New face, new president for commissioners
by Jazz Clark
With a newly elected president at the helm, the Morgan County Commission ushered in a new commissioner and looked back on 2012 at their Wednesday, January 2 meeting.
“It’s time for me to turn the reins over to somebody else,” said former president Stacy Dugan before nominating Close to the presidency. Dugan has headed the commission for the past two years.
Close said the meeting structure will only change a little under him.
“I’m the biggest advocate for change, because even though I think we are creatures of habit, change is good and keeps things fresh,” Close said.
Newly elected commissioner Bob Ford expressed a motto that he believes will aid his term: “Put your brain in gear before you put your mouth in gear.”
Ford served on the commission from 2001 through 2006, but said coming back is a “learning curve.”
Ford was sworn in for his six year term at the meeting, while Sheriff Vince Shambaugh and Assessor Ronnie McIntire were sworn in for new four-year terms.
Kim Michael of the Sheriff’s Tax Office came before the commission to approve a check-scanning system that she said would make the tax office more efficient.
The scanner, computer programs and employee training will be paid for by the scanning company Point and Pay, which works with CNB Bank.
Close said a decision will not be reached until a secure way is found to keep the checks after they have been scanned until they can legally be shredded.
Two vehicles in good condition were donated to Morgan County Emergency Services. Berkeley County probation officer Bill Lewis said that Morgan County only has to pay for insurance and gas.
One 1996 Ford Blazer from Paw Paw will be given to the head of the diving team to use in drowning rescue operations.
A Chevrolet Caprice will likely go to the sheriff’s department. Repairs were paid for by Berkeley County, and some parts were salvaged from a burnt Ford Crown Victoria.
Approval was given to sign the two titles over to the county on a motion by Commissioners Dugan and Ford.
The commissioners signed a contract with architect Jim Burton, who is heading improvements for the Senior Center located at former U.S. Silica offices. An agreement was reached at an earlier meeting for a maximum of $12,120 with architects Carter & Burton.
Burton is working with the Senior Center to add a kitchen, modify the building and put in emergency housing, within the preset budget.
Board of Equalization
The County Commission will review and equalize assessments made by the assessor no later than February 1.
Citizens with concerns about their assessments or property taxes may attend Board of Equalization
sessions next month to voice their opinions or object to increases.
Meetings will take place between 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. on February 1, 6, 7, 15, and 21 at the Morgan County Commission Room, and on February 12 in Paw Paw.