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Welcome to CCAWV

Our mission is to "maintain a statewide agency for the purpose of promoting the interest and general welfare of local county government through a variety of communication tools; to represent county government before the West Virginia Legislature, administrative agencies, and the federal government; to educate the public about the value and need for county programs and services; and to facilitate the exchange of problems, ideas and solutions among county officials."

The National Organization of Counties (NACo), has partnered with the National Association of Development

Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation to launch an exciting new program: Innovation Challenge for Coal-Reliant Communities. We are thrilled to announce that McDowell County has been selected as one of seven teams to participate in the program’s inaugural workshop!

The program aims to provide coal-reliant counties and communities with the tools they need to re-imagine their communities’ economic futures, and blueprints to begin moving forward. There are three competitions slated for this year.

The fifty-eighth West Virginia legislative session came to a close at midnight on March 14, 2015. It had been an action-packed session from the first day. In all, 1607 bills were introduced. Currently, 262 are listed as “completed legislation” on the Legislature’s website.

The new Republican majority went into the session with a long list of legislative goals. Prevailing wage was one of the first issues they took up. CCAWV supported not repealing, but finding a truer way to calculate prevailing wage rates. SB 361 aims to do just that – in conjunction with WVU and Marshall University’s economic research departments, Workforce West Virginia will investigate and determine the prevailing wage for public improvement projects that will cost more than $500,000.

Each year, CCAWV holds eight regional roundtable meetings across the state. These meetings are a crucial component of CCAWV’s three-pronged mission. REC (representation, education and communication). They provide our members and their legislators with an opportunity to discuss issues they are facing regionally.

Additionally, it is a chance for members to review and discuss the Association’s legislative priorities for the coming legislative session. Each of the meetings brings to light the issues and challenges commissioners from different parts of the state are facing.

Many times, the issues align (Regional Jail costs, for example), but it is important for CCAWV to learn about problems that are specific to counties or regions. This enables us to better advocate for all commissioners at the Capitol.

If you haven’t registered for your roundtable, please do so today.

Encourage your legislators to attend as well!

CCAWV’s new Quarrier Street office is on track for completion this month! We hope to be moved in by the New Year. The floors have been stained and the kitchen is nearly finished. The kitchen upgrade included a new sink, painted cabinets, and an updated backsplash. As soon as the floors are installed, it will be all done. Bathrooms are also looking good! We have started packing boxes as the Washington street office.

It won’t be long now!

CCAWV’s Basic Training for Veteran and Newly Elected Commissioners was held November 19-21 in Bridgeport, WV. The three day event provides comprehensive training for newly elected Commissioners and serves a a “refresher” course for those who have been in office for some time. In addition, it offers an opportunity for Commissioners from across the state to connect and exchange ideas. With well over sixty attendees, the conference was quite a success! Attendees received a copy of CCAWV’s Commissioners’ Handbook, which is a valuable resource for Commissioners veteran and new! The program coved a wide range of topics.

Ron Watson of the Harrison County Commission was on hand to welcome everyone to Harrison County. Greg Bailey of Bowles Rice LLP covered ethics and the Sunshine Law. Former Commissioner John Sorrenti led a session on how to conduct an effective meeting. Commissioners were introduced to NACo by former CCAWV President and NACo Board Member, Tim McCormick.

Members of CCAWV’s Board and Legislative Committee met in beautiful Greenbrier County to discuss legislative priorities for the upcoming session. Karen Lobban, Greenbrier Commission President,  welcomed members before they began  working on a full agenda. Chris Carey, of WVCoRP, gave an update on the Risk Pool, and Duane Ruggier, II Esq.  gave a presentation about handicap accessibility in WV Courthouses. The legislative committee discussed issues that will be facing commissioners and county officials in the coming Legislative Session and determined a legislative agenda, which was presented to the board for approval. In addition, the schedule was set for CCAWV’s upcoming regional roundtable discussion It was a very productive meeting, and we look forward to seeing everyone at the upcoming roundtables!

