January 10, 2003
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BOB CLARKE Curmudgeon’ Corner
Short shorts

Daniel Grindo and Peter Triplett had been on the job just two full days when lawsuit 03-C-01 was filed. The suit names Mr. Grindo and the Clay County Commission (CCC) as defendants and stems from County Commission actions taken in December 2002 as they replaced resigning Clay County Prosecutor Jeff Davis. In December 2002, Peter Triplett was a commissioner-elect and had not yet taken his seat on the governing body of the county.
        Although nothing new for the CCC, lawsuits make news in Clayberry. About this same time last year a Bomont resident sued the CCC to restore satellite ambulance stations to the county, and two years ago an open meeting law violation case was before the WV Supreme Court. That case cost the county nearly $25,000.00
         Plaintiff for the January 6, 2003 case is
Barbara Harmon-Schamberger. The cover page of this case calls for: Complaint and Petition for Writ of Mandamus, Writ of Prohibition, Writ of Injunction, Writ of Error, and a Motion Therefor. Wow, pretty big words!
          The suit stems from CCC actions to replace resigning Prosecutor Jeff Davis. Davis forwarded his resignation to the CCC November 22, 2002. On December 12, after interviewing candidates for the opening earlier that same day, the Commission voted to appoint Braxton County resident Daniel R. Grindo as prosecutor. Commissioner Tim Butcher lead the charge for Grindo with Commissioner Jimmy Sams seconding the motion. Commission President Matthew Bragg opposed the appointment and voiced strong support for then assistant prosecutor Barbara Harmon-Schamberger. During Commission confirmations it came to light that Grindo had only recently passed his bar examination (Sept. 2002) and had no court room experience. Other candidates for the prosecutor’ job prior to December 12 included: Karen Klotzbach, Kevin Duffy, Dan Dotson, Wayne King, Ms Schamberger, Hiram Lewis and Mathew Minney. Also on December 12 it came to light that Asst. Prosecutor Schamberger would be out of a job effective January 1, 2003 due to no money in the budget for an assistant.
         During the decision making process, Ms Schamberger informed the CCC of several problems with appointing Grindo to the post and this lawsuit appears to address many of those issues. Like……
         From the court document:
          COUNT ONE That Daniel Grindo is not of the same party as the outgoing office holder, for purposes of §§3-5-7 and 3-10-8 of the Code of West Virginia of 1931 as amended. That Chapter 3, Article 5, Section 7(b)(6) of the Code provides that “f]or partisan elections, the name of the candidate’ political party, and a statement that the candidate is a member of and affiliated with that political party as is evidenced by the candidate’ current registration as a voter affiliated with that party, and that the candidate has not been registered as a voter affiliated with any other political party for a period of sixty days before the date of filing the announcement [of candidacy for election].”Further, that Chapter 3, Article 10, Section 8 of the Code of West Virginia provides that “a]ny vacancy occurring in the office of prosecuting attorney, Sheriff, assessor, or county survey shall be filed by the county commission by appointment of a person of the same political party as the office holder vacating the office. . . .” That the purposes of such requirements are to accomplish a compelling governmental interest in preserving the integrity of the political process, promoting party stability and avoiding voter confusion. State ex rel. Billings v. City of Point Pleasant, 194 W.Va. 301, 460 S.E. 2d 436 (W.Va. 1995). In less elegant terms, it is to assure that the electorate is not defrauded of its elected party choice by scoundrels or those who would aid in such subterfuge.
          In the instant case, in violation of the Chapter 3, Article 5, Section 7, and Chapter 3, Article 10, Section 8, the Clay County Commission appointed one Daniel Grindo, a Republican, to a seat held by a Democrat, one Jeff A. Davis, and that Daniel Grindo’ change of party affiliation on the 5th day of September 2002, was an act of opportunism designed to enable him to take advantage of the anticipated resignation of Jeff A. Davis, and does not reflect a good faith party affiliation with the Democrat Party of West Virginia, and therefore works a fraud upon the voters of Clay County who elected a Democrat to office. That further, the genuineness or good faith of Mr. Grindo’ party affiliation is of paramount issue inasmuch because this appointment:
                       (a)        Is for a Constitutional Office, independently administered and reflective of the philosophy of the office holder;
(b)        Is unvetted by the scrutiny, debate and freedom of an election;
(c)        Is not merely for membership on an inferior board or tribunal where such appointment would be subject to the advise and consent, and confirmation by the duly elected members of the West Virginia State Senate Confirmations Committee and voted on by the full Senate;
(d)        Is not supervised by any other elected Democrat Public Official.
         Therefore, the appointment by the Clay County Commission, of Daniel Grindo, a Republican, whose change of party affiliation to Democrat does not appear to be in good faith, violates the purpose and intent of Chapter 3, Article 5, Section 7 and Chapter 3, Article 10, Section 8, the Code of West Virginia, 1931 as amended should be enjoined.
         Schamberger is saying that the County Commission had to appoint a Democrat to the office and since Grindo changed party affiliation (to Democrat) just a couple months earlier, he should not have been considered for the job.
         As for Tim Butcher being the front man for the appointment, Schamberger says no way. Again from the lawsuit document:
         COUNT TWO That the Clay County Commission, specifically Timothy Butcher, had no authority to appoint Daniel Grindo to the position of Clay County Prosecutor in as much as Timothy Butcher’ term expired, December 31st 2002, prior to the existence of the vacancy in the office of the prosecuting attorney’ office, on January 1st 2003. Timothy Butcher’ vote was one of only two votes to appoint Mr. Grindo. Since one of the two votes for Mr. Grindo was cast by Mr. Butcher, whose term expired prior to office of the Prosecuting Attorney becoming vacant, such vote should not be counted. Succinctly put, because the vacancy actually arose after Mr. Butcher’ term of office expired, the premature appointment of Mr. Grindo to the office of Prosecuting Attorney is void because Mr. Butcher lacked the authority to appoint someone after his term of office had expired. Moreover, it was error to have allowed Mr. Butcher to participate in the vote determining the filing of a vacancy that was to take place after Mr. Butcher was no longer in office. Such vote should not have been held until the term of the incoming commissioner, Mr. Peter Triplett. That neither a crisis nor emergency existed nor would have been created by a delay in appointing a prosecuting attorney which would justify Mr. Butcher illegally voting to fill a vacancy that arose outside his term of office.
          The outgoing assistant prosecuting attorney could have remained until an appointment was made or matters continued on the various court calendars or a temporary substitute could have been provided by the Prosecuting Attorney’ Institute. Therefore, a writ of prohibition should lie against the Clay County Commission preventing them from using the vote of Tim Butcher to determine the outcome of appointment for prosecutor of Clay County, and an injunction should lie against the Daniel Grindo prohibiting him from taking office on the result of an illegal vote.
