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Berkeley Co. Commissioners choose new president

January 04, 1999|By BRYN MICKLE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - D. Wayne Dunham is the new president of the Berkeley County Commission.

Dunham, 52, of Hedgesville, W.Va., was the unanimous choice of the three-member County Commission at its annual organizational meeting Monday.

Dunham takes over the commission presidency from former Berkeley County Commissioner Jim Smith, who stepped down on Dec. 31 after four years as commission president.

"I feel humble about being chosen for this," said Dunham, pointing to the combined 42 years of experience held by fellow commissioners Robert L. Burkhart and John Wright.

Dunham, who was elected to a six-year term on the County Commission in 1994, has a one-year term as president.

Duties of the commission president include running commission meetings and signing county documents, including grants, payroll and budget revisions, said Berkeley County Administrator Deborah E. Sheetenhelm.

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Dunham's commission salary of $27,500 a year will stay the same, she said.

Dunham, a Republican, said he expects members of the County Commission to work well together. While Burkhart is a Democrat and Wright is a Republican, Dunham said all three commissioners share a conservative approach to spending taxpayer money.

"We're going to try and get the most out of a dollar," Dunham said.

Dunham said this year will be an exciting one for the commission as it deals with continued economic development and works to attract new jobs and industry to Berkeley County.

"Just look at all the rapid growth we've had," he said. "It doesn't show any signs of slowing down."

Sheetenhelm said the commissioners also used Monday's meeting to decide which commissioners will sit on the various state and county boards.

Burkhart's assignments include serving on the Airport Authority, the Development Authority, the Health Board and the West Virginia International Trade Development Council.

Dunham will serve on the Central Dispatch Advisory Commission, the County Planning Commission and the Eastern Panhandle Planning Commission.

Wright's assignments include the Ambulance Authority, the local Emergency Planning Commission and serving as deputy director of the Office of Emergency Services.

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