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Committee will set standards for commission head

March 22, 2001

Committee will set standards for commission head



By BOB PARTLOW / Staff Writer, Martinsburg


The Berkeley County Planning Commission has set up a four-member committee to set job performance standards for Planning Commission Director Harry Carter and his staff.

The commission met behind closed doors for almost two hours Tuesday to discuss Carter's job performance. Berkeley County Commission President Howard Strauss said he wanted Carter removed from the job.

Although the doors were closed, a sometimes-heated discussion escalated and voices carried out into the hallway near the meeting room.

The director plays an important role in handling issues related to growth, one of the biggest issues in the county.

A specific concern was his handling of permits for a race track operating near Pikeside. Strauss and others questioned Carter's handling of the permits for the track, which was built on a flood plain.

In the public part of the meeting, Carter said he had discussed the issue with the planning commission. Strauss said Carter should have taken action on it because federal officials said flood plain violations had occurred.

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In a county commission meeting last week, Strauss refused to agree to a pay increase for Carter, saying he was sometimes late for work and had not provided him with the information he needed on issues.

Carter had little comment after the meeting of the planning commission, which has the legal authority to hire and fire a director.

Carter said he has no problem with the committee setting standards. He will be measured against the standards in six months.

Strauss said he would have preferred stronger action, but said "the message was certainly sent" that some commissioners were unhappy with the situation.

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