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On November 30th, newly elected and veteran commissioners from all corners of West Virginia gathered at the Bridgeport Best Western for CCAWV’s 2016 Basic Training.  Every election year, we offer this three day training as a primer, or refresher, for all county commissioners. The many responsibilities of being a commissioner can be daunting. With this training, we strive to prepare new commissioners for the many duties that await them when they are sworn in. 

This year’s training began with a welcome by Harrison County Commissioner and CCAWV Board Member Ron Watson.  CCAWV President Nancy Cartmill followed, telling new commissioners what they could expect when they are sworn into office.  CCAWV Executive Director Vivian Parsons took some time to explain the purposes and benefits of membership in our organization. After lunch, we delved a bit deeper.  Derek Knopp of the West Virginia Ethics Commission explained the Open Meetings Act.  Kelly Nix of the WVU Extension Service was up next to lighten things up with her interactive REAL Colors presentation.  It gave participants not only a deeper understanding of their own strengths, but how they can better work well with others.  Tim McCormick was up next to detail the many benefits of NACo membership, and parliamentarian and WV Delegate Roger Hanshaw closed the day with a lively and detailed explanation of parliamentary procedure.

The next day was equally immersive. The day started with an explanation of county finances by Ora Ash of the WV State Auditor’s Office. William A. “Willie” Parker was up next with an interactive exercise in the Uniform Budget Process, which took the process of creating a balanced budget from the theoretical to the practical.  After lunch, Mark Jeffries from Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC explained the intricacies of hiring, firing, and other personnel issues.  Steve Rawlings of WVCoRP followed by discussing some of the facets of risk management. Jim Copenhaver and Paul Bump of the Harrison County Emergency Services were up next to explain the role of emergency management personnel in the counties.  Dave Barton of the Shenandoah Valley Group rounded out the day by discussing insurance issues, and the unknown future of the Affordable Care Act. Friday morning, the last day of the training, began with an explanation of the Board of Equalization and featuring a representative from all of the other elected officials in the courthouse.  

Ernie Dennison of Nicholas County explained the role of the assessor. Harrison County Sheriff Al Marano was on hand to speak about the sheriff’s duties. Betsy Castle of Preston County spoke on behalf of the Circuit Clerks, and Cindy Rowan of Lewis County explained the job of the County Clerk.

It was a long couple of days filled with a dizzying amount of information.  CCAWV would like to thank everyone who attended and all of our amazing presenters. We look forward to seeing everyone at our Legislative Conference in February!

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