Brooke panel wants tabs on wages

WELLSBURG – The Brooke County Commission on Tuesday asked the county’s department heads to provide information about specific hourly wages paid to their staff members.

County Commissioner Jim Andreozzi was asked if the commission was considering raises for its employees.

“It’s too early to say,” he said, adding it will depend on the county’s unencumbered balance from the previous year.

The carryover currently is projected at $528,000, less than the $562,000 it had projected earlier this year.

In recent years the commissioners has heard from county staff who said they haven’t received raises for several years. They were told of some who have worked for the county for several years and are making only slightly more than minimum wage.

Andreozzi said he’d like for the county employees to receive a financial boost in some form, possibly as a one-time bonus. He said with revenue down, the commission can’t afford to commit to increases in hourly wage rates.

But Andreozzi added it’s come to the commission’s attention that in recent years some department heads gave raises to their staff, while other department heads did not.

Andreozzi said the raises were within those departments’ budgets, but he believes the commissioners’ approval should have been sought first.

“We as commissioners need to get a better handle on wages in the courthouse,” he said.

In other business, the commission reappointed A.J. Cipriani, Alan McLauglin, Jim Boniey and Joy Crawford to the Northern Panhandle Workforce Investment Board.

It received notice the term of Duane Heck of Follansbee on the West Virginia Route 2 and Interstate 68 Authority will expire June 30. The commission agreed to accept letters of interest in the seat from anyone interested in it, including Heck.

The volunteer board was formed by the West Virginia Legislature to promote the expansion of the two highways and meets monthly on a rotating basis in the counties through which they run.

The commission also has vacancies on its building commission, which was formed to pursue improvements to county facilities and funding sources for them. Also a volunteer board, it meets at 5 p.m. on the fourth Monday of each month at the county courthouse.

Letters of interest should be sent to the county clerk’s office at the courthouse.