New commission president outlines vision

© 2018-The Record Delta

BUCKHANNON — The beginning of a new calendar year signifies a chance to choose a new leader, and the Upshur County Commission took advantage of that opportunity Thursday morning.

The commission unanimously voted to appoint Sam Nolte as commission president for the year 2018; he will succeed 2017 commission president Terry Cutright. At the beginning of the commission’s first meeting of 2018, commissioner Troy “Buddy” Brady nominated Nolte.

“I think [this past year] has been a step in the right direction,” Brady said. “I think we’ve done a lot of good things in 2017. I’m hoping we only accomplish better things in 2018. With that being said, I’ve received calls from people wanting to know if I wanted to be president of the county commission this year, and I do not. But with that being said, I will nominate Sam Nolte.”

Cutright seconded Brady’s motion, which passed unanimously.

Following Thursday’s meeting, Nolte said he’d like to see the county enhance its website and the services it provides via the online platform – and is also looking forward to partnering more in the future with the city of Buckhannon.

“Moving forward, I see that the assessor’s office got us online with people being able to file [personal property] assessments online, and I think the next step would be to work with the sheriff and the tax department on being able to get to where people could pay online,” Nolte said. “That way, you pretty much have access 24 hours a day, seven days a week to be able to handle your business if you choose to from using your computer or your SmartPhone.”

Also in 2017, county clerk’s records became searchable online Dec. 1.

Nolte said he wants to make the county’s website, www.upshurcounty.org, more user-friendly and easily navigable.

In addition, Nolte will prioritize teaming up with the city to accomplish mutually beneficial objectives.

“I think that both the city and the county are doing a good job, and I think if we work together, we could do an even better job for the citizens,” Nolte said. “Having one municipality in our county is pretty unique, and it’s critical with us being a couple hundred yards even from each other, we should do a little better job of working together.

“It’s one of those things where everybody is taking care of their own business, so sometimes it’s difficult,” Nolte continued, “but we all make to make that effort to do a little bit more together, and I think there’s different things that we’re going to be doing that we could possibly save some money on and just do a better job at our services.”

Nolte praised the county’s elected officials and department heads, saying they made the commissioners’ jobs much easier.

“They do a good job of taking care of their responsibilities from the maintenance department to the Comm Center to all the elected offices and the tax department,” he said.

While the commission’s leadership has changed, the time and place of their weekly meetings will remain the same in 2018. Commissioners voted to continue meeting at 9 a.m. every Thursday on the third floor of the Upshur County Courthouse Annex. In addition, the agenda format and material will remain the same in 2018. In 2017, commissioners opted to stop printing entire agenda packets in favor of posting the packet online at www.upshurcounty.org. A one-page agenda is distributed to the media and the public. Minutes are also no longer read aloud. However, all material are accessible on the county’s website under the “Meetings” tab. 

Brady said, “I think the format is good as it is now, it saves times, and I see no reason to change any of the format.”

Finally, the commission set the Upshur County Courthouse, county courthouse annex and county administrative annex hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with the exception of holidays and two Fridays – May 18 and Dec. 14 – which will be half-days due to the Strawberry Festival and an employee holiday party.

The next regular meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 11 at 9 a.m.

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