Direct to You (November 2015)
Monday, 30 November 2015 00:00

Coal-Reliant Communities Innovation Challenge Held in Charleston

The 3rd Innovation Challenge sponsored by the National Association of Counties, the National Association of Development Organizations, and the U.S. Economic Development Administration was held in Charleston Nov 18-20. The first two challenge workshops were in Pikeville, KY and Denver, Co. Teams in coal-reliant communities that have been impacted by the downturn in coal competed for selection to partici-pate in the workshops that focus on becoming ready to diversity. A team from McDowell County participated in the Pikeville workshop while teams from Kanawha County, Mason County, and the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority (representing Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh & Summers Counties) were successful in the selection process for the Charleston workshop. Other teams at the workshop were from Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission, Northwest New Mexico Council of Governments, Armstrong County, PA, and the New River Valley Regional Commission of VA.

Many Thanks to NACo for their efforts towards diversification for coal-impacted communities!


Sovereign Citizen Interactions Increasing
Monday, 30 November 2015 00:00

Reports of sovereign citizen encounters by law enforcement and our County and Circuit Clerks’ Offices have increased over the past several months. While most of these encounters are benign and consist of espousing sovereign rhetoric and filing various sovereign-related documents, we’ve also seen an increase in aggressive behavior. Most recently, a sovereign from Wood County, WV was arrested for concocting a plan to take over WV by removing select state officials and replacing them with sovereign officials. In Jefferson County, a sovereign became uncontrollable to the point that the judge had him physically removed from the courtroom. In Tucker County, three sovereigns were arrested for obstruction following traffic stops and one of those was successfully prosecuted for filing retaliatory papers against law enforcement and county officials. In Monongalia and Jefferson Counties we’ve had reports of Moorish Nationals , a loosely knit sovereign organization.

Tax Reform Study Closes with Public Hearing
Monday, 30 November 2015 00:00

On October 20th, the Joint Select Committee on Tax Reform set aside a day to hear public comments on a variety of taxation issues. Over 30 speakers representing organizations or just themselves provided comments to the committee that ran the gamut from how taxation affects the working poor to big business. Several speakers pointed out that tax cuts have already created a budget shortfall that is hurting education and other government services. Others argued for a reduction in taxes, such as severance tax and inventory tax, to spur business growth. Summers County Commissioner Jack David Wood-rum emphasized that West Virginia’s property taxes are among the lowest in the nation. He suggested caution when contemplating tax cuts to spur economic growth because the lost revenue from elimination of personal property taxation would be devastating to county services.

The committee has not announced any more meetings at this time nor made any specific recommendations for the 2016 legislative session.

Harrison County
Monday, 30 November 2015 00:00

Constructed ~ 1932

Style ~ Art Moderne

County Seat ~ Clarksburg

The Art Moderne courthouse is the fourth county government building to be located, at this present location, in the country seat of Clarksburg. Completed in 1932 at a cost of $700,000, the five-story buff limestone and polished black granite building occupies the central location in an urban plaza, and reflects its period of construction in the early 20th century.

The vertical spandrel panels at the entrance on the upper floors and the square-headed win-dows are strong elements of the art Moderne style.

Interim Highlights (November 2015)
Monday, 30 November 2015 00:00

A two-day round of legislative interim session with a few days added for the legislative rule-making review process was held in November. Topics of interest include:

  •  Government Organization heard from WVU Public Administration students who were advocating for the funding of the Fire Service Extension. Their proposal was to reinstate the .55% surcharge on property/casualty insurance that expired in 2005 and use those funds to provide low cost to no cost training for volunteer firefighters.

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