The second annual Community Leadership Academy took place at Lakeview Resort in Morgantown from October 1- 3, 2014. It was another great program and we were happy to see a good number of CCAWV members in attendance. CCAWV board member Agnes Queen was honored with the first annual CLA Champion Award for her work in promoting the program. 

This year's theme was "Preparing for Performance". In addition to a number of Plenary Intensives, led by dynamic and inspiring speakers, there were four tracks in which participants could focus: Collaboration, Local Government, Leadership, and Community Economic Strategy. In addition to all of the wonderful educational seminars, attendees were treated to speeches by WVU President, E. Gordon Gee, and Oliver Luck, WVU Director of Athletics. The fantastic culinary tour was available again this year, and once again was one of the many highlights of the conference.

Our hats are off to Kelly Nix, Robin Frost, and the rest of the WVU Extension team for putting together another truly excellent program! CCAWV is proud to be a sponsor!

Submitting Student’s Name:  Aerianna McClannahan

To answer this question, Mingo County's desire to ameliorate is increasing every day. Our elected county officials have such an alacrity to do so that it is inspiring. Many people notice how extremely close our residents are. We bond as a family, instead of just living in the same area. Same goes for the officials in our government. Each person on our county commission and so on not only cares about their job, but the people that are affected by the actions that they make. Although there are numerous things, there are three main things that especially make life better for me.

Firstly Mingo's government works hard to exterminate drug trafficking. Drug abuse is a touchy subject, and often gets tossed aside for that very reason. Being a teenager, it makes me feel safe knowing that this issue is not taken lightly in our community. Officers will often visit our schools and hold programs discussing the issue and ways to prevent it. Our county is protecting me by having a zero-tolerance policy. Our very own sheriff Eugene Crum was killed in the line of duty recently while cleaning up the county. He was one who would make routine visits, and he was very passionate about clearing the area of drugs and drug users. His legacy will forever live on and allow our county to move forward in the right direction.

By Vivian Parsons, Executive Director

Well the dust has settled and here are the surviving bills of county interest.  Nine days and counting.....   As always, call me if you have questions, 304-415-1608.

Especially Notice these bills:

HJR 113 - "County Option Homestead Exemption Bill"
SB 487 - expanding definitions of county economic development authority so counties can receive the monies in the Coalbed Methane Gas Distribution Fund
SB 526 - permissive authority for county commission to impose additional transfer tax for dedication to regional jails and drug treatment.
SB 167 - allowing county to accept credit card payments
SB 437 - Governor's Substance Abuse bill
SB 468 - Allowing Courthouse Facilities Improvement Authority to issue bonds
HB 4547 - Creating the West Virginia Innovation Free-Trade Business Technology Property Valuation Act and the West Virginia Innovation Free-Trade Tax Credit Act - Allows for the use of (5% ) salvage value tax credits
HB 4030 prioritizes payments of fees from court costs which could cost counties revenues

By Vivian Parsons, Executive Director

Today is the last day for the House to pass House Bills and the Senate to pass Senate Bills.  Any bill not passed by its house of origin, is a dead bill.

The County Official Pay Raise bill (SB 168) is still in Senate Finance and most likely dead.  It is highly unlikely that the committee would meet, pass the bill, send it to the floor, suspend rules and read the bill three times in one day and pass it.  The only hope now would be if some bill dealing with the same section of the code is still alive that the raise could be amended into, again, not likely.

SB 347 - the Transfer tax bill is also dead in Senate Finance.  The committee did pass a version (SB 526) that we will continue to follow.  SB 526 does NOT return any of the transfer tax now collected and sent to the State, but rather gives permissive authority to County Commissioners to impose an "additional" transfer tax up to $1.10 per $500 of transfer, that would be dedicated to regional jails and drug prevention/treatment programs.  This would work like the current authority allowing County Commissioners to impose an additional transfer tax for farmland prevention.

I have attached a list of those bills of County interest that have passed one house or the other and those that will likely pass today.  I'll go through tonight and give you a better picture of what's left and where it lands, by Friday!  Now, I'm off to the capital for "CROSS-OVER DAY!"  More later....

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