County employees’ raise request denied

NEW CUMBERLAND – Hancock County commissioners denied a request Thursday by County Clerk George Foley to give four office employees raises.

Foley, who succeeded longtime Clerk Eleanor Straight when she retired at the end of August, asked that a $15,000 line item be spread four ways to give recording office staffers raises. The money represents about 75 percent of Foley’s former salary as a deputy clerk in the recording office.

Foley told commissioners Thursday that, with his promotion to clerk, the office is getting along with one fewer staff member and a heavier work load. The vacancy left when he was named clerk has not been filled.

But commissioners denied Foley’s request by a unanimous vote.

“We’ve never done anything like that before,” Commissioner Mike Swartzmiller said of the raise request.

Because Straight last won re-election in 2010, her six-year term expires in January 2017. For Foley to complete that term, he must win election in 2014.

Also Thursday, commissioners:

Agreed to pay Cindy Jones, administrative assistant for finance, $5,345 for her accumulated vacation and personal time. Jones is retiring at the end of the month.

Approved the polling sites and poll workers for the Nov. 9 special election.

Adopted an emergency absentee voting policy and approved Jo Ellen Kessel (Democrat) and Stephanie Wuebbles (Republican) as emergency ballot commissioners.

West Virginia law states that residents who cannot vote in person on Election Day because they are in a hospital or health care facility in an adjacent county or within 35 miles of the county seat, or because they are in a nursing home within the county, may vote an emergency absentee ballot.

Approved a request by Sheriff Ralph Fletcher to purchase seven helmet mounts and one transfer arm for the Special Response Team for a total of $1,745.

Approved a request by Prosecutor Jim Davis to hire a new executive secretary/paralegal.

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