March 7, 2003
With just a handful in the gallery, Clay County Commission met in regular session Feb 27 2003. CCC President Jimmy Sams was at the helm aided by Mathew Bragg and Peter Triplett. The 25 minute meeting netted some insight into the elected ones disposition of lending $ to Clay Roane PSD. But first the other stuff.
Commission will work on the new year’ budget March 7 thru 28 and meet “ime to time”according to Commissioner Sams. Seeing the ace cub reporter in attendance and looking for some Open Meeting Law fun, Sams commented that during those days of budget session (no public around), CCC, “ill take care of any other business that comes up..” Almost immediately Clerk Judy Moore, “Will you ever learn to keep your mouth shut..” Laughter was heard.
With rain pouring thru holes in the Health Dept. roof, estimates to replace the roof are not in yet. Sams commented that the Commission could help pay the bill but,”We can give some money but it won’ be no $40,000.00.” And now for the insight. Before the CCC was the issue of helping Clay Roane PSD out of yet another financial nightmare. Details of the mess are elsewhere in this edition. Sams, after looking at a letter explained that the PSD is delinquent in paying employer taxes to the Federal Govt. Both Sams and Triplett looked reluctant to cough up one more penny ( $15000.00 needed) before the PSD prepares and lives within a budget.
Triplett seemed a little steamed over a new hiring at the PSD. With discussion going on about giving money to an agency that doesn’ even have a budget, from the peanut gallery, Paige Willis, “That’ encouraging incompetence.” Triplett, “They ain’ got any money and then they turn around and hire someone????” The mood was set. Sams said they would pen a letter to the financially challenged PSD seeking budgetary restraints and compliance with regular submissions of monthly financials. Well…. Jimmy didn’ actually say that, but that’ what he meant! Entering into the discussion, Commissioner Bragg, “y water bill is around $100 a month…”Furthering the nay swing, Triplett,”They’e going to hire another one on the 13th [March]!” Remembering riled up PSD Chair Melissa Postelwait, Sams, “They told me they didn’ want any help!”From the gallery, Greg Fitzwater, “They don’ want your help, they want your money!”Someone reminded the three up front when the Town got into financial grease two years ago, the CCC refused to help them. Discussion included: the PSD has received 3 rate increase in the last two years; they won’ even let Jimmy drive their truck; their need for someone to be in charge; and how pitiful it is that they can’ even keep water at Valley Fork Elem.
Commissioner Sams seemed to sum up the whole mess with his comment on the County Commission in charge of filling PSD Board positions, Sams, “Oh Lord we’e done a good job appointing!” AW
School Board Meets at H.E. White Elementary
The Clay County Board of Education met for their regular meeting Monday, March 3, at H.E. White Elementary. Their previous meeting was to be held at the school as part of the board’ schedule to meet with the Local School Improvement Councils (LSIC) throughout the year, but floodwater in the gym forced the rescheduling. A fair crowd of 50 to 60 attended. All board members were present: R.B. Legg, Jr. (president), Gene King, Scott Legg, Fran King, and David Pierson.
After offering prayer Legg called the meeting to order at 6 PM, made introductions, asked the Board to approve the agenda, and then paused for entertainment. 12 members of the H.E. White Choir, directed by Mr. Oates, performed a medley of patriotic songs and a new H.E. White alma mater song. Board then approved the following business: previous meeting minutes; payment of current bills; increased receipts of $225,044 (the Title II budget for the year); transfers for Helen Duffield from pre-school aide at Lizemore Elementary to Ivydale Elementary, Mary Katherine King from special education aide at Clay Middle School (CMS) to part-time secretary to the 21st Century Grant administrator, and Philip Dobbins from assistant principal at CMS to Principal at Clay County High School (CCHS), all successful bids. Superintendent Jerry Linkinogger said Dobbins had taught at CCHS for 10 years and felt he would do an outstanding job as principal. Dobbins will take the position July 1; employment for Wanda Walters as pre-school aide at Lizemores, successful bid; accepted the resignation of Arthur Roger Smith, effective June 10 (his position wasn’ stated); and, approved an overnight trip to Charleston March 6-7 for the FBLA clubs from CCHS and CMS to attend the State Leadership Conference.
Business Manager Loretta Gray gave the monthly financial report. She said in February the tax collections had started to go up as anticipated. Funds received included Title I grant money, No Child Left Behind Title I money, and special education payments. Money that passed through was grant money from the Greater Kanawha Foundation for the park at Maysel, and Americorps money. The Board had no questions for Gray. All motions passed unanimously with little or no discussion.
Chris Huff from the Human Resource Development Foundation presented a certificate of appreciation to the Board praising them for their support of the Governor’ Summer Work Program. She said Clay was the only county out of the nine in their area that allowed students to work through August, which the HRDF desired for their participants.
Former Director of Special Education Dixie Jarvis was presented with a plaque for her outstanding 34 years of service. Jarvis retired at the end of last year. Joe Paxton, principal at H.E. White, also received a plaque from the Board for the school for being one of two in the county that received ‘xemplary’status this year.
Director of Student Services and Transportation Larry Legg announced that Primary Care in Clay would do the physicals for bus drivers, needed for certification, for $58 each. He said they would work around the drivers’hours of work. Drivers that wanted to get their physical elsewhere would get the $58, but would have to pay any difference in cost themselves. Dave Mullins, school service employees representative, questioned the proposal, saying some preferred to use their own physicians, and that as it was state requirement the Board had to pay all the cost. Dave Pierson countered by saying if the board chose a health care provider to provide the service at a specific cost, they would only be required to pay that amount. Board will take action on the proposal at their next meeting.
Last, as their meeting with the LSIC, Joe Paxton gave a slide presentation on H.E. White. Highlights included receiving exemplary status with no non-compliances and 8 commendations, the basketball teams, spelling bee winners Morgan Jackson and April Brown, and the new computer lab (which, by the way, was consistently chosen by students as one of their favorite things at school). SAT 9 scores and student attendance were up last year, and staff changes were down. He announced that a PBS reporter was coming to the school as part of a documentary on what wonderful things a rural school can do. Improvements asked for by the LSIC were new floor tile for the gym, main hallway, and bathrooms (estimated cost: $6,500) and a split rail fence to separate the playground from the parking area (estimated cost: $300, with labor provided by volunteers).
Meeting adjourned, and refreshments were served. Next meeting of the board will be March 17 at Clay Middle School. TK
SPECIAL CLAY ROANE CHANGES MADE
You know that Clay Roane PSD is over $35,000.00 in debt and owes back employee taxes (FICA) for 6 months. Three weeks ago, Clay/Roane Chair Melissa Postelwait requested help from the Clay County Commission (CCC) and from Roane County to the tune of $15,000.00.
