By Adam Pack
The Greenbrier County Commission has appointed Paula Brown as the interim director of the Homeland Security and Emergency Services Agency at their regular meeting earlier this week. This comes as the result of the resignation of Delegate Mike Honaker, who had served as the director of the agency since 2018. After his appointment to the seat in the state House vacated by Barry Bruce for the 2022 legislative session, Honaker was elected in the subsequent election. Honaker had hinted at the possibility that we would have to resign, and has yet to reveal any further plans.
Brown has served the as the Deputy Director of the agency for a number of years and was well touted by the commission for her dedication, focus, and commitment to making sure that the agency “runs smoothly and is prepared to step up in the case of an emergency.” The commission noted that this is only an interim position done to comply with state law, and that the agency may still “communicate with state and other agencies for disaster planning purposes” despite not having a full time director. A detailed job description was posted to the Greenbrier County Courthouse’s Facebook page on Tuesday, July 25. Interested parties are encouraged to apply.
The County also dealt with matters regarding County finances, namely, the consideration of the Capital Asset Policy and the 2023 Financial Statement Proposal. Clerk Robin Loudermilk explained that the financial statement proposal “is a state mandated reporting of my office’s work to balance the budget between myself and the county’s auditor. We have to be in step with the books kept by the county and once we get everything balanced it’s up to the commission to approve that report.” The Capital Assets Policy is a report of all assets under ownership by the county and their values, including the movement of assets within the county via sale, lease or otherwise. The commission noted that Loudermilk takes great care with the county’s finances and compliance with the law in regard to them, and approved the report and Capital Assets Policy.
Moving to the Meadow River Valley Association, the county heard from Britt Ludwig as to the MRVA’s request to serve as the HUD Responsible Entity for the former Rupert Elementary School. The former school, now in possession of the Meadow River Valley Association, will be converted into a facility of the Robert C. Byrd Clinic on the first floor, with the second and third floors being reserved for senior and low income housing. Ludwig explained that “a series of environmental studies,” were required for the site, “none of which were interior in this instance, but to do with the surrounding area. […] No issues in need of remediation were found,” but the building must be given status as a HUD Responsible Entity by the relevant governmental agency. The Greenbrier County Commission being the relevant governmental agency, the commission approved the above designation, with each commissioner speaking in turn as to the asset that they feel this project will be to the Rupert/Rainelle/Meadow River Valley area.
A handful of county-wide positions were filled at the commission’s meeting, as well, including the approval of the Sheriff’s request to hire B.P. Walls. Walls has “survived our background check” and other vetting procedures and will require training at the West Virginia State Police Academy before officially starting. Sheriff Sloan also mentioned that the Sheriff’s Department is still looking for more deputies. “We are still short one officer, and have one leaving in a month,” he said. The county also approved the hiring of Kristen McCoy as the Prosecuting Attorney’s Victim Advocate upon the request of Prosecuting Attorney Via, appointed Ed Robinson to the vacant board position on the Greenbrier County Public Service District Number One Board of Directors, and appointed Paula Brown as the interim director of the Homeland Security and Emergency Services Agency.