Get it? Since Butcher would be out of office prior to the prosecutor vacancy, Butcher should not and could not vote on the matter. And, since it was Butcher and Sams voting for Grindo ( Bragg said no), the vote, 2 to 1, was not a majority of the Commission. According to Schamberger, Grindo got to go!
                 For many in the county, Commissioner Butcher’ choice was pure politics. Many feel that some kind of deal was cut with Butcher before the meeting. No mention of such deals are mentioned in the filed documents. When Sams seconded Butcher’ motion to hire Grindo, Sams spoke in favor of hiring attorney Wayne King. Sams said something like: Wayne is the obvious best choice but he didn’ want to tie things up.
                 Things get juicier in the paperwork. Schamberger claims that Grindo could NOT be a candidate for the job because he was employed by the WV Supreme Court as a law clerk for Judges Alsop and Facemire and that he openly campaigned for the job. Many remember when Sheriff Harald Fields escorted Grindo around the Courthouse prior to his appointment by the CCC
         COUNT THREE That Daniel Grindo, as an employee of the Judicial Branch of the State of West Virginia was prohibited by law from campaigning for, and running for, as well as applying for a position as a constitutional officer in one of the other two branches of government without first resigning his position, and, that having failed to do so, he has undermined the separation of powers intended by the framers of the Constitution, brought into disrepute the 14th judicial circuit and therefore should be prohibited from retaining his illegally obtained employment as a constitutional officer in the executive branch of government, to wit, the Prosecuting Attorney of Clay County. State ex rel. Carenbauer v. Hechler, 208 W.Va. 584, 542 S.E.2d 405 (W.Va. 2000), West Virginia Constitution Art. 8, §7. Mr. Grindo campaigned throughout the courthouse of Clay County describing to Your Plaintiff his excursions through out the building as “eet and greet”sessions. That after the Clay County Commission meeting of the 4th day of December 2002, Mr. Daniel Grindo, without invitation to be on the agenda or other purpose, came to the meeting and, upon inquiry by Your Plaintiff, informed her that he was there to “eet and greet” and proceeded to shake hands and be introduced as a “andidate”for Prosecuting Attorney. That throughout this period, Mr. Grindo was also the judicial clerk for the 14th Judicial Circuit, and that he continued to participate fully in decisions before the Court, sitting in hearings, drafting memoranda, particularly with regard to abuse and neglect matters before the Court. That neither he nor the Court made any attempt to sequester or “hinese wall”off Mr. Grindo from proceedings involving the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney. That Mr. Grindo used his position as a judicial clerk to improve his access to his prospective employers and thereby used his judicial office for personal gain. Therefore, Daniel Grindo, having been an employee of the Judicial Branch of the State of West Virginia and campaigning for and applying for a position as a constitutional officer in the executive branch, without first resigning his position, and, that having failed to do so, undermined the separation of powers intended by the framers of the Constitution, created the appearance of impropriety within the Clay County Judicial system and brought into disrepute the 14th judicial circuit, should be prohibited from retaining his illegally obtained position as a constitutional officer in the executive branch of government, to wit, the Prosecuting Attorney of Clay County, and prohibited from irreparably damaging the Petitioner, as well as all Clay Countians and the public treasury of Clay County by drawing pay and other benefits from his illegally obtained position.
Sort of sounds like Grindo was holding two state paid for jobs at the same time readers. Based on that, doesn’ it sound like as an employee of the Court at the same time as being a prosecutor, CCC appointed a guy that was on both sides of the table? That would be a guy working with the Judges (lots of documentation to be had) on their side of the table while appointed to be across the aisle representing the State as a prosecutor.
                 And the “iggy”of the case. During the December 12 commission meeting, twice the three blind mice (CCC) were told by prosecutor candidate Hiram Lewis, state code mandates that an election be held to fill the position when there is over one year left on the unexpired term. Needless to say, the information went right over their collective heads and the appointment of Grindo was made. Ok, ok, we’l try to be a little bit fairer to the dimly lit elected ones. County Commission did ask their legal advisor Jeff Davis his opinion on the matter. Davis responded that he would check into it and at the time, could not offer advice to them. Lewis’ contention appears to be what Schamberger based her next charge on.
         COUNT FOUR That the Clay County Commission, in a vote taken on the 27th day of December 2002, in violation of Chapter 3, Section 10, Article 8 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931 as amended has refused to hold an election to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Jeff A. Davis as Prosecuting Attorney. That such statutory language provides: “uch vacancy shall be filled by election for the unexpired term if the unexpired term is greater than one year.”That the Petitioner, as well as all Clay Countians are damaged by the County Commission’ refusal to abide by due process of law and the plain language of the Code and therefore a Writ of Mandamus should lie against the Clay County Commission to require the Commission and its Clerk to take such actions as are necessary to hold timely an election for the vacancy created by the resignation of Jeff A. Davis, Prosecuting Attorney of Clay County, West Virginia.
                 And finally, and sort of an odd angle of twist, Ms Schamberger throws in an additional charge for good measure. This one is a little confusing, something about discriminating against a woman and better qualified, more experienced choices available to the citizens of Clayberry. Here goes with her last charge:
         COUNT FIVE That, in the alternative, the Clay County Commission, by conducting interviews, receiving resumes, and interviewing known non-Democrats for the position of prosecuting attorney, were seeking to employ instead of appoint a person to serve as a prosecuting attorney, and that result of such employment practices violated Chapter 5, Article 11, Section 1 et seq. of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended. That the Clay County Commission is an “mployer”as defined by Chapter 5, Article 11, Section 3(d) of the Code of West Virginia, 1931 as amended. That further, the Clay County Commission is in receipt of federal and state funds through various programs including, but not limited to, welfare to work programs, and other forms of assistance for rural communities. That the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney is in receipt of federal and state funds inasmuch as it has employed summer college students on federally funded work programs, and participants in welfare to work and other talent building publicly funded programs. That the Clay County Commission, in hiring Daniel Grindo, as its employee to serve as prosecuting attorney engaged in “nlawful discriminatory practices”as defined by Chapter 5, Article 11, Section 3 and Chapter 5 Article 11, Section 9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931 as amended. That Daniel Grindo was the least qualified candidate of all candidates interviewed. That unlike the majority, if not all the other candidates interviewed, Daniel Grindo had never tried a case nor had any prosecutorial experience and possessed his law license for less than three or four months when hired. That among the candidates in the protected classes were, at least, but not necessarily limited to, two persons in protected classes: a man over the age of 40 with over 31 years of litigation and elected prosecutorial experience and a woman over the age of forty, with ten years of civil and criminal practice, graduate of the University of Virginia, Law Review, Rhodes Scholar, Secretary of Education and the Arts, Deputy Commissioner of Securities for the State of West Virginia, General Counsel House Education Chairman. The woman is also hearing impaired, has specific learning disabilities and is a racial minority. That the Clay County Commission for no apparent reason discriminated against the over forty year old man and over forty year old woman and chose a person far less qualified than either person in the protected class and that the less qualified person is not in the protected class. That being an employer in violation of Chapter 5, Article 11, Section 1, et seq., a writ of prohibition and injunction should lie against the Clay County Commission prohibiting them from hiring and continuing in their employ Daniel Grindo, a person not in the protected class and not better or equally qualified than either the over-forty male or over-forty female who applied for and were interviewed for the position of employee with the Clay County Commission, and that Your Plaintiff as the over-forty, disabled, minority, female has been harmed, as have all citizens of Clay County, by the acts of the Clay County Commission.