Since our last printing, the financially troubled water service provider held a Special meeting at their Procious Water Plant facility on Feb 21, 2003. The tiny room was packed wall to wall. Commissioners Sams and Triplett came as did WV Health Dept heavy hitter JD Douglas. Notice was given that ailing Boardster Roy Ellis had resigned and Roane County Commission was expected to appoint Larry White to fill the spot.
With all eyes upon them, Boardster Dave Saulsgiver opened things up with: “e got to pay some taxes..”Chair Postelwait commented that she had asked the CCC for help. Member Gary Whaling spoke on asking the Commissions for a loan to help them cover the debt load. Having heard that, and seeing Larry White ( in attendance), an ex Roane Commissioner, White spoke optimistically about the Roane gang helping out with around $3000.00 or so. Chair Postelwait added another burden. The PSD is behind paying the Town of Clay for water purchased ($3550.00) and if payment is late, a 10% penalty will be tacked on. The past due taxes have to be paid by March 5, 2003 to keep the Feds at bay. Translation: There is only enough $ to pay one or the other. After discussion, from Peter Triplett, “ think you ought to pay the taxes!”Motion made and passed to pay the taxes first.
From the peanut gallery came discussion on all the water line breaks in the Newton area of the PSD system. The wild haired lady was concerned that when more customers are added to the system, the system will break down even more often.
After a 24 minute secret time, Board motioned and passed to make water operator Bobby Burdette Chief Water Operator replacing Jennifer Traub. Burdette will make $12.50 per hour in the post and work the 6 am to 2 pm shift. Traub will remain on the job at a reduced rate and work the night shift.
Here it comes readers, after discussing how hard up the PSD is, without posting the job for the public to bid on, the Board motioned and passed to hire a new full time secretary, Sherry Deems, at $7 per hour plus benefits beginning Feb 24, 2003. Deems will take over the desk work duties of Jennifer Traub who served as secretary in addition to being Chief Operator.
Eyebrows raised. Quiet came. Without reservation and with force, Larry White commented that this should be a belt tightening time and no hiring should be done while the PSD is asking the Commission’ for bail out $. White, “You Can’ pay your bills, how can you hire more people??”White went over some figures he had been working on, stuff like over $19000.00 a month in expenses already! “I don’ think you should be hiring. You’e asking the Roane County Commission for money… Wait 90 days!! You don’ need a secretary right now! You’e getting the cart before the horse… YOU DON” HAVE IT!.. YOU CAN’ PAY YOUR BILLS NOW!!!!”Chair Postelwait tried to explain that after the money starts coming in from Queen Shoals PSD, everything would be fine. Few in the gallery believed that statement.
Clay Roane voted to start holding twice a month meetings until the financial woes are corrected. Next meeting March 13, 7 pm to be held at the CDC Senior Center in Clay. Dale Deems hours of work were increased to 133 hours per month, up from 5 hours a day or 25 hours a week.
From the peanut gallery, WV Health Dept engineer JD Douglas informed the Board that a long standing health issue ( no or low water pressure) within the their recently acquired Queen Shoals system MUST be corrected within 45 days. Douglas, “Are you aware of the problems at Queen Shoals with the expense they’e force into?…. You inherit that!…. It’ not cheap!”Douglas made it clear that Clay Roane can be fined and taken to Court if QS PSD upgrades aren’ made in a timely manner.
As the meeting closed around 5:10, discussion continued on what happened to all the $ brought in by Clay Roane. Commissioner Sams sounded opposed to the CCC giving any more $ to the PSD until a formal budget was completed. Sams,” I don’ want to throw money down a rat’ hole!..” AW
SHORT AND SWEET AT PSD
It doesn’ take long for Clay County PSD Chair Keith King to hold and adjourn a monthly meeting of the Board. About 21 minutes! Clay PSD met in regular session Feb 25 2003 after two earlier in the month attempts were cancelled. Present: Chair Keith “r. Happy”King and Earl Long. Homer Triplett absent.
Just prior to the 10:00 am start time, employees chatted in the front office area while Chair King talked on the phone. As this ace cub reporter entered the room, King was heard to say on the phone, “Well, better go, Mr. Big Mouth is here!”
With the meeting open and after Earl Long provided many with his prayer, Office Manager Cindy Schoolcraft provided the financial update. Feb 2003 opened with $171.79 in their account. Income for Feb was $21,703.18 with $21,745.29 spent. Ending balance reported was $129.68. No mention was made of the $100,000.00 insurance settlement from the June 13 2002 fire.
As far as field operations go, Supervisor Sam Taylor reported that Feb 2003 was a quiet uneventful month. Taylor, “We didn’ have any problems. Everything ran smooth. We’e doing our daily operations. We’e in good shape. No leaks nor major malfunctions.”King raised continuing concerns over additional burdens placed on the Ivydale pumping time mandated by the WV PSC to provide water service for the Little Italy section of the service area. After years of no or very low water service there, and after a citizen complaint, the PSD was forced to “hrottle back”pumping which immediately allowed for water in the area. King, “Just watch it!” Alright all you Lizemore area water wanters, Cindy Schoolcraft gave the update on the Phase I water extension project. Schoolcraft,”We have filed 45 easements and have another 30 in there now that I need to file. I talked to Greg Belcher this morning and should have my Fola easement list by tomorrow. Then I’l set up a meeting at one of the Fola churches , I guess, and try to get everybody out Fola. We’e been working to get everybody in the Lizemores area.”So far, Chapman Technical engineer Belcher has provided the PSD with the Lizemore area easements only. Schoolcraft said the Fola easement list should be in her hands in a day. 80% of the right of way agreements (easements) have to be signed before the project can go to bid. As for the other end of the county, Tucker’ Bottom, and getting those documents signed by residents, Cindy, “That shouldn’ take but a day. There’ not very many out there. We’e working on it.” Election of Board officers. Bang all done, no changes, King remains Chair, Long as VP and absent Homer Triplett secretary.
As for the public gathering info about items not listed or mentioned during the regular meeting….
Does the PSD have a due date for the arrival of the new double wide office complex? King, “No. We were suppose to have met with them today but they couldn’ get in.”How about the $20,000+ engineering study to find a new source of water for the PSD, ( a source that wouldn’ include buying from the Town of Clay)? King, “ I haven’ talked to our engineer? “ Schoolcraft, “We haven’ done anything. He has never really did anything…” King,”They may be working on it.”Cindy, “We have to get the rest of the money….We applied for that grant” Manager Schoolcraft was speaking of the need to have all funding in place prior to the engineer beginning any work on the study. As for the engineering study starting before the grant $ come, King, “I feel like he’ done some preliminary work but I can’ really say…” Adjournment came quickly. As the official meeting ended, the Board and staff remained . By all appearances, it felt like the real meeting of the Board would start away from the public’ prying ears. AW AW
TOWN COUNCIL BUDGET PASSED
Clay Town Council met March 4 , 4pm at the Municipal Water Plant A.K.A. Town Hall on Main Street. With two in the peanut gallery, and after some intense whispering between Recorder Betty Murphy and the Mayor, Jarrett opened things up
Hey , all you folks that aren’ paying your water bills, Council is coming after you! Jarrett informed Council that they have a few water customers with way overdue bills that will be sent over to Magistrate Court . Councilperson Helen Morris commented that one customer owes over $600.00. Chambers, “We need to do something…”Motion made and passed to sue past due dead beat water customers.
