KEYSER - Luke McKenzie, director of the Mineral County Office of Emergency Management, met with the Mineral County Commissioners this week with a request during the yearly budget reviews of county agencies.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - Luke McKenzie, director of the Mineral County Office of Emergency Management, met with the Mineral County Commissioners this week with a request during the yearly budget reviews of county agencies.
He asked that the county officials move forward with the hiring of a deputy OEM director to “be the backup for me,” with starting salary of $24,700
McKenzie said the original plan set up for a deputy director was to open the position to any of the present dispatchers now on staff at the 911 center.
“With a turnover in personnel,” however, he said the process of seeking a person for the position also changed.
Giving a description of what to expect duty-wise from  the deputy director, McKenzie said the person would answer the phone, handle the mail, and similar duties “as a receptionist.”
Adding more to the job description listing, he said the person would go “to all the training that I attend,” and assist with planning emergency exercises.
McKenzie said that he met with Drew Brubaker, county coordinator, to develop a job description for the new position.
Commissioner Roger Leatherman asked McKenzie if the person taking over as deputy OEM director would “sit at the front desk, but with more responsibilities, and be full time with full benefits.”
Dusty Amtower, chief of the New Creek Volunteer Fire Department, added to the discussion of the new position by saying, “All the cities have a deputy OEM person,” adding that if a disaster should happen, whether large or small, and McKenzie was not available, “the deputy would take over.”
Commission president Jerry Whisner said, “The commission will take this into consideration, and there will be no decision made tonight.”
The Mineral County Landmarks Commission was also on hand to ask to continue to be part of the county budget for the next fiscal year.
Kermit Garretson, president of the group, said there were has been two editions already published of a book showing the historical landmarks in Mineral County.
“We are now ready to start on a third edition,” he said, adding the new edition would not be published this year, and the cost so far is unknown.
The second request for the Landmarks Commission was to seek financial assistance with making repairs and updating the old Headsville School, the one piece of property owned by the Landmarks Commission.
Garrett Carskadon, a Landmarks member, said one of the first repairs would be to the front porch of the school, because, “It sits right on the ground.”
He added original shutters have been stored in the school and need to be restored before being placed on the windows.
Garretson said, “An original Piedmont Foundry stove is on the premises, and after some repair, can be used when meetings or classes take place in the school during cold weather.”
Whisner, speaking for the commissioners, said, “We would like to see that school preserved.”