Isn’ that an interesting angle?
                 The 17 page document asks the Court to toss out Republican-in-spirit Grindo, throw out Butcher’ motion and wait to get new to the job Peter Triplett’ vote, bar Grindo from campaigning again for the office of Prosecutor while an employee of the courts: and, hold an election as required by State Code. Since the filing, Ms Schamberger has told the CCC that she seeks no money for damages, but rather, if she wins the case, she seeks to be reimbursed the cost of copying, filing fees and the like. On January 8, Prosecutor Grindo advised the CCC not to speak in public of the case.
                 What to do, what to do…. It looks like our Commissioners have to hire an attorney other than Grindo (conflict since he is being sued) and have but four avenues to traverse. CCC can either hire an attorney and fight the charges in a costly court battle; hire an attorney and ask the courts for an opinion on the charges against them; hire an attorney and dispute part of the charges in a costly court battle; or sit on their thumbs and see what happens through inaction.
                 So, who can they hire for representation? Schamberger is suing them, can’ use her. Wayne King is being sued by the County, can’ use him. Hiram Lewis and Kevin Duffy were candidates for the opening, possible conflict there. Sounds like just Jerome Novobilski and past Prosecutor Jeff Davis are left.
                 According to Circuit Clerk Mike Asbury, Hancock County Judge Ronald E Wilson has been appointed to hear the case. No date has been set for the court action.
                 What ever avenue Jimmy Sams, Matthew Bragg and Peter Triplett take, it’ sure to be fun to watch, albeit expensive for the taxpayer. Stay tuned for the latest info!                                                                                        AW
         ??? DID YOU KNOW ???
 1. About 8.2 percent of all babies born in the state in 2000 weighed less than 5.5 pounds.
2. One female cat can produce 420,000 offspring in seven years.
3. About 100 people died and 4,000 were injured in deer crashes last year in the United States.
4. Last year the state Division of Motor Vehicles revoked 9,546 drivers’licenses because of driving under the influence infractions.
5. 41,025,933 babies were born in the United States in 2001.
6. Alcohol related accidents are most likely to occur on Saturday and Sunday.
7. Nearly 4,000 guns were reported stolen in West Virginia between 1999 and 2000.
8. In 1999 the most recent data available says 1,302 West Virginians suffering from diabetes underwent kidney dialysis.
9. West Virginia leads the nation with more than 44,000 lifetime hunting license holders.
10. A recent survey found that only 5 percent of the population has used the “acagawea Dollar”
11. About 9,700 children are born with Cerebral Palsy every year in the United States.
12. According to the United Nations, the world’ population is expected to increase from 6 billion to 9 billion by the year 2050.
13. It is amazing what you can accomplish if you don’ care who gets the credit.
14. The number of coal miners killed on the job fell to the lowest level on record in 2002.
15. In 2001, 40 percent of people living with “IDS”in America were in the South.
16. The US Labor Department, conducting a nationwide survey, concluded that 2.7 percent of Americans over age 16 volunteer averaging an hour a week.
17. Don’ put off for tomorrow what you can do today, because if you enjoy it today, you can do it again tomorrow….James Michener
18. Rupert Murdoch will probably sell the Los Angeles Dodgers within the next six months.
19. West Virginia America Water serves 150,000 residential customers and 11,000 commercial customers in 17 counties.
20. I’ rather be a failure at something I enjoy, than be a success at something I hate…George Burns                                 LMM


12/15/02: Ellyson – David Albert Johnson, warrant issued 05/09/02 for: sex offender-fail to change address, arrested, ROB, hearing set 01/06/03.
12/27/02: Delk – Travis Welch, arrested 12/10 – grand larceny, hearing: State moved to continued, witnesses unavailable, no objection by Defense, continued to 1/21/03; Belt – Dwain E. McQuiston, arrested 12/15 – possession of stolen vehicle, hearing: motion to dismiss by State-defendant subject to other charges in Logan County.
12/30/02: Belt – Joseph Underwood, arrested 12/20 – arson and (12/21) attempt to escape from custody, hearing: probable cause found - to Circuit Court.
12/26/02: (no complainant listed) – Homer D. Rogers, possession less than 15 grams marijuana, appeared, pled no contest, assessed cost.
12/28/02: Bailey – Randy B. Jeffrey, failure to yield ½ of roadway and DUI, arrested, ROB.
01/06/03: Slack – William Ruff, littering, summons issued.
12/27/02: Clay County Bank, Inc. – Glenda Paige, breach of contract.
12/31/02: St. Francis Hospital – Dale R. Metheney, money due.
01/02/03: Ora Boggs – Rent Way, money due; Tina McKinney – Robert Stutler and Mary Elaine Stutler, money due.
Worthless Checks
Notices issued -
12/27/02: Sizemore’ IGA – Judith K. Taylor (paid 01/06/03), Katherine I Grose, Jarrod W. Lanham (paid 12/31), Jamie C. Brown (paid 01/06), Sally’ New Image Styling x 4; Elk River Inn – Valerie C. Samples, Arthur G. Samples II x 2
12/31/02: Larry’ Grocey – Eric Wayne Moore.
01/02/03: Janet Osborne – Sandra Eagle; Clay County Sheriff’ Dept. – Sherry Jo Mullins.
01/03/03: IGA – Marjorie E. Barnett, Deana B. Hudnall, Sandra Samples; Clay Super Market – Teresa Raike, Hollis J. Talkington (paid 01/06), Ernest G. Carte, Daniel Raike.