On another water issue, Council persons Sally Legg and Wanda Chambers said they had received calls from Pisgah Ridge water customer Phyllis Mullins concerning her bill. Mullins called Legg and Chambers after Mayor Jarrett cussed her out. Not disputing the statement, the Mayor commented that he had replaced the Mullins meter in an attempt to fix the problem of high water bills. Chambers explained the recent telephone call from Mullins where she explained that she only takes two baths a week to try and use less water. Additionally, she doesn’ have a water hungry washing machine either.
According to our elected ones, people come in and pay a small portion of the bill and the balance just keeps adding up each and every month. Council person Dave Derby, “You can’ sue them if they make payments.”Disputing that, Betty Murphy said they can even be cut off from service. Discussion followed with no concrete answers given on the art of suing.
As for Town attorney Barbara Schamberger following up on the issue of a past employee running off with Town loot, nothings happening yet. According to Recorder Murphy, Schamberger explained during a phone call, all the documentation given her by Council was lost during her recent move from the Courthouse to her new digs beside the Henry Clay Hotel. Murph added that the lost paperwork could be regenerated but to date that hasn’ happened either. Note: For nearly 18 months, Council has known about the employee theft and has been dragging their feet with criminal or civil court action.
As for next year’ Town budget, it may be slim pickin’ Council looked over the proposed $90,671.00 budget as Big Murph explained the figures. Keep in mind this budget is for Town Hall and does not include water operations or the sewer plant. As for expenses, the survey says! Salary: Mayor $6000.00; Recorder $4560.00; Council $6000.00; Treasurer $12,000.00 ( that’ part of Dwana Murphy’ salary); Clerk $3000.00 ( that’ part of Drema’ salary); And for everything else from toilet paper to light bulbs, $25,611.00
As far as a police Dept for municipal residents, the budget calls for just $2000.00 next year. Last year’ line item read $10,000.00 while in previous years, the item topped $12,000.00 regularly. Street dept will get $20,000.00 and Council expects to pay out $10,000.00 for street lights.
In the way of income , the revenue sources go like this: $20,000.00 in unencumbered balances; Property tax $52,571.00; Gas/Oil Tax $250.00; Utilities excise tax $14,000.00; Wine and liquor tax $5000.00; parking violations $100.00; Business licenses $3000.00; truck fees $5000.00; Parking meter revenues $2000.00; Video lottery proceeds $350.00; and coal severance $1500.00
Last year the budget was $98,000.00 Council motioned and passed the new 2003-2004 Annual Budget.
Within 45 minutes, the work was done and Council adjourned the meeting. Ahhh, life in small town America. AW
And things were going so well… February 18th was a nice enough day. Sort of quiet, even made it through the day without anyone yelling too much. Around 7 pm, the first call came in, “our web site is down.”By 10 pm, emails galore were coming, “id you know clayberry.org is down?”
Back on February 13, the owners of this paper, Delta Corporation, renewed the internet hosting service for another year with featureprice.com. The renewal went fine. Done in about 15 minutes. We even alerted the 20,000 or so viewers that as we switch to featureprice’ new “ontrol panel” there may be some down time. We thought that may happen around the 13th, renewal day, for just a few hours.
On Wednesday, February 19th, we knew we had a problem. When internet travelers went to our site a big message board displayed something along the lines of: If you’e the web master, you better call billing at firstname.lastname@example.org post haste. Our heavy traveled web address was down.
One of the big selling points for using this hosting service was, fast friendly live telephone support. For the days of 18, 19, and 20, each call to that fast friendly help line netted just a long wait after a digital recording followed by “ll our customer service reps are busy at this time, please call back later.” Ditto for the technical support 800 number. With telephone service out, emails were used to contact the Fort Myers based operation. Emails to Raol, Amol, Niles, Nigel, Buarah, Sadiah and more. Not one Bob, Bill or Mary! With each return email from featureprice came word, your site is up and running fine.
More emails from viewers came. Oh, they were funny ones like, “ay your bill you tight wad”and “re you all pulling a Filcon trick??”
From featureprice, the emails became encouraging, they had found the problem and the correction was coming shortly. February 24th, 25th, 26th came and went. By now our faithful web readers were getting a little more anxious and stormy, emails like, “ou better get that D*** site fixed or I’l come over there and kick your ****!”By night fall February 26, and after a final ultimatum email to the host people, another host provider was found. This time we verified the claim of telephone support. Get this, when we called wirefire.com over in Vienna, WV for hosting, we got a guy named Chris! A real person!
At Go Mart, at the Courthouse, in the K Mart parking lot, on the phone, the questions came. When? Why is it down? Can’ you pay the bill? Are you sick? Even Tim “o Show”Butcher stopped his car and asked, “hen’ the site coming back? Where am I suppose to get my news?”With the switch made and the “ointers”changed to wirefire at 7:24 am Thursday February 27, all we could do was reply to some meany emailers and sit on our thumbs until the world wide web magic propagates through the system. For many , clayberry.org came up again Friday February 28. For others like us, the wait continued. Friday, Saturday, Sunday…. A new batch of viewer emails arrived. These clever guys came back with things like, “ can see the site again but you haven’ updated since February 18. GET SOMETHING NEW ON THERE!!!”Little did they know, until we could see the site, we couldn’ make any updates.
For 14 days, 20,000 or so loyal web visitors waited and waited and… It was like loosing a long time buddy or being cut off from the world. On Monday March 3rd , around 11 am, we were able to update the site. Most of the world had their source for Clayberry news visible again by later Monday, March 3, 2003.
For us at Delta, for those 14 days, it was just one more learning experience. Benjamin Disraeli said: Seeing much, suffering much, and studying much are the three pillars of learning. Helen Keller may have said it best: Life is either a daring adventure or nothing! AW
BOB CLARKE Curmudgeon’ Corner
Actor John Barrymore (1882-1942) was the toast of the United States and Europe for nearly two decades. The undisputed star of a famous theatrical family, including brother Lionel and sister Ethel, known as the “reat Profile,”John’ reputation was established on stage and screen as one of the foremost interpreters of Shakespeare and excelling in other classical roles. But what older generations chiefly remember about John Barrymore is his wondrous, cultivated, doomsday voice. Worldwide adulation, accompanied by a lifelong and copious consumption of alcohol combined to turn him into a self-centered egomaniac, a man totally oblivious to the effect he had upon others.
