Letters to the Editor 3/18

March 18, 2003

Jefferson commission overstepped authority

To the editor:

After spending 22 plus years as a code official, I read with great disgust the article in your paper on Thursday, Feb. 13, entitled "Stop work order lifted for track." I know of no legal justification for the action taken by Jefferson County Commissioners Al Hooper, Rusty Morgan and Greg Corliss.

I am not aware of any provision of the adopted building code or local law that allows the County Commissioners to assume the position of Building Official for 10 minutes and lift a stop-work order (legally). It appears the majority of the County Commissioners feel they are above the law and have decided the County Building Ordinance is a joke rather than a true safety tool for the entire community.

According to your reporter, Commissioner Corliss stated, given the gravity of holding up expansion of a major employer in the county, the stop-work order should be lifted. Does that justify ignoring the law?


I read with interest at the start of the meeting the applicant tried to convince the commissioners that they thought they had a permit. After that line of reasoning went nowhere, lo and behold, the two attorneys presented a pre-arranged agreement that they had worked out in advance. Is there something fishy? I think it is sad that the commissioners pay for legal advice to ignore the law. How does the inspection staff conduct inspections on approved plans that have not be submitted?

Then Commissioner Corliss said, "We're providing him the authority." What authority? Then he goes on to say, - "it was a sad day when Director Raco needed an attorney for the commissioners to talk to him about an issue."

Why did they need an attorney to produce a worthless agreement to talk to the director? In my mind a discussion about an issue and a meeting called for a director to be coerced into signing an illegal agreement with his five bosses and two attorneys are not the same. Yes, I agree he needed legal representation. As I understand this issue, Paul Raco and his staff acted according to the adopted law. I for one applaud the integrity of Paul Raco for not being a party to such an agreement. We need more people like him in government.

During this hastily called meeting, did any commissioner ask to review the