01/06/03: Samples Market – Marilyn Taylor, Marsha Eagle; Hartland Superette – Sandra Eagle, Jacqueline R. Keener, Marsha Eagle, Valerie C. Samples, Reba Muck, Eric Wayne Moore, Deana Hudnall x 2, Joseph Mollohan; IGA – Charla R. Jones.
01/07/03: Bessie Boggs – Marsha K. Eagle.
Traffic Citations (In next issue)

        Lest anyone misunderstand my thinking, I care for WV and its citizens. It is just the users and abusers that I don't care for. WV has many points deserving pride that we don't utilize or acknowledge. These are the “nderrated in WV”based solely on my opinion.
        Before I go into my list of things underrated in WV, let me say a quick word about the most under-rated West Virginian of all time, Senator Robert C. Byrd. After a lifetime of serving WV well and doing near miracles for us, he did one more thing that will make him stand out in my mind forever. What I am talking about is his Alamo stand against this administration's flagrant disregard for the Constitution. Senator Byrd was fiery, adamant and logical in his argument but was eventually over-run and out-voted. If there was ever a hero from WV it is Robert C. Byrd.
         1. Location - Considering our easy access to most of the Eastern U.S., WV should be the home of whatever we choose. 2. Our hillbilly heritage - being hardworking, dependable and trustworthy, as well as independent, strong-willed and outspoken. These six points are considered positive anywhere but here. 3. Arts - WV Mountain Stage is one of the best public broadcast shows around and very few even know about it. 4. New Jobs - The WV Department of Agriculture does more every year to bring development and jobs to WV than any other department. 5. Heroes - WV is assuredly the home of John Henry, the steel-driver and likely the home of Joe Magarac, the steelworker. Not capitalizing on these two mythical figures is our own fault. 6. History - The archives of our Department of Culture and History is an uncared for goldmine that deserves more funding, access and usage. 7. The Ohio River - nearly one thousand miles long, should play a much bigger role in every aspect of life in WV. 8. Our workers - known everywhere as the best employees you can lay hands on, are so poorly thought of by our bureaucrats and elected officials that they are expected to work for minimum wage so that out-of-state/nation corporations can boost their profits. 9. The children of WV - apparently are little more to our system than excuses to hire more Special Ed teachers & administrators, yet the future of WV depends on them. 10. Tourism - Our potential goes far past rafting, skiing, and golfing, and should include biking, hiking, camping, and the many scenic and historic sites that are available to enjoy.
         On the also-ran list in the ‘nderrated’list are the small businesses of WV. They are the backbone of most of our communities and every cent they generate stays in their hometowns. Surely underrated are those that attempt to bring some sort of culture to their communities. Any criminal gets more media exposure than these hardworking people. As always that's what I had to say. I didn't say you had to like it.
                 Clay Town Council met in regular session January 7, beginning at 4 pm. Present: Mayor Arthur Jarrett, Recorder Betty Murphy, and council persons, Sally Legg, Dave Derby, Wanda Chambers, and Helen Morris. Okey Burroughs absent. Three sat in the peanut gallery.
                 When asked if all the bills were “n order” clerk Dwana Murphy replied, yes. Recorder Betty Murphy explained that the $ 10,000.00 police department budget was all but gone and would be exhausted by month’ end. On police matters, complaints have been received on extra folks being hauled around in the 4WHD cruiser. Questions came up over insurance coverage for those (like Malcomb) out for a spin. Council person Chambers raised concerns on the number of break ins within the municipality. Mentioned were: the grade school, library, Kate’ Floral, and The Kitchen. Mayor Jarrett will handle the extra riders in the patrol car. Motion made to pay the bills. No decision on additional funds for the police department account.
                 Clay Development Corporation (CDC) chairman Gary Whaling addressed the elected ones and asked that a handicapped parking spot be established in the front of the CDC office on Main Street. Whaling said there have been times when he could not park his van to unload 2 handicapped folks. Whaling went on to say that the bank, post office, and Shawnee Hills already have handicapped parking spots. There was a murmur around the table. Quietly, and as Whaling was leaving, folks at the table were commenting that the proposed spot would just be another free parking spot for another employee.
                 As Mr. Whaling was exiting, a question came, “ould that [CDC] bus park there all day?” Whaling, nearly at the door responded, “o” that the bus does not have a handicapped parking permit sticker and the spot would NOT be used by employees either. Lots of mumbling with someone commenting that there already is a spot in front of the building (where the alley used to be) that doesn’ have a parking meter. Council will take the matter under advisement. Gary Whaling left.
                 With all the low key discussions going on, this item was hard to hear. Something about Allen Stephenson being the OIT at the sewer plant. Note: No meeting minutes reflect the hiring of Stephenson that we’e seen.
                 Discussion of a Two Run resident that is using an old , unlicensed, truck to hold gobs of garbage. Health concerns raised by Wanda Chambers. County Sanitarian Teresa Morton will be called.
                 Recorder Betty Murphy advised council that she had spoken with attorney Barbara Schamberger about settling the long standing, now 16 month old, “oney missing” embezzlement investigation where an ex-employee allegedly swiped several $1000s from the water deposit accounts. Murphy commented that Schamberger had a bunch of her files boxed up and was looking for office space. Council seemed to nod in agreement to give Schamberger another week before getting upset with her for dragging her feet on the work.
                 As for the town finances as of meeting date: they sold 63,000 gallons of water to individuals from the spigot at the water plant; they have $40,051.68 in the town account, $33,857.85 in the water plant account including $33,857.85 in unused loan dollars, and $827.02 in the sewage plant account; Expenses: Town, $2036.36, Water Plant, $3366.45, and $5872.36 in sewer plant expenses. Tim Hopkins, Ruth Butcher, and April McVey received water adjustments. Total deposits for December 2002: Water- $23,038.07; Sewer - $10,528.40, and Town - $5,604.52.
                 Dwana Murphy advised council that Melissa Postelwait had raised a complaint with the town and the collection of the $25 water deposit. According to Murphy, Postelwait feels that according to WV PSC rules, the town is not allowed to charge such a fee. Murphy, “he got huffy…. I think she was in to cause problems….” Consensus: If Postelwait wants to pursue the issue, take it to the WV PSC and file a complaint.
