KEYSER - Lauren Ellifritz, county clerk, conducted the first order of business at the Tuesday morning special meeting for the Mineral County Commission, presiding over the process of the election of Jerry Whisner as the new president of the group.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - Lauren Ellifritz, county clerk, conducted the first order of business at the Tuesday morning special meeting for the Mineral County Commission, presiding over the process of the election of Jerry Whisner as the new president of the group.
Whisner, who was elected to the commission in 2012, said, “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Mineral County over the past years.”
He mentioned the major improvements and advancements made by the county commission, starting with, “Our overwhelming regional jail bill debt has been eliminated, and we are now current and have reduced our monthly jail cost dramatically with the collaboration of all agencies involved.”
Whisner spoke about the present work “to improve the emergency responder communications in the north end of the county with the construction of a communication tower,” with a projected coming on line in the first quarter of this year.
He also cited other county projects to include how the regional airport is under construction with major improvements on the way, and the Mineral County Authority under the direction of Kevin Clark “has taken it from being financially dependent on county funds to operate, to a multi-million-dollar organization.”
“I am especially proud of our sheriff’s department,” Whisner said, and adding to this list he named the county firefighters and EMS teams, “who work around the clock in service to our citizens.”
As work begins in the next several months for the county budget, Whisner said, “We plan to continue supporting our libraries, our senior citizens, and other vital organizations, and as always we will be conservative with your tax dollars.”
Speaking on behalf of the entire county commission team, he said, “Thank you for allowing the three commissioners to serve the great citizens of Mineral County.”
The three commissioners also received their assignments to the various boards, committees, and authorities, and Whisner will be a member of the 911 Advisory Board, Community Corrections Board, Region 7 Workforce Investment Board, Firefighters Association, Potomac Valley Hospital, and WVCorp Insurance, along with Governor’s Drug Abuse Coalition, and a new one for him, the local Emergency Preparedness Committee.
Roger Leatherman will serve on Mineral County Ambulance Authority, Camp Minco Association, 4-H Extension Committee, Mineral County Parks and Recreation Board, Region 8 Planning and Development Authority, and Region 8 Solid Waste Authority.
Richard Lechliter will serve on the Farmland Protection Board, PH Airport Authority. Committee on Aging and Family Services, Board of Health, N/S Highway Committee, Mineral County Fair Livestock Committee, TP Moreland Recovery Center Committee, 2020 Census Liaison, Regional Board of County Commission Association West Virginia, and Regional SIRN Committee.
He will also take a seat on the boards of the Mineral County Development Authority and Mineral County Planning Commission, taking over these positions previously held by Whisner