KEYSER - At the Tuesday morning meeting of the Mineral County Commission and prior the time for citizen's appointments, the elected officials voted to reduce the comment time from 15 minutes down to ten minutes for each slot of time.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - At the Tuesday morning meeting of the Mineral County Commission and prior the time for citizen’s appointments, the elected officials voted to reduce the comment time from 15 minutes down to ten minutes for each slot of time.
Commission president Richard Lechliter said that in checking with other towns and cities, “Their appointment time was much less than the 15 minutes” allotted in this county.
The vote did not apply to the five appointments on the agenda for Tuesday, and county clerk Lauren Ellifritz will begin with the late November meeting of the commission to schedule appointments for a ten-minute time.
Dave Harman and Gary Parrish, representing the Keyser Volunteer Fire Department, were among those wanting to speak to the commissioners on Tuesday.
Harman said that he was present at the meeting to “accomplish three things,” beginning with receiving information on why the local fire department did not receive a recent quarterly check from the county’s excess fire and ambulance levy.
He later indicated that the check was late in being received by the fire department, and “We now have gotten the check.”
He said, “I don’t want to upset the apple cart,” saying that the situation needed straightened out.
For the second point, Harman wanted the county commissioners to “accept Mr. Stone’s 2016 audit.”
It seems John Stone’s name was not among those on the listing of the state’s chief inspectors authorized by the West Virginia Board of Auditors to complete the audits for the county fire departments and emergency medical companies to receive money from the excess levy.
Lechliter said that the other ten fire departments in the county used an “auditor from the chief inspector’s list.”
Commissioner Jerry Whisner, said that Stone does a good job, and “has the same qualifications as those on the chief inspector’s list.”
He said that Stone needed to get on the list of inspectors by “paying for a peer review and then he would be fully qualified.”
Dustin Amtower, New Creek’s fire chief, was also present at the commission meeting, and he said, “We started with Stone,” but moved onto to another auditor when his name was not on the list, and “We spent more money for the audit.”
Amtower said that the fire companies “have to have accountability and trust,” and complete the rules according to the levy standards.
Harman asked the commissioners to accept the audit by Stone this time and in the future the selection of an auditor will be from the verified listing.
Lechliter said there must be “consistency” with the audit rules, and this item could be discussed at the December meeting of the Mineral County Firefighter’s Association.
Harman gave the third reason he was present at the county commission meeting as he said, “Let’s call a truce, quit fighting, and get along with one another.”