                 With many still thinking about the CDC request for free parking, Mayor Jarrett let go with some thoughts along the line of: “ told them to get employees off the street and they could park there” Jarrett reminded council that many employees park their vehicles day after day, all day long, and do so without paying parking tickets. Betty, “hey park out there all day long…” Dave Derby, “an’ you tow them?”Dwana, “If] they get a sticker on that bus, [they’l] park it there all day long.”Chambers suggested that instead of a handicapped parking spot, maybe a 10 minute loading zone would be more appropriate. Helen Morris, “f they would not abuse it, the girls that work there….”No decision, Betty, “et’ think about it.”        Back in August parking meters were removed in the alley beside the new Welfare Office. Council person Sally Legg asked the thorny question: When are the meters going to be reinstalled? NOTE: This subject has come up at two previous meetings, and each time Mayor Jarrett responded that the 11 meters will be put back on location. Comments received: Those 11 meters use to bring in tons of money and now folks are using the free Welfare parking lot instead of feeding the meters on Main Street. Dwana, “linton was supposed to put them back.”Once again, Jarrett told council, the meters would be reinstalled.
                 It’ election time in the town of Clay. Those wanting to file for office must do so between January 13 and January 25, 2003. The election will be held June 10, 2003. Speculation has been growing over who will run for the $500.00 a month mayor position, the $380.00 month recorder spot, and the five $100/month council jobs. As for incumbents, Sally Legg and Mayor Jarrett have thrown their hats in the ring while Dave Derby and Helen Morris will not seek reelection. Betty Murphy and Wanda Chambers say they haven’ decided yet. Town clerk Dwana Murphy has been rumored to be wanting the recorder’ job, but would not commit to running during the meeting. Incumbent Okey Burroughs was not present. The coffee house gang have a short list of candidates considering a run at the lofty elected positions. Those on that list include: Tim Butcher interested in being mayor as is Dr S.S. Jamie and Glenn Nichols; Paige Willis for council; Cathy Butcher (Tim’ wife) for recorder if she doesn’ get the State Police secretary job at Maysel.                                 AW        
         BOB CLARKE Curmudgeon’ Corner
                 The Yiddish language has a large array of wonderful and colorful words. Perhaps none is more useful than the term “hutzpah” Among its many definitions are: “hameless audacity” “mpudence” “rass” There are others more blunt, frequently naughty, which will be omitted here in deference to the editor’ sensibilities, as well as that of the reader, if there are any left at this point. As is so often the case, “hutzpah”is better illustrated than defined. The classic example is a story about a young man who has murdered both of his parents. When he is convicted and about to be sentenced, he is asked if he has any last words. The young man, no fool he, throws himself on the mercy of the court. His argument is that he is now an orphan. There is no further report that, in this case, justice was tempered with mercy.
                 Chutzpah can be found virtually everywhere within the present administration, but since one must begin somewhere, let us begin with one of the White House/Pentagon’ brand new creations, the ‘otal Information Awareness’program, or T.I.A. This inspiration, which could well have been lifted from George Orwell’ 1984, is a brand new application of Orwell’ “ig brother is watching you” Through the miracles of modern technology the government will be able to monitor every detail of any transaction you and I make: your bank withdrawals, prescriptions, the books you buy or check out, your travel arrangements, the contents of your safe deposit box, complaints you make against authorities, complaints against you. The list of potential government invasions of individual privacy is virtually endless. All this information will be deposited into what the bureaucratic wordsmiths call: “ virtual, centralized grand database.” All this information, possibly including our dark, little secrets, will be available to various local, state, federal, and international agencies.
                 If this news is not chilling enough, here is the kicker. That great American, former Admiral John Poindexter, has been chosen to head this agency. As a reminder to those who may be memory-challenged, Poindexter is the disgraced and thoroughly discredited National Security Agency official who was convicted on five felony counts of lying to Congress. He was one of the chief architects, along with Elliot Abrams and Oliver North of the Iran-Contra scandal. Abrams is currently serving his sentence in a high government post, and Ollie North is raking in money as a right wing radio host and posturing as a national hero. When notified of his grand new job, Poindexter happily asserted that everyone’ “ransaction space”whatever that means, must be monitored in order to ferret out terrorists – so, to risk overdoing the term, it takes a certain amount of chutzpah to fashion a profitable career out of actions that could have resulted in charges of treason – conducting a foreign war without the knowledge of the American people or the Congress. These covert actions were carried out with the blessing or the ignorance of a man the conservatives are busily raising to sainthood – Ronald Reagan. While all this was going on, Reagan’ vice president, George Bush the 1st told the media in words which will be quoted down through the ages for their eloquence, “ was out of the loop.”        In a move which suggests that the current Bushes must have taken leave of their senses, or that they rely on the notoriously short American memory, the reptilian Henry Kissinger was selected to head a committee to investigate the almost indescribable incompetence of the intelligence community prior to 9/11. Kissinger, the wily manipulator was the author of the illegal bombing of Cambodia, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians, as well as the overthrow of a democratically elected regime in Chile. He is also suspected of being involved in the assassination of President Salvador Allende. In addition, he is wanted for questioning in three countries as well as being on the verge of indictment by the World Court as a war criminal. However, because he is no dummy, Kissinger has rejected the appointment. He would have had to produce a list of his clients. He has consulting contracts all over the world. Limited space cannot provide a complete list of many of the Bush administration’ preposterous appointments. It may not be too far-fetched to suggest that if there existed a cabinet level post with the title Secretary of United States Blood Banks, the appointee would be – you guessed it, Count Dracula!
                 As is well known, our super secretive vice president, Dick Cheney held secret meetings with a task force composed of energy-industry executives. There may have been a certain amount of self-interest generated (no pun intended) in those closed door sessions. It is also known that the General Accounting Office brought suit against Cheney in an attempt to force him to reveal what went on in those proceedings. It is reasonable to assume that “enny-boy”Lay, the apparently untouchable Enron C.E.O. was one of the major participants. What may not be generally known in this sordid saga is the federal judge who ruled in favor of Cheney, that is, that the proceedings of those meetings could not be disclosed, was John D. Bates, a Bush appointee. Bates’ruling comes from a man who has an interesting judicial history. A deputy of Kenneth Starr, of impeachment fame, Bates once ordered a search of the White House residential quarters on the hope that something could be turned up connected to the tragic death of Vincent Foster, something, that is, that would implicate the Clintons. As John B. Judis puts it: so poking through Hillary’ vanity to satisfy the lunatic speculation of the far right is both legal and proper – when a Democrat is president. Enabling the public to ascertain who formulated the nation’ energy policy is an unwarranted intrusion – when a Republican is president.
                 So there you have it – another classic example of our impartial judicial system. Our unbiased and august Supreme Court should be proud.
                         With malice aforethought, Cur
                         (But happy New Year, anyway)
         No Election, , New Prez, Dogs Shot, JD, $150,000

                 Clay County Commission met four times in the last 14 days. Possibly a record has been set. Sure don’ wan’ our readers to miss out on the drama of life in Clayberry. The following is brief coverage of the Dec 27th, 2002, Jan 2, Jan 8, and Jan 9, 2003 gathering of our trusty leaders.
