the ballot November 8. I have several points would like to express.
This plan was generated by our own school senior leadership team and members of our community who are, in my opinion, the best we have had in our county to-date. These folks live here, work here and really care about our kids’ education and our future.
The personal investment that I am asking each voter in Pocahontas County to make is real. It will increase your taxes for five years. It will vary for each of us, depending on our assets and our tax bracket.
Our non-voting silent commercial taxpayers – Class III and IV Snowshoe property owners – myself included, will see the largest tax increase and pay the largest share. My homework math reveals approximately 65 percent of the levy value will be paid for by this group. That’s more than half of the total levy value.
If passed, this matching money that the levy generates is our opportunity to take cash in hand to the state SBA and say, “we want more than what you are willing to give us; we want improvement in our schools here in Pocahontas County.”
I am also hoping that this personal investment will instill a sense of ownership in our schools for each of us. These are our schools. This is your investment in them.
The remodeling and construction timeline is not perfect and there will be some inconveniences and growing pains for sure. Right now we currently have many substantial issues, like outdated electrical systems, outdated fire protection, outdated HVAC, outdated technology systems, outdated sewer and fresh water systems, unsecured buildings and risk of flooding. These current issues are very expensive to correct and will be much easier and less expensive to deal with proactively than to have to deal with them reactively down the road.
This is a job generator for us.
Every cent of this levy and matching funds from the SBA will be spent right here in Pocahontas County. We will be voting to spend millions of dollars in this county in the next five years. These projects will require workmen, project managers, contractors and specialized tradesmen from all aspects of the building community. every dollar of our tax investment will come right back to us. It wil put food on our tables, clothes on our kids.
This could launch careers.
Please vote in support of the school levy.
In a few weeks citizens of Pocahontas County will hire or rehire (vote) applicants (candidates) to work for us on important jobs. These jobs (offices) carry important responsibility including handling a budget and in some of the positions supervising employees. As citizens we have the privileged responsibility to carefully weigh the competency, work ethic, communication skills, wisdom, and fairness of the candidates through our common vote. Hiring someone means paying the worker. Following are the yearly wages of our Pocahontas County elected officials. Pay for elected county officials is established by legislative act, as referenced in WV Code Reference is §7-7-4. Pocahontas County is Class III.
County Commissioners are paid $39,917. This position is considered part-time, and so commissioners can also hold other income-producing jobs if they choose. This part-time should be explained. Commissioners hold two regularly scheduled meetings each month along with several special meetings. Additionally, each commissioner is appointed to boards of several organizations. A generous estimate is that county commissioners might attend up to 250 hours in such meetings every year. However, a commissioner can choose to work additional hours to conduct research on issues, write grants, visit community events, talk with businesses, meet with legislators, and support and promote positive local initiatives. A fair question is to ask our job applicants (commission candi- dates) how they would use their non-meeting time for us citizens?
County Clerk salary is $59,875, and must be full-time (no additional jobs can be held). Circuit Court Clerk (full-time) is also $59,875. Assessor (full-time) is a base of $49,157 with an additional $4916 for the Agricultural Report and $15,000 Supplemental Salary. Sheriff (full-time) is $49,157 with an additional $15,000 Sheriff’s Commission on Taxes. Prosecuting Attorney (full-time) is $103,264.
Additional benefits are determined upon base pay with and additional SS/FICA of 7.65 percent; Retirement at 12 percent; PEIA health insurance at 100 percent.
In other elected offices, our West Virginia governor is paid $150,000 annually. WV Secretary of State, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, and Treasurer each receive $95,000. State senators and representatives are at $20,000 with an additional $131 per day while in session. Supreme Court Justices are at $136,000. All county magistrates receive $57,500. Circuit Court Judges are at $126,000. These latter figures are to the best of my knowledge.
We citizens expect our elected officials to work conscientiously and effectively for us, and in return they should be compensated fairly.