The stories about this former idol are legend. Once, at a New York cocktail party attended by government, show business and social notables, Barrymore approached the hostess and inquired in his booming, wall-shattering voice: “…Madam, could you direct me to the men’ room?” He could often be found in the fashionable Hollywood watering holes, such as Ciro’, The Brown Derby and the Coconut Grove, where, well fortified with spirits, he was fond of delivering Shakespearian soliloquies or other dramatic pieces. On one occasion, while sitting in his favorite booth, he declaimed in his frequently vulgar and obscene style on various subjects that irritated him, particularly the inferiority of others. At this dramatic juncture, a middle age man, who had been sitting in a booth near by, embarrassed by the sort of language to which he and his wife had been subjected, approached the great man and timidly protested. Barrymore snapped his fingers and beckoned the maitre d’ and bellowed: “…What is it, a peasant with a petition?” Last week, when peace demonstrations were being staged all over the world, the President was informed that five million protesters had participated. According to world news, these events reflect only a small portion of those against the invasion of Iraq. Bush’ response: “…size of protest – it’ like deciding I’ going to decide policy based upon a focus group.” In addition to the psychological implications of Bush’ now almost constant use of the first person, it would have been interesting to see his reaction if one of the royal court members had summoned up the courage to point out that five million people are not a “ocus group” They are an opinion.
It is moments such as this in the short history of the Bush administration when it is almost irresistible to think that George W’ speechwriters are praying, even lighting a few candles in the hope that he won’ ad lib. Bob Woodward, of Watergate fame, once a fiery, independent investigative reporter has been granted seemingly unlimited access to the Oval Office, a prize lusted after, but apparently not granted to other news people. The result, Woodward’ best-selling Bush at War is, to say the very least, sympathetic to our chief executive. The Washington Post’ star-in-residence describes Bush’ vision as follows:
…the President was casting his mission and that of the country in the grand vision of God’ master plan.
So far so good: Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson would be dancing in the streets if their religion permitted it. However, as we may see later, there can be danger when the power elite, feeling comfortable with their inferiors, speak off-the-cuff. Here are our leader’ actual words:
…I do not need to explain why I say things. That’ the interesting thing about being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don’ feel like I owe anybody an explanation.
The serene, self-certainty of the limited mind that is expressed here is staggering in its implications. Confidence in a leader is an important quality, but hubris, the Greek term for overweening pride, is not an attractive trait. This is a man who campaigned on the importance of humility, as well as one who preened with satisfaction on national TV when reminded that, as governor of Texas, he presided over the highest execution rate in the United States. One comic reported that Texas was planning to install an electric couch. Verily, “hese are the times that try men’ souls.” Somewhere in captivity…Cur
I have on several occasions read articles on the overcrowding problem in the W. Va. Prison system. The only thing being done about this problem so far is talking and passing the buck. The State Supreme Court has ordered the Department of Corrections (D.O.C.) on several occasions to move state sentenced inmates out of the regional and county jails. To this date the only thing the D.O.C. has done about this problem is pay a special master to submit a plan dealing with the overcrowding problem. The plan submitted has done nothing to alleviate this problem!
The D.O.C. is and continues to violate a court order by housing state sentenced prisoners in regional and county jails (some for 2 to 3 years). Because of this these prisoners are being denied job training and schooling, which means there’ more of a chance that they will return to their old ways. No one is disputing the fact that if a person commits a crime he or she must do the time for their crime. But if the average person violates a court order there are reprisals. Why should the D.O.C. be exempt from these same reprisals?
It’ time the Supreme Court quit allowing the D.O.C. to break the law and force them to act on the overcrowding problem now, or make some kind of attempt to make laws that pertain to everyone!
Gerald C. Everett, Jr.
DON GREENE: WV Radical BUT HE SOUNDED SINCERE
I made the mistake of picking up a newspaper the other day, and in the course of trying to make sense of it, I ran across an article from one of our top dog politicos. Why, he sounded as sincere a Judgment Day, but I have my doubts. He rattled off four major issues for this session to deal with. I have little doubt that on two of them I mostly agreed.
We absolutely have to do something about people riding those ATVs up and down the public roads. We also have to go further than he felt and not only slow the growth of government employment, and stop it dead in its tracks. At least until WV can somehow become more accountable for it's spending. I like the idea of actually getting something for your money. I could show you in my county where thousands of grant dollars have been sent down here, and essentially wasted, with that waste covered up by both county and state employees turning their heads.
The two that I am sure that I didn't agree on were the alleged malpractice problem, which is not a state government problem but a doctor-lawyer-insurance problem. I say throw the three in a barrel and let them fight it out without any of it getting into the WV Code. The other one that I may not agree with concerned Worker's Compensation. I am biased toward the workingman having been one all my life, so take that along with this. If we did not allow companies to not pay their compensation fees for months on end or settle for a mere percentage of what they actually owe I don't see how we could be coming up short. Guess that is just because I am merely an editorial writer and not able to comprehend the complexities of the complicated problems facing the legislature.
One problem I do see that is never mentioned is how a Delegate or Senator somehow gets the notion that their opinion is as important as the Governor's is. I suspect that problem is one of those complexities that are holding WV back and will be sending us all to the poor farm if the national economy does a nosedive.
I have been to the Legislature many times and have yet to shake the feeling that I was watching a conglomeration of Sedrick Cornpones' and Filmore Claghorns' scurrying around in a muddle. I'm not starting on lobbyists right now. The media is no help either. They report items that have been triple referenced as if they had a snowball's chance in Hades of ever becoming law with all the seriousness of the laws that are actually being passed and signed. I didn't totally agree with this top dog, but he sure did sound sincere though.
Justice: Civil Procedures or Subject Matter?By: Jim Chafin
In his comments to the Williamson Daily News, May 27, 1999, Judge Larry Starcher, WV Supreme Court of Appeals, said: “ppeals courts are vital to our legal process.” Then he goes on to add: “or most West Virginians involved in court cases, it is unlikely that their case will ever be in the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.” Right on! That’ precisely our point. In his comments, he gave a jurist’ view of the workings of the court system; however, he shed no light upon the problem of ‘rocedure’and how to obtain justice under current court rules. He cited instances wherein 12 people who had been sentenced to death in Illinois have been released from prison after court reviews of their cases. That’ good – assuming their cases were handled in a ‘imely manner’ But how many years did it take? Another case, one Anthony Porter was released from prison after spending 16 years on death row; but Porter’ release was not because of good investigative work by police or the court. Mr. Porter was freed because a group of students in a journalism class at Northwestern University dug up evidence that clearly indicated Porter was innocent. Prosecutors were forced to admit Porter’ innocence when another man confessed to the 1982 crime, and the court sided with the students’findings. Just how many people are falsely accused and wrongly convicted simply because they have no adequate defense mounted on their behalf? Haphazard defense of folks accused in a court of law is not a constitutional use of an adequate defense, and leaves much to be desired. It is the court’ responsibility to see that its procedures accurately reflect the intentions expressed in the Declaration of Independence and codified in the Constitution – and this is not being done!