                 Dec 27, 2002 NO ELECTION COMING
          As the meeting opened Prosecutor Jeff Davis was reading the State Code and commented to Commissioner Sams ,”I’ not much help…”Keep in mind this was the Dec 27th meeting and Jeff Davis was still in office. On the bench were Mathew Bragg, Jimmy Sams and believe it or not, Tim Butcher present for his final meeting before leaving office. The meeting room was cleared to hold a 10 minute juvenile hearing. Soon to be Prosecutor Daniel Grindo, now sporting a cleaner , shaven look, remained during the secret time.
                 After opening back up to the rest of the public, Ambulance Service Director Mitzie Adkins asked for $ to replace Unit 18’ ( newest fleet vehicle) transmission and to sell at auction three older units currently not being used. Of those to be sold, Unit 14 has a new transmission ( but won’ fit Unit 18), Unit 15 has a nearly new motor, and Unit 16 “has been run to death” Motion made and passed for the CCC to cough up around $2400.00 for the trany and for the Ambulance folks to get three bids for the repairs on Unit 18.
                 Item 12 on the agenda was “pprove additional assessment of Fola Land Co. Sounds innocent enough. Note it was revealed earlier in the month that Fola Coal’ holdings had been under assessed and the State Tax Dept folks had caught the mistake. With little discussion it was made public that Fola was to cough up an $15,000.00 in taxes!
                 CCC Ok’ the idea of moving the Asst. Prosecutor’ furniture over across the hallway so new to the Probation Officer’ job, Lucy Cruickshank would have a place to work. With Davis saying that there was no money to continue paying for an Asst Prosecutor, CCC had no problems with the change of location for the furniture.
                 Mr. Grindo asked that the CCC approve his hiring of Karen Amy as secretary replacing Cruickshank. Grindo said Amy would be a full time employee, 40 hours per week at $12,000.00 per year to start and $15,000.00 after she completes her degree. Sams balked at the planned increase down the road, Sams, “We may look at $15,000.00.”        As for the front burner issue of a request by Hiram Lewis for the county wide election to fill the Prosecutor’ slot. Prosecutor Davis made some comments which included something along these lines: Code 3-10-8 provides for filling the position; the Secretary of State’ office has an opinion on the matter; Dawn Warfield with the Attorney General’ office has not rendered an opinion; the law is inconsistent and has conflicts; and mumblings of ,”I don’ know what to tell you…..I’e no opinion on what to do…. It doesn’ say when to have it [election]…. It’ still up in the air…”The CCC was all quiet, heads were down, Tim Butcher was grinning, Sams had those frown lines.
                 As his last official action before leaving office, Commissioner Tim Butcher motioned to NOT hold an election to fill the Prosecutor’ position. Sams agreed fully with Butcher while Bragg said no in no uncertain terms. Davis commented what most in the county already knew, “This will probably wind up in Court..” Five minutes into a second secret time for infant matter, Tim Butcher, with his job done, over, finished, and all gone, slinked out of the room through the side door.
         JAN 2 2003 NEW PRESIDENT
                 It’ a new day and new year. Commissioner elect Peter Triplett is no longer “lect”and takes the bench at 10am. With Commissioner Sams welcoming Triplett, Commission President Bragg gave some advice to Triplett, do what you think is right regardless of what others tell you.
                 Planned in advance, Sams accepted the County Commission Presidency and took charge of the meeting. Sams told the assembled that there is a lot of work to do, water lines to be laid, water plants to be built, and they “got to get on some toes!”CCC meetings for 2003 were moved to Wednesday’ at 2 pm. Note”Don’ write that down readers, the Wed. part is going to change real soon!
                 As for the annual opportunity for property owners to challenge their tax bills, dates were set. Dates for the Board of Review are: Jan 31, Feb 5, 7, 11, 14, 19, and 21st. Opening for each meeting will be 10 am.
                 Sams said he had spoken with WV PSC big cheese Amy Swain who had asked the CCC to get the Regional PSD Advisory Board on tract by holding monthly meetings. Next meeting of the Regional PSD will be Jan 22 and noon.
                 Item 6, “discuss appointment of Prosecutor”had all the potential to be explosive. Didn’ happen! Bragg said the item was there in case someone had any comments. No one commented. In the background, and prior to the Jan 2nd meeting, something had changed.
                 Garrett Samples’resignation from the Clay Roane PSD group was accepted. As for naming a replacement, it appeared that the CCC was hesitant to appoint and they didn’
                 An hour into the meeting some notes: ambulance service driver Morgan Triplett commented that the ambulances to be sold off would only fetch a few hundred dollars each and and and and outgoing Prosecutor Davis entered and said that the foreclosure sale of his home, trailer park, and his parents home by the Clay County Bank was “FF” Davis was cashing in his state pension to cover his “n the auction block”assets.
         JAN 8 2003 DOGS SHOT, SCHAM FIRE
                 With a lawsuit filed against them 3 days earlier, County Commission met in regular session beginning at 2 pm. In the big seats were Mathew Bragg and Jimmy Sams. New man Peter Triplett was being paper trained in Bridgeport and absent.
                 Decision made to auction off the three tired ambulances.
                 With Schamberger in attendance Commission President Sams asked her if she had anything to say. Scham said she was not looking for a job, nor did she want to cost the county any money, nor was she seeking damages ($) from her lawsuit. Immediately Sams responded that he had never been served with the paperwork and her lawsuit would cost the county $ since they have to hire an attorney. Over in the corner, newly seated, and center of the controversy, Daniel Grindo, advised the two to not say anything. Didn’ work.
                 Scham countered that they didn’ need to hire an attorney since they had already hired Grindo to represent them and the entire county of Clay. Little frowny lines began to appear on Sams’head. Scham assured all that the Sheriff would see that the paperwork arrives.
         NOTE: Sure seems to be taking the Sheriff a long time to walk the court paperwork across the hall to the County Commission room?
         Soundly quite miffed, Sams told Business Development Chair Paige Willis that he wanted the removal of Schamberger as the BDA attorney on the next BDA agenda.
