KEYSER - Despite some dissent from council member Jennifer Junkins, the Keyser City Council approved mayor Damon Tillman's reassignment of duties for the elected officials on Wednesday evening.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Despite some dissent from council member Jennifer Junkins, the Keyser City Council approved mayor Damon Tillman’s reassignment of duties for the elected officials on Wednesday evening.
Tillman originally said he wanted to appoint Junkins, who has served as parks and recreation commissioner since being elected to her first term, to the street department and place newly-elected William Zacot in charge of parks and recreation.
Junkins, however, said she would “prefer not” to oversee the street department.
“I don’t know anything about streets, and I work during the day, so I wouldn’t be available when they’re out there working,” she said.
Council member Terry Liller at that time offered to temporarily take on streets in addition to serving as the finance commissioner, where Tillman wanted to place him.
Tillman agreed to that, and Junkins asked if the mayor would like her to assist with parks and recreation.
“If you want me to go on the Parks and Rec Board, that would be fine,” she said.
Prior to that, however, Tillman had appointed, and the council approved, the placement of Lynn Robinson and Tabitha Robinson on the Parks and Red Board.
As for the rest of the council members, he appointed Eric Murphy to oversee the water and sewer departments and Karol Ashenfelter to oversee a new area - urban renewal and beautification, which he said has been needed for quite sometime.
“Karol has a lot of ideas in terms of urban renewal and this is something we’ve ignored as a city,” he said.
After the appointments were approved, however, the council members went on later in the meeting to vote 4-0 to remove Ashenfelter from office, leaving that seat empty.
The mayor also has the task of appointing the supervisors of the various departments in the city, and Tillman elected to keep those the same - Rick Mayhew, water treatment supervisor; Matt Lupis, wastewater supervisor; Teddy Nester, water distribution supervisor; and Jim Hannas, street, sewer and I&I supervisor.
Other appointees who will remain the same are: Brett Biddle, fire chief; and John Athey, city attorney.
All the appointments were approved by the council on a 4-0 vote, with Eric Murphy being absent from the meeting.