Upshur’s Day at the Legislature canceled


Decision made after teacher’s swamp state capitol

BUCKHANNON — Upshur County Day at the legislature has been canceled.

For the first time ever, the Upshur County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, government representatives and organizations around the county had been planning to travel to Charleston today for Upshur County Day.

The point of Upshur County Day, according to local officials, was to showcase all the area has to offer.

However, due to the statewide teacher and school personnel work stoppage, Upshur County Day was canceled, Laura Meadows, executive director of the CVB, said Monday.

“It was going to be the first one, but we canceled it because we had seen the reports, and as far as security and parking, it’s already difficult as it is [at the Capitol] now,” said Meadows, one of the main organizers of the inaugural Upshur County Day.

Since Wednesday, Feb. 21, teachers, school personnel, and public employees have flooded the Capitol and areas surrounding it, calling for higher wages and a permanent fix for the Public Employees Insurance Agency.

Meadows said the CVB sent out 50 invitations to community organizations, government officials and businesses. Approximately 20 entities had committed to making the trip, Meadows said.

“It was just about being inside the Capitol and having the chance to represent yourself,” Meadows said. “People would have been able to set up displays and talk to individuals as they passed by. All our local legislators were on board. It was just going to be a great way to come together and showcase what Upshur County has to offer.”

Meadows and other local officials are already looking forward to scheduling another Upshur County Day in 2019, said Robbie Skinner, city councilman and past president of the chamber of commerce.

“We will be planning to reschedule Upshur County Day for the 2019 legislative session,” Skinner said Tuesday. “It’s very important for lawmakers on a statewide level to recognize this community. We truly are a crown jewel in our state, and we want everyone to know about us.”

Skinner said right now isn’t an ideal time to highlight Upshur County’s assets with legislators engaged in other matters.

“We ultimately decided to cancel [our day] because we knew we would not have the full attention of our legislators due to the other, perhaps more pressing issues that need resolved,” Skinner said.

In other CVB-related news, the organization is searching for a seasonal, part-time weekend office worker who is willing to work Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from April through October. The ideal candidate, Meadows said, will be able to man the Main Street office, provide detailed information about area attractions and represent Upshur County in a positive manner.

Meadows said the weekend office worker position is the CVB’s solution to a dilemma it has faced for quite some time – how to keep the office staffed during Friday evenings and weekends when visitors to Upshur County are searching for information about where to go and how to get there.

“We’ve tried a lot of different avenues,” Meadows said. “We’ve tried to have office staff cover the office on the weekends, but everyone is busy and pulled in different directions, and it’s hard for us to cover weekends when we’re in the office Monday through Friday. We’ve also had Wesleyan students cover the office through student service scholarships, and nothing has really stuck. This is just one other attempt to see what works.”

Meadows said the successful applicant must be knowledgeable about the area and very friendly. Applications are due March 14 and should be mailed to P.O. Box 817, Buckhannon, WV 26201.

In addition, the CVB has been working with Upshur County Trails and city information coordinator and grant writer Callie Sams to highlight outdoor recreation in Upshur County, Meadows said.

“We want to put an emphasis on outdoor recreation in Upshur County,” Meadows said. “We have it here, it just hasn’t been pushed very much.”

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