         Here’ an interesting one readers. Holly Cunningham, speaking for her Mother Marna Killingsworth brought to the CCC’ attention the treatment of animals by Dog Catcher Walter Stutler. According to Cunningham, animals have been hauled around the county in unprotected cages during rainy cold conditions. She went on to say that promises had been made over a year ago that more humane treatment would be afforded animals by Stutler. Cunningham said her Mother was real upset over the incidents. Sams apologized for the actions. With the crowd quiet and Sams and Bragg both knowing they better pay attention, discussion turned to allegations of Mr. Stutler tying dogs to trees, shooting them with a 22, and leaving their remains lay. You could see the lather foaming up among the assembled. Sams replied that the animals should be taken to Kanawha County where they can be put to sleep. By the look on the faces, most in the room knew that was not happening.
         And now a main attraction. Glen Country Store owner Terry Harper stood and spoke. Harper, an 18 month resident of Clay County, was upset with Ms Schamberger. According to Harper, during a property dispute, he had received less than professional treatment from Scham and felt that he had been railroaded by the Prosecutor’ office. The issue centered over heirship property located behind Harper’ holdings at the Glen Post Office where a woman and child (squatters) lived in a trailer. Harper said after talking to a property owner of the disputed land, Harper blocked right of way access used by the woman with piles of dirt. The room temperature was rising. Schamberger attempted to break into the speech. Sams stopped her.
                 Harper said he had been arrested for brandishing a deadly weapon in the incident and with Schamberger as the woman’ attorney, a $150,000.00 civil lawsuit had been filed against him. Chief complaint by Harper was the foul language and unprofessional conduct employed by Ms Schamberger during a meeting in the Prosecutor’ office. Harper, “Ms Schamberger was rude, arrogant and shut me down… Her conduct was awful. Her language was terrible”Since the actions of Scham, Harper has filed a complaints with the State Bar and is threatening to sue the County. Harper provided the CCC with copies of the complaint. He went on to comment as a result of being arrested for brandishing, his business has dropped off at the store, people have shot at the store, and the next door Post Office is considering closing down.
         Present and in the back of the room, Sheriff Fields held his down and leaned against the back of a peanut gallery pew. Grindo , up front held his head in both of his hands, maybe thinking, “What the H am I doing here????”Finally getting her shot, Schamberger stood ,turned and replied to the potty mouth allegations, “ MEANT EVERY WORD OF IT AND AM PROUD OF IT!!!!” Without breathing much, Schamberger went on to explain the entire ordeal and did say that she was representing the woman without pay but NOT as a Prosecutor. All eyes were on the two who went at it for 8 to 10 minutes. Up front Bragg and Sams followed the verbiage closely with Sams trying to maintain meeting order. With Scham saying, “HE’ LIEING” and Harper saying he would NOT take anymore of her rudeness, Sams, “JUST A MINUTE!!!!!……. [maybe] Best not to say anything more…”Harper, “She is under investigation by the [Judicial] Board!”Didn’ stop. Scham gave a lengthy accounting of Deputy Rider investigating the case late one evening and the arrest of Harper, how the woman called saying “HE” SHOOTING AT ME!!!” how she wrote the order, how she and Prosecutor Davis recused themselves from the case, how the Prosecutor’ office cannot do civil cases, and from Scham, “It was a nasty conversation… he stood and screamed at me… I gave it back!! ….. He waived his fist at me…. Abusive with me!!!!”Harper didn’ retreat nor did Schamberger. Sheriff Fields went out with Mr Harper. They spoke in the corridor for some time.
         Now for the politics of it all. With Harper in the hallway, Commissioner Bragg questioned the timing of Harper’ appearance, as if it was all planned to discredit Schamberger at an opportune time. Bragg, “It’ odd [that] it came to a head right now… pretty odd [during a ] sticky touchy time….”No decisions, no answers, just good Courthouse action readers.
         Ambulance Director Mitzie Adkins told the CCC that the service was holding it’ own and had made 115 calls in Dec 2002; billed out $79,000.00 in Dec of which about $45,000.00 will come back to the county.
         JAN 9 2003 STREET GAMES
         New day. Robert Davis asked the CCC to change street naming policies performed by the Nicholas County 911 group. Davis has a long driveway in the Wallback area and does not want his private driveway given a street name. He said there was only one resident along the driveway and a new name may confuse emergency service providers. He asked to be given a street number along the Route 36 highway. Along about then attorney Wayne King entered and began talking in hushed tones to Jimmy Sams. After the hushed conversation Sams, “We’l take this under advisement.”JD Morris was removed as guardian of an infant with the Mother replacing fallen from graces JD Morris.
         911 Director Dave King will be retained under contract.
         After brief discussions, Mathew Bragg nominated Dave Saulsgiver for the Clay Roane PSD Board. There was reluctance to do so. Knowing full well the controversy that come from the decision, Bragg, “ow about I just go down there and Melissa and line them all up….”The laughter turned to: stuck my foot in my mouth again.                                        AW
         NO SECRETS @ BDA
                 The new year for the Business Development Authority (BDA) opened with the acceptance of the resignation of Vice Chair Norman D. Wilson. With quorum in place, motion made and passed. Chair Willis suggested that Mac Samples would make a good replacement.
                 Willis wanted to make something very clear. Willis brought to light the street talk around town that the BDA was keeping secrets. Willis, “There are NO secrets.”The Chair was referring to Wilson’ recent comments that during the Dec 5th BDA meeting, the board should have been informed of a Dec 2 court filing on their behave by attorney Barbara Schamberger. Willis said that they have empowered Ms Schamberger to do what ever is necessary in the lawsuit against the Clay County Bank and, “she doesn’ have to come to us before hand…”        As for Wilson not knowing about the Dec 2nd lawsuit change, Willis said the information had been shown him prior to the action and Mr. Wilson had a copy of the court document. Barbara Schamberger , in attendance, echoed Mr. Willis’comments
                 Community Activist Fred Sampson brought the BDA up to speed on a recent Coal Field Development Committee report on Clay County which according to Sampson was inaccurate at the minimum. At one point Sampson read from the report on highways in the county. The report indicated that the current road system more than meets our needs.
                 As for the BDA vs. Clay County Bank lawsuit which was amended Dec 2 to include Wayne and Sandy King, Schamberger said everything was on track. For those that didn’ know about the Dec 2 change, Schamberger apologized.
                 With the word being: there’ no secrets here, Peter Triplett informed the group that there was a Jan 6 hearing before the Judge. Most everyone in the room looked surprised.
                 Hey! It’ not over yet. BDA held a Special meeting just 8 days later on Friday night Jan 10th. With the agenda mentioning the lawsuit and mediation, many in the county felt something was up. After hearing Commissioner Sams say he wanted Schamberger out as BDA attorney, others felt a Waterloo was coming for Scham. Didn’ happen.
                 During the Special meeting, 30 minutes was devoted to secret time after which a vote was taken to release Wayne and Sandy King from the amended court petition. Now keep in mind readers, this lawyer talk is way over our heads…. It sounded as if Schamberger was saying: The King’ were included in the lawsuit to cover possible “onsequences” problems, down the road; since the Jan 6th hearing, the Clay Bank side came to terms with the BDA; and, the need to include Wayne and Sandy King is no longer needed for the BDA interests.
                 As the Special BDA closed, discussion centered on the need to restore public trust in the BDA and the way to do that is to get the tax payer paid for Ovapa/Valley Fork property back from the Clay County Bank. Jim Knotts, “We decided two meetings back to do everything possible to get the property back..”Arthur Jarrett felt that the Bank should get NO proceeds from a sale of the property. Glady Lanham, “… we don’ want to be made a plum fool over this!… They’e [Bank} trying to steal this..”Someone else, “We’e fighting for the people of Clay County…”Jerry Sizemore, “… this is winnable.”        Meeting ended around 5:50pm with all on an upbeat note and Schamberger still contracted for services.                                         AW
                 Back in Dec 2002 Clay Development Corp (CDC) held their monthly Board meeting. With barely enough to make a quorum, the meeting got underway a couple minutes after 1pm in their Main Street digs. Director Betty Stalnaker was absent.
                 Before County Clerk Judy Moore notarized Conflict of Interest forms for those present, questions came from new Board member Reva Whaling. Ms Whaling was concerned over being a new Board member while using CDC services like the buses. Newster Francis Sutton wanted conflict clarification since her husband is in the real estate business. With assurances given of “o problem” all signed the paperwork.
                 As far as the rumors that office staff received Christmas bonuses.. Yes was the response from CDC Chair Gary Whaling. Whaling explained that the Finance Committee gave the thumbs up for Christmas bonuses NOT the full Board of Directors. Since the Board didn’ voted on such ( or for that matter, even knew about the extra $), no reference was noted in the meeting minutes. During this Board meeting, the Finance Committee did not make a report.
                 As has been discussed before, CDC wants one, or some handicapped parking spots in front of their building. Mr. Whaling, “That’ a touchy subject.”Whaling said the reason why Mayor Arthur Jarrett was not favor of such free spots was, “a personal thing.”Chair Whaling went on to say, after having discussion with Jarrett, as long as the girls [employees] park on the street and refuse to feed the meters or pay parking tickets, “We will not be getting a handicap spot…”Somewhere in there Janet Fitzwater came back with something along the lines of “the workers have nothing to do with the seniors…,”and something about never getting parking tickets. With Faye Asbury saying that she has received parking tickets, Pam Taylor commented that the Mayor told the meter maids to give us tickets. Whaling, “This is an ongoing problem….. we need a handicap spot there…..[we’l] have to work it out with them..”While Reva Whaling encouraged the group to contact a seniors’advocates office and then attend a County Commission meeting, Jimmy Duffield, “They’e jumping on our girls [employees]..”        Like a breath of fresh air (and maybe even understanding the need for Board oversight), Chair Gary Whaling asked that Board meetings be held monthly instead of quarterly. Motion made and passed to hold monthly meetings until by laws can be changed during a General Membership meeting.
                 And are you ready folks!!!!!!!! Mr. Whaling asked that the public be once again allowed into Board meetings. Whaling,”The by laws were changed to exclude the public… I would like to see that changed so any member of the public can come.”After brief discussion, decision made to allow the public in Board meetings. Whaling, “We’l be open from now on unless so advised on agenda.”        Around 1:45 Boardster Francis Sutton and Peter Triplett left the meeting heading back to work. With barley enough, “quorum wise”to hold a meeting to begin with, and now with two gone, the meeting continued as this reporter left the building. AW
         Short shorts
          Remember Richard Cummings? The guy arrested on gun charges the same day Tatto Vince Golosow was arrested? Cummings later turned state’ witness and pointed the finger at Golsow as the trigger man in the Judd Reid murder investigation. Word has it that Cummings was arrested Monday Jan 6 2003 in Cleveland on two charges of arson. It is our understanding that Cummings tried to blow up his sister’ home, Marlana Caldwell, by severing the gas line.*******
          Ex Prosecutor Jeff Davis announced Jan 8th that the foreclosure sale of his property at Wallback was off. It appears that Davis will continue to have a place to sleep for a while longer. Did we mention he got his law license reinstated as well. 2003 is starting off better for Jeff Davis! ******
                 The old Elk Valley Hardware building owned by Mike King and partners was sold to Clay Vol Fire Dept Nov 18, 2002. The deed was filed on the 21st noting a sell price of $150,000.00.
         LAST WORD        
                 We’e got just enough space for some last second notes on the Jan 9th Clay Roane PSD meeting. During what looked like an orchestrated and well planned coup, Melissa Postelwait was made Chair replacing Gary Whaling who remains on the Board. How? With just four on the Board (Dave Saulsgiver not sworn in yet) and with Chair Whaling not wanting to second his own nomination, Postelwait ascended the ladder by seconding her nomination. Hmmmmm.
                 As for the Clay Roane PSD operating vehicles without insurance since the first week in Nov 2002. True True True. With Whaling saying that it was just a mix up with last year’ name change from Procious to Clay Roane, the insurance was
reinstated earlier this week after Westfield Insurance Co received payment ( check dated Dec 26, 2002) of nearly $1000.00 plus a $20.00 “einstatement” service charge. After the discovery was made by Boardster Melissa Postelwait ( last week), the trucks were parked. Motion made and passed to have Boardster Postelwait make a weekly check of all correspondence at the PSD in the future. Sort of a checks and balance for clerk Jennifer Traub
                 Water tap contractor, Phillip Linger, will be paid $40/hr for his work and equipment; $45/hour for equipment and a helper; and, $65/hour for emergency work on holidays.        
                 And the doooooozy of the night. According to PSD records, the water provider is owed $10,014.00 by customers 90 days overdue, owed over $14,000.00 by customers at least 30 days late in payment and and and Queen Shoals PSD ( buys wholesale water from Clay Roane ) owes over $7000.00 to Clay Roane for the last 2 months of service! Wonder why rates keep going up?
                 And don’ forget first timer to the meetings, Clay Roane PSD water customer, Doug Burdette. Burdette made it crystal clear , he was completely unhappy with the quality of the water paid for and received and for the performance of the PSD Board of Directors! He commented on the high rates since the minimum bill was reduced to just 2000 gallons, how bad the water tastes, and the lack of trust between the community and the Board. Get this.. the Board listened as they were being scolded! With Mr. Burdette saying he would not give the PSD water to his baby, Burdette, “The whole shebang is disgusting!” Burdette nailed them and they knew it. AW