BUCKHANNON - The Upshur County Commission voted unanimously Thursday to appoint the county's assistant prosecuting attorney, Kelley Cunningham, to serve as the next county administrator.
"Kelley has vast experience in Upshur County in the prosecutor's office," Commission President J.C. Raffety said. "She knows Upshur County and its citizens. More so, she knows the Courthouse and various elected officials.
"With a legal degree, and being a member of the West Virginia Bar, she'll bring additional education, experience and insight to many issues which the Commission faces which have legal ramifications."
Raffety said about six applicants vied for the county administrator position. He said the Commission had to choose from a number of good candidates, and noted Cunningham's qualifications and legal experience stood out.
"Very good candidates applied, qualified individuals from within the state and outside the state," Raffety said. "We found that Kelley, because of the combination of all of her assets, would be the best fit for this position. That was unanimous."
The search for candidates began after the resignation of County Administrator Megan Pomeroy, who is moving out of the state. Pomeroy's last day on the job is today.
Cunningham will take over as county administrator on Aug. 3 at a beginning salary of $65,000 annually. The commission also voted Thursday to pay for Cunningham's continuing education and West Virginia Bar membership dues.
"We're looking forward to working with her," Raffety said. "I believe that she will be a very successful county administrator. We have a team now with (Assistant Administrator) Carrie Wallace and Kelley who will serve the people of Upshur County with professionalism and dedication."
Cunningham could not attend Thursday's meeting because of an out-of-town appointment.
"I think her legal background and expertise and what that brings to the Commission, especially in today's world, and I think that (with) her experience and leadership quality, I think she'll do a good job," Commissioner Don Tenney said. "If you have somebody that could give good legal advice, and you follow it - there's two parts to that."
- Also at Thursday's meeting, Tenney was commended in a letter from U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin III for his efforts in assisting Manchin's staff with the sixth Commonsense Connections Week.
"My state staff member, Todd Anderson, informed me that you were a great asset when planning this annual outreach effort," Manchin wrote in the letter. "These public events are beneficial because they provide an open line of communication for fellow residents to share thoughts and innovative ideas with me. Indeed, it is the commitment to excellence from West Virginians like you that allows us to bring government directly to our citizens."
"Again, thank you for facilitating this public meeting," Manchin continued. "I look forward to continuing my dialogue with you and members of your community. By working together, we can bring West Virginia's commonsense problem-solving ideas to Washington. Please accept my most sincere best wishes for the future."
- Commissioners approved a new dental and vision plan for employees through Guardian, a company that will serve as the network and the administrators of the plan.
The plan, effective Sept. 1, will save employees on monthly costs for the same services and benefits. Tenney said he has heard from people in other places that have adopted the plan and the feedback he received was all positive.