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Legal Shield Service and EDA take lead in Commission Meeting

After the routine call to order and Pledge of Allegiance, the County Commission meeting got underway with several important public comments.

First, Beverly Stump, representing the program "Legal Shield", spoke for about 15 minutes on the service and how it could help the county's employees. Legal Shield is a group of lawyers specializing in diverse fields who have partnered to act as kind of a "legal advisory board" for those in need of legal advice. For a monthly fee, anyone may call a toll-free number and talk to a lawyer familiar with our state's laws and the specific incident you are calling about.

For example, Stump indicated that most calls were regarding creating wills. So much so, that, if there was interest in the courthouse, she could have someone come in and do a presentation and answer questions about creating a proper will. Other things that Legal Shield handles are identity theft cases, looking over home/auto purchase paperwork, medical power of attorney, etc. Since most identity theft incidents are 20% financial and 80% legal, this service would quickly pay for itself in the event of such a mishap.

Stump related that Legal Shield works with over 35,000 businesses and 1,100 attorneys nationwide, so no matter where you go, or what happens, you always have a lawyer on the other end of the phone line.

Commission President Brian Kennedy indicated that this sounded like the kind of program that should be brought before the Courthouse staff and told Stump that as soon as he could arrange a meeting, they would call her.

Next, Susan Stalnaker-Ware and David Millard, of the EDA, spoke regarding the County Commission's need to sign the resolution for the Gilmer County Economic Development Association's LED grant. Among other things, the resolution was to verify that the GCEDA is the only EDA in the county and that they have permission to pursue the grant. The Commission voted and signed the resolution and asked for a quick update on things going on.

Millard commented that ÒDocÓ Benson (Culdee Productions), who had been linked to the potential movie set in Glenville, had been in frequent communication with them about the project. Apparently he is quite interested in Glenville and doing the movie here. His last film ÒSeven Deadly WordsÓ has had quite a positive impact on the town it was filmed in, so he foresees an equal boost to Glenville when the picture is done.

As for further particulars, Benson is working on an official resolution for both the Gilmer County Commission and the Glenville City Council requesting permission to use ÒGlenvilleÓ and ÒGilmer CountyÓ in the film. He also will need permission from the city to close some city streets for filming over the six week shooting period.

Some names for the lead role in the movie have been bounced around and one that seems promising is Richard Dean Anderson of MacGuyver, Stargate SG-1, and Legend fame. Also, Benson will be looking for walk-on roles as needed.
The County Commission didn't foresee any problems with Benson's requests, and look forward to the project.

Also mentioned by Millard was that the Gilmer County Farmers Market will have its first meeting on March 20, 2014 and they plan to open the Market on the Saturday before Mother's Day (May 10, 2014).

In a series of comments linked to Agenda Item 7.2 (Renewal of Little Kanawha Transit Authority contribution for FY 2015) Glenville resident Jim Bailey spoke eloquently about the LK Bus Line, its use, and that even though the weather had prevented it from maximum usage, it was getting used. He therefore implored the GCC to assist in any way they could until the program could become self-funding. The Commission members affirmed that they were aware of the usefulness of the service, and that as soon as the budget is brought before them, they would contribute what they could.

Routine business taken care of by the Commission included: Exonerations and / or Considerations; Approval of estate qualifications and estate settlements; Budget Revisions; Budget Control Report; Approval of invoices for payment totaling $101,185.77; Approval of the County Commission minutes from the last meeting; and Receipt of the County Board minutes.

In unfinished business from the last meeting, the reading and approval of the Gilmer County Competitive Bid Policy was again tabled until a workshop could be set up with the author. Also, there was no new news on the Rec Center's Pool maladies, except to say that letters had been sent out to potential donors, as a lot of money has yet to be raised.

Also tabled for the second time was the Gilmer County Volunteer Fire Department's Rent Proposal for the Ambulance Authority. In other unfinished business, the GCC took action on: Susie Kirkpatrick's contract as Office of Emergency Management Director; and Eric Squires' revised contract as Deputy Director of Office of Emergency Management.

Under New Business, the biggest issue was the replacement of a malfunctioning photocopier. Since the older machine had been in for repair 11 times in the last three months, there has been an official request for a replacement. The request was tabled until the GCC can get a list of options for the new machine. Also tabled was a letter of Agreement regarding E-911 and Dispatch Services for FY 2015.

In other New Business, the GCC took action on: Updating the Priority List for Region VII PDC Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy; Signing grant applications for an additional $1,000 for replacement of the EMS roof; and Signing grant applications for an additional $10,000 for replacement of the jailhouse roof.

During the Administrator's Report, the County Commission heard of a letter from Senator Joe Manchin regarding the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. Apparently, there will be no increase in the insurance rate for the next four years. This brought a sigh of relief from all attending the meeting, as no part of Gilmer County is safe from flooding. Also, the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) Amendment was presented to the GCC. The program stipulates a three phase project: the first is underway, the second will take place this fall, and the last will take place early next year. More information will be forthcoming in a later meeting.

Also, work has begun on the Tanner Community Building to deal with the winter's water damage. It is reported that all the rubbish has been removed and that the next step is remodeling.

In other parts of the Administrator's Report, the GCC heard that: they had received various correspondences; a request from the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council for $1,000 funding help for the Senior Companion program; the receipt of $20,000 reimbursement for the old Jailhouse Boiler Grant; and the USDA Grant Application for the Sheriff's new car has passed the first step of the process.

Finally, the County Commission set the date of their next meeting for Wed., March 19, at 9 a.m. and adjourned.