Four others, wrongly convicted of murdering a couple in 1978, have won $36 million from Cook County, Illinois, claiming sheriff’ officers who investigated the case were racists and hid evidence that would help defense lawyers – while ignoring leads pointing to the identity of the real killers. These men were freed from prison after having served 18 years because their defense proved in court that a state witness lied under oath. The law finally worked for these men after many years, but Mr. Potter came to within 2 days of being executed for his wrongful conviction.
We want to see a more open and available court for all citizens, not only those who can afford $1,000 an hour fees for an attorney to practice law before a high court. If there is a clear and present need for a system of courts, as Judge Starcher contends, then let’ not restrict its benefits to only a relative few who can afford astronomical lawyer fees and court costs – let’ include society as a whole. We might also add that the ‘rickle down theory’is not sufficient to serve the needs of this nation, nor will it placate an increasingly aware population.
This effort is aimed at finding justice tempered with compassion, serving “aithfully and loyally”the moral concepts upon which equality are founded. We, like our founding fathers, quote the following excerpts from that noble document: “e hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter, or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying it’ foundation on such principles and organizing it’ powers in such form, as to them would seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” Congress goes on to state “ankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed…”However, the conclusion is drawn that there is a limit to man’ willingness “o suffer.” Will the unjust judge avenge us of our adversaries?
KAY’ COOKING CORNER
QUICK & EASY DIABETIC RECIPES
QUICK BEEF STROGANOFF
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Serves 8 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
1 Tbsp reduced-fat margarine
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 10-oz can beef broth
1 cup evaporated fat-free (skim) milk
1) Brown the ground beef in a heavy skillet. Drain off the fat, remove the beef from the skillet, and set aside.
Add the margarine and saute the onion and bell pepper until tender.
2) Add the remaining ingredients slowly, stirring to
blend. Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
Serve over hot noodles or fluffy rice.
Exchanges: 1 Starch 2 Medium-Fat Meat
Calories..247..Calories from Fat..111..Total Fat..12g..
Saturated Fat..4g..Cholesterol..55mg..Sodium..547 mg..
How about a favorite recipe that my great grandmother used to make? This will bring back the
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Serves 8 Serving size: 1/2 cup
1/2 cup raisins
6 cups whole-wheat bread, cubed
1 16-oz can peaches packed in their own juice, drained
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp butter-flavored extract
1 cup egg substitute
2 13-oz cans evaporated fat-free
(skim) milk plus water to make 4 cups
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp lemon juice
1) Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Layer the raisins, bread, and peaches in a 3-quart nonstick baking dish
(or spray the dish with nonstick cooking spray).
2) Beat the remaining ingredients together and pour the mixture over the bread and peaches. Place the dish in a hot water bath and bake for 45 minutes or
until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Exchanges: 4 Carbohydrate
Calories..283..Calories from Fat..10..Total Fat..1g..
I would like to leave you with a note: There are millions of people in our own community with undiagnosed diabetes. Worse, there are those who know they have diabetes and aren’ willing or don’ know how to make the small changes necessary to take care of themselves. I hope that some of my recipes will help you learn how you can eat better without giving up some of the traditional flavors you love. I want you to know that you can live long, healthy lives, even with a condition like diabetes. That’ within your power. You have the strength to meet this challenge. I hope you enjoy my recipes. Until next time...Enjoy...Kay
01/30/03: Foreman – Nathan Toler, arrested 09/24/02 on warrant for grand larceny, ROB, preliminary hearing continued by State to 03/12/03.
?date?: Ellyson – Elvis Dawson, arrested 08/29/02 for wanton endangerment, ROB, continued by Court to 03/11/03; Bailey – Thomas Ray Holcomb, arrested 11/19/02 on warrant for retaliation, ROB, preliminary hearing continued by Defense to 03/11/03.
02/18/03: Bailey – Michael Lanham, grand larceny, arrested, preliminary hearing 02/27 – probable cause found; bound to Grand Jury.
02/26/03: Slack – Jesse Lee Dwier, burglary, arrested, ROB 02/28, preliminary hearing set 03/10/03.
02/17/03: Belt – Raymond G. Hersman, speeding, appeared 02/27, ROB.
02/18/03: Bailey – Michael Lanham, DUI-2nd offense and driving revoked for DUIA, arrested, 02/27 trial continued by Court.
02/19/03: Sizemore’ IGA – Valerie C. Samples, warrants issued for worthless checks X 2.
02/20/03: Elswick – Andrew Pritt, brandishing, summons issued, appeared 02/24 – defendant pled no contest, assessed fine and cost.
02/23/03: Belt – James Austin Shaffer, driving while revoked for DUI and registration violations, arrested, ROB; Elswick – Danny Ray Hanshaw, domestic battery, arrested, ROB.
02/24/03: Workman – Kathy Cottrell, battery, summons issued, appeared 03/05, ROB; Workman – Kimberly Sizemore, battery, summons issued, appeared 03/05, ROB; Workman – Gregory P. Cottrell, battery, summons issued, appeared 03/05, ROB; Workman – Mary White, harassing telephone calls, warrant issued; Larry Legg – Phillip Bartsch, fail to send child to school, summons issued; Larry Legg – Teresa Tackett, fail to send child to school, summons issued.
02/25/03: Clay Supermarket – Leona B. Drake, worthless check complaint, warrant issued; Connie Brown – Richard Grose, worthless check complaint, warrant issued.
03/04/03: IGA – Rebecca L. Crites, worthless check complaint, warrant issued, pre-trial dismissal – defendant paid WC and costs of notice, issuance of warrant voided; Larry Taylor – Donna N. Blevins, worthless check complaint, warrant issued; Larry Taylor – Valerie C. Samples, worthless check complaint, warrant issued; Cunningham Motors – Valerie C. Samples, worthless check complaint, warrant issued.
03/05/03: Belt – James Dario Pizza, driving suspended 3rd offense and leaving scene of accident, warrants issued.
02/20/03: Shari Bullard – Chilton Nichols, money due.
02/21/03: State Farm Mutual c/o Robin Louderback – Richard Canfield, money due.
02/26/03: Wilson’ Funeral Home – John Rogers, money due; and, Ronnie D. Tanner, money due.
Notices issued –
02/19/03: Larry Taylor – Donna N. Blevins, misdemeanor file opened 03/04; and, Valerie C. Samples, misdemeanor file opened 03/04; Cunningham Motors – Angela J. Williams (paid 02/28); Marsha K. Eagle (paid 02/28); and, Valerie C. Samples, misdemeanor file opened 03/04.
02/24/03: Carte’ Quick Stop – Deana B. Hudnall X 2.
02/26/03: Pennington Auto Supply, Inc. – Chester E. Boggs, Jr.
02/07/03: State Police – Chase A. Shelton, too fast for road conditions.
02/22/03: Sheriff’ Dept. – Garrett E. DeMoss, no POI and registration violations.
02/23/03: Sheriff’ Dept. – James Timothy Webb, speeding.
The following are postings gleaned from the WV Public Service Commission web site. Few details are provided other than a case number, a date, the PSDs involved and a short one liner synopsis. The web link for the WV PSC can be found on:
03-0290-PWD-PC CLAY COUNTY PUBLIC SERVICE DISTRICT NEW CASE: 02/27/03 EFFECT DATE: . ORDER SHOULD BE ISSUED BY:PETITION FOR CONSENT AND APPROVAL FOR THE PURCHASE OF A BUILDING TO REPLACE THE BUILDING DESTROYED BY FIRE IN JUNE 2002
CLAY, TOWN OF, AND CLAY REGIONAL PUBLIC SERVICE DISTRICT DATE OF ORDER: 02/05/03 RECOMMENDED DECISION FINAL FEBRUARY 25, 2003; REMOVING FROM OPEN DOCKET
PARSONS, JESSIE J., V. CLAY-ROANE PSD NEW CASE: 02/21/03 EFFECT DATE: . ORDER SHOULD BE ISSUED BY: . FORMAL COMPLAINT
CLAY-ROANE PUBLIC SERVICE DISTRICT AND QUEEN SHOALS PUBLIC SERVICE DISTRICT DATE OF ORDER: 02/21/03 FINAL ORDER GRANTING PETITION TO ENTER INTO A MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN CLAY-ROANE PSD AND QUEEN SHOALS PSD; REMOVING FROM OPEN DOCKET
CLAY COUNTY PSD DATE OF ORDER: 02/21/03 COMMISSION ORDER INSTITUTING SHOW CAUSE PROCEEDING FOR FAILURE TO FILE 2002 ANNUAL REPORT; REFERRING TO ALJ FOR DECISION BY NOVEMBER 18, 2003, ETC
PARSONS, JESSIE J., V. CLAY-ROANE PSD DATE OF ORDER: 02/21/03 COMMISSION ORDER THAT DEFENDANT ANSWER COMPLAINT IN 10 DAYS, ET
CLAY ROANE PUBLIC SERVICE DISTRICT AND QUEEN SHOALS PUBLIC SERVICE DISTRICT FINAL STAFF MEMO FILED STAFF ATTORNEY: OWEN MEMO FILED: 02/21/03
CLAY COUNTY PUBLIC SERVICE DISTRICT NEW CASE: 02/20/03 EFFECT DATE: . ORDER SHOULD BE ISSUED BY: . INVESTIGATION OF FAILURE OF FILE ANNUAL REPORTS. PROCEEDING UPON MOTION OF THE COMMISSION
CLAY ROANE PUBLIC SERVICE DISTRICT AND QUEEN SHOALS PUBLIC SERVICE DISTRICT DATE ENTERED: 02/19/2003 PETITION FOR CONSENT AND APPROVAL OF OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE AGREEMENT BETWEEN DISTRICTS
CLAY-ROANE PUBLIC SERVICE DISTRICT AND QUEEN SHOALS PUBLIC SERVICE DISTRICT DATE OF ORDER: 02/21/03 FINAL ORDER GRANTING PETITION TO ENTER INTO A MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN CLAY-ROANE PSDAND QUEEN SHOALS PSD; REMOVING FROM OPEN DOCKET
From the Far Side
Greetings from beautiful downtown Bomont!
Looks like Mother Nature finally decided to give us a bit of a reprieve - the school kids finally got to play outside on the playground a few days! It’ a good thing, too - there’ so much pent-up energy in those kids, they’e likely to spontaneously combust if this winter doesn’ end soon.
Congratulations once again to H.E. White’ B-team. They beat Clay 15-7 on February 22. The longer the season wears on with these guys undefeated, the harder the other teams try to take them down and the better they all play. Of course, the game on the 22nd wasn’ all that pretty, what with teeth getting knocked out and fouls being called left and right, but all the kids did a great job. H.E. White’ A-team is holding on to its quite respectable ratio, too, after winning their last two games. There’ one more round of games left in the regular season, on March 8, then it’ on to the playoffs.
Tune onto PBS on Thursday, March 27, to see your neighbors on television! Greg Collard, producer of West Virginia Public Broadcasting Station’ “utlook”show, was at H.E. White on Wednesday, the 5th, along with cameraman Rob Rhodes. They were interviewing the staff and parents and filming the kids, facilities, etc. This is just another point of recognition for H.E. White’ “xemplary Status.”
According to Mr. Collard, the show is a weekly news show that broadcasts issues and general newsworthy items around the State. In the words of Mr. Rhodes, it’ “eflections of our people, places and times.” The show is normally broadcast Thursdays at 9:00 p.m., with re-broadcasts on Sunday at noon. More information about the show (and VHS copies of all the broadcasts) can be found at www.wvpubcast.org/outlook.
In addition to the PBS show, the Office of Educational Performance Audits will be at H.E. White on March 12 to film a portion of their documentary promoting all the schools in the state that have received Exemplary Status. Later that evening, Mr. Joe Paxton, Principal Extraordinaire, will be attending a “ecognition banquet”at the Embassy Suites. This banquet is being held for all the principals whose schools achieved Exemplary Status in West Virginia. Governor Wise and State School Superintendent David Stewart will be on hand to award plaques and shake hands with these gurus of education.
Got any good junk you want to sell? There’ going to be an Open House Community Yard Sale at H.E. White on Saturday, April 5 from 8 am - 2 pm, rain or shine. Table space inside the gym is FREE!, but could be limited, so reservations are recommended. Provided the weather is cooperative, virtually unlimited space will be available outside if you want to bring your own table. Please give me a call at 548-7014 (email: Bareftgal@att.net) to reserve a table. Come one, come all!
On a totally unrelated note, it seems like every time you turn on the TV, there’ talk of protests around the country from people who oppose the prospect of going to war. Protests are a great exercise in Freedom of Speech, but let us never forget that the freedom to protest is only ours because brave men and women have fought for it in war after war after war. Which makes me think that those Hollywood type people who keep promising to leave the country if things don’ go their way are still here because they know they’ be shot on the spot in a lot of other countries for speaking out against their government.
Remember, too, that the only ones who have earned the right to complain about the President’ decisions are those who actually cast their vote - if you stayed home on Election Day and didn’ offer your opinion - SHUT UP!
and that’ all from this end for now. Stay tuned!
GENERAL PROPOSES SERVICE
Emergency service protection has been a hot button issue for years in this county as well as around the state. For Clay County, there have been times when our Clay County Ambulance Service has been broke and very near out of business. Several local residents have attended public meetings and voiced horror stories over slow response times or no ambulance response at all. Now documented in a recently completed WV TNS study, during the management efforts of our Clay County Emergency Ambulance Authority, management practices were none existent with mention made of misspent tax dollars. During last year’ WV Auditor’ report, fingers were pointed at criminal conduct within the Ambulance Authority.
During the February 13, 2003 County Commission meeting, David Goff , President of General Ambulance Service presented to our anointed ones a proposal to begin serving the county on a full time basis. For the most part, the appearance came and went without much fanfare. See last edition for that coverage. As a follow up on the 28 years in the business, for profit service provider, this paper interviewed Mr. Goff March 6. The short discussion centered on what General Ambulance could provide for the county. That interview follows.
Communicator: What is General Ambulance’ presence in Clay County? Goff: At this moment, we have a station in Alloy and one in Braxton County. We do not have any units inside Clay County at this time. We are currently responding to first and secondary calls. First means that when there is not an ambulance available in Clay County we’l go and actually pick up the patient and take them to the hospital. Secondary calls are where we go and back up Clay County on service. Our Paramedic rides in with the Clay crew.
Communicator: What areas of the county are you mostly responding to now? Mr. Goff: Right now, Nicholas County 911 which dispatched for Clay will call and give us a 911 emergency [call] . That emergency could be anywhere in the county. We’e been to downtown Clay from Fayette County for emergency calls.
Communicator: Three weeks ago you made a presentation to the Commission. What is it General Ambulance is offering this county? Goff: What we are offering is updated patient care in a quality manner.
Mr. Goff went on to say that his organization is fully staffed, licensed, and meet all state requirements for service.
Communicator: One of the big concerns for Clayonians is the cost of service. How can, or can General provide service with a lower price tag? Goff: I feel that we could provide lower prices. For the last 15 or 20 years, General Ambulance Service has accepted “ssignments”and that is real cost efficient for the patient.
Communicator: Response times are a first priority for the county. How can you respond timely? Goff: All of our units are required for emergencies to be in route 24 hours per day with a 2 minute response time. For convalescent or non emergency calls, we require a 4 minute response. If we were to move into Clay County, we have given the Commission a proposal on how we would operate in that area. Under proposal, Clay County would never be without medical assistance period. We would at least have a BLS [basic life support] or ALS [advanced life support] vehicle equipped to respond to a scene until a transport vehicle could arrive.
Communicator: So would General station a vehicle in the county? Goff: That’ absolutely correct. The only thing we’e asking of the citizen’ of Clay County is the use of the existing stations within the county, the one at Big Otter, downtown Clay, and Lizemore. As a service we would NOT be asking the county for any funding. The only thing we would be asking is maybe some of the equipment being used and in return we would offer jobs for the current employees of Clay County EMS at this time.
| ||Communicator: You guys are outsider. You are for profit. What reassurances can you give our residents that you would have a timely, quality service here if you were the sole provider? Goff: First of all, our reputation and our current status should say a lot for us. General Ambulance has grown over the several years. We are maintaining around 140 employees now. We are a rather large company. We know that timely response is critical whether it be an emergency response or not. We base our service on that. At the same time we would also offer the citizens of the county a lot of extra resources that could enhance .. we offer ALS, BLS transports, rescue teams. We also handle ambulette services, the mini vans to take people to dialysis… those that can walk but have no other means of transportation… All of these amenities can be involved into Clay County . We would be proud and honored to be a part of community.|
David Goff explained that General provides more than just ambulance transports. He emphasized their educational component, first responder classes, stand by services during athletic events, and participation at fairs and festivals. Goff: We participate. As for a follow up visit to the County Commission, Mr. Goff: We would like to see an interest from the County Commission, that they are looking at other EMS services in the area…..
On closing, a comment that may raise a few eyebrows, again, Mr. Goff: I would like to say this sir, when we addressed the County Commission , one of the Commissioners commented that EMS over there was pretty adequate. The thing with EMS is the golden hour. You have approximately an hour with severe trauma patients to receive the proper care. I personally do not feel Clay County has adequate EMS care. I can say that because when Nicholas 911 dispatches one of my trucks from Nicholas County, let’ say Montgomery for instance, to downtown Clay for chest pains.. The response time is what, 30 to 40 minutes? Our golden hour is already well cut into. Our question to the citizens of Clay County, how is this adequate EMS care?
Readers an offer is on the table. For some time, Commissioner Sams has expressed a view that no one would be interested in coming into the area without substantial money assistance from the tax payers. According to General Ambulance Service President Dave Goff, that is NOT the case now. It appears that the ball is now back in Commissioner Sams, Bragg, and Triplett’ court for action. Lets see what happens.
??? DID YOU KNOW ???
1. The Bird of Paradise alights only on the hand that does not grasp.
2. Researchers report that women who drink four cups of coffee per day reduced their risk of needing gallstone surgery by 25 percent.
3. The state of the American Pet Survey in 2001 revealed that thirty six percent of pet owners celebrate their pet’ birthday.
4. The Super Bowl is the most watched TV program each year and nine of the highest rated shows in history are NFL championship shows.
5. Eighteen million people practice “oga”every week in America.
6. According to statistics from the US Dept. of Labor, women last year were four times more likely to start their own business than men.
7. It takes the earth one year to complete one orbit around the sun.
8. School boards across the state spent more than $7 million in lawyer fees during the last three years.
9. Nabisco Company’ Oreo is the top selling cookie in the world.
10. Sales from potato chips and salty snacks totaled an estimated $19 billion in 2000.
11. 70 percent of Americans belong to “ome brand of Christian church.”12. West Virginia is estimated to have 5,853 inmates by the end of 2007.
13. Weyerhaeuser in Sutton has earned international recognition for its rigorous approach to environmental management.
14. U S Poison Control Centers reported 1,178 adverse reactions to Ephedra dietary supplements in 2001.
15. In West Virginia, 29 percent of high school students are smokers.
16. At least 550 colleges now offer classes in entrepreneurship.
17. SUV’ now account for 25 percent of total US vehicle sales.
18. “besity”accounts for about 300,000 deaths per year.
19. The Immigration and Naturalization Service recorded 6,536 foreign orphans who moved to the United States in 1992.
20. One in three in the United States today is born outside of marriage. LMM
It’ been a long time coming but the Lizemores area of the county now has it’ own fire protection. Lizemores Volunteer Fire Department received their first, working, 1000 gallon per minute “umper”truck March 1, 2003 at 6 pm.
As the warm afternoon temperatures began to drop a crowd of 40 strained their eyes to see the distant parade approaching their make shift Fire Department facility at Lizemores, WV. The short parade of vehicles included a Jan Care Ambulance, Delegate Dave Perry, Senator Shirley Love, a support vehicle from Bradley Fire Department, and an assortment of cars. Smiles popped up as the shiny, black, and chrome plated 1967 Ford fire truck pulled into the parking lot. Smiles? You bet!
Although the truck was built 30 years earlier, by appearance, it could have just come off the showroom floor. No rust. No dents. No belching gray smoke from the exhaust. No blemishes period. The tires looked brand new as did the upholstery inside. People looked at one another in amazement, none had ever seen a black fire truck. Applause came as Bradley Fire Department Chief Bruce James handed over the keys to Lizemore Fire Chief Trinity Vance.
Over the last few months, members of the fire department had approached their legislative delegation with requests for a truck. During the Saturday 6 pm ceremony, Senator Shirely Love commented that funding through the WV Budget Digest was “ery tight”this year but through the generosity of the Bradley/Prosperity Volunteer Fire Department, the acquisition of the unit was possible. Love explained that other members of the Legislature were unable to attend the ceremony but were involved in the support of the Lizemores VFD.
The crowd admired the new donation. Behind the chrome doors were four life support air tanks with masks. According to Senator Love, the truck was fully certified and ready to operate. Bradley Fire Chief Bruce James, “t’ found a good home.”In response, Lizemore Chief Vance expressed gratitude and proclaimed, “e’l take good care of it…”After the ohhhhs and aahhhhs, a tasty dinner was held next door at Lizemore Methodist Church. For Lizemores Volunteer Fire Department, now in the process of bulldozing out a lot for a new building, March 1 will be remembered by all as another “ig step”day for the community. AW
STUMBLER OF THE WEEK By Andy Waddell
Maybe the better name for this Stumbler should be “Stabbed in the back before being cut in the back” The issue is over the firing of Patricia Taylor from Clay County PSD employed the day of the last PSD meeting. Did we mention that no mention of the employee change was made during the regular meeting of the board (Feb 25th), the day of the firing, and there was no “ecret time”either during the meeting? Here’ the background. Office clerk Beverly Duffield resigned in November 2002 to seek full time employment elsewhere. After advertising the opening and the interview process, Ms Taylor was formally hired during the January 2003 Clay County PSD Board meeting. Board members include Chairman Keith King, Homer Triplett and Earl Long. Their office manager is Cindy Schoolcraft.
Word hit the street Tuesday, March 4th that Taylor had been abruptly fired. On Wednesday we spoke with the office manager. Schoolcraft confirmed that Taylor was no longer employed there and that former employee Beverly Duffield had been rehired. Schoolcraft, “he [Patricia} had to have time off for back surgery. Patricia, because she had just started here and she had to have all this time off, she was “et go”and Beverly brought back.” Let go? Beverly brought back? Again Schoolcraft, “.. You’e already got all these applications for a job then you can pull from those. Beverly just left in November and the board just brought her back.” According to Cindy, the board has not met since their February 2003 gathering. Did Schoolcraft do the hiring, “ don’ have that authority. The board hired her.”
How can the board hire her without meeting? Schoolcraft, “ can’ help it, she’ here. What do you want me to say…” Knowing full well the “ot seat”Schoolcraft was in to, we moved the questioning along. Schoolcraft, “he came in the week before and said she was having surgery next week. February 26th would have been her last day. Beverly’ first day was March 3rd.”Since the board has not met, did Beverly just come back to work thinking Mr. ‘appy’would pay her? Cindy referring to Keith King , “ don’ know what their conversation was. I can’ hire or fire anybody. The board does that. You know that.”So who fired who? To get the other angle, we spoke with now fired from service Patricia Taylor. Taylor, “n February 19th I went to the doctor. I found out I needed to have surgery on my lower back to repair a disc. I mentioned that to Mrs. Schoolcraft, that I needed this surgery on February 27th. She was concerned on how long my recovery time would be. I told her the doctor said I could be off a day or a week. Mrs. Schoolcraft supposedly talked to Mr. King about my sick leave. Later Mrs. Schoolcraft called me and said Mr. King and herself felt that I would be rushing my recovery and thought that it would be better if I didn’ return to my position. On my last day of work, I asked Mrs. Schoolcraft if the job would be advertised again like it was [in the Free Press]. On the 25th, they talked, she called me on the telephone. I really wasn’ fired, I was let go.”Taylor went on to say that her husband (Toby) talked to Keith “r. Happy”King Wednesday March 5th. According to Mrs. Taylor, “e wanted to know the basic reason why I was let go. Mr. King told him he didn’ know the reason, what Mrs. Schoolcraft told me. And that as supervisor, she could do that. Cindy told me she would have to discuss it with Mr. King…. I don’ know what she told him. She [Schoolcraft] told me that she needed someone that was already trained because she and Sam [Taylor] needed to be out of the office at least three days a week to work on Phase 1.”Taylor felt like she was not given a fair chance to come back to her position. As for training, Taylor said she was learning the PSD work and had made a few minor mistakes during her short employment there. Taylor, “f I needed lots of experience, why was I left in the office, like four days, after I was hired by myself for two or three hours at a time? I was told that I was doing good, that I was learning.”Mrs. Taylor said that Mr. ‘appy’told her husband March 5th, the reason she was being let go was lack of experience.
Taylor, “asically, I feel like I was stabbed in the back before I went under the knife. I did say I understood and there’ no hard feelings, but it bothers me. I enjoyed working up there and meeting the people of Clay. I understand they need to work on Phase 1, the people need their water… but, the reason why she wasn’ going to hire public was because they needed someone already trained so they [Sam and Cindy] could be out of the office. It still bothers me. Cindy told me I was learning fast. She never once told me I was doing badly.”February 26, 2003 was the last day of employment for Patricia Taylor and it was confirmed that no mention of the firing or rehiring of Duffield was made during the February 25th PSD meeting. After the meeting, after the public left their office in the basement of the old Courthouse, and according to Patty Taylor, the Board continued discussions. During those discussions Patty was back at her desk and could not hear the conversations for the most part. Taylor, “ was there all day. I was wondering if she was going to ask him or what. Nothing was mentioned. They were discussing the building and things… Cindy told me I was let go on the 25th. She said she had discussed it with Mr. King…. She said they felt it would be rushing my recovery to come back. She told me later in the day. On the 26th I came in for half a day and basically picked up all my stuff.”Summing it all up, Patty Taylor, “ am hurt about this. I feel like I should have been told to my face that I had lack of experience. But to be told I was doing a good job and then I hear that “ack of experience” I don’ know what Mr. King was told….. She said that she hated this part of her job but Mr. King left it up to her since she was the one going to be working with me. Cindy told me she had talked this over with Mr. King because it was up to them [Board]. Come to find out, Mr. King says she’ the supervisor and she can do that”
So what’ the difference between being “et go”and getting fired? What was the real issue for the firing? Can you hire without posting a job opening? Who’ in charge? Who does what?
Keith King is also the Chairman for the Regional PSD Advisory Committee and when that group officially takes over the smaller water service providers in the county, King is expected to be named in charge of that agency. If you’e waiting on answers from Mr. ‘appy’ best bet is, you’l be waiting and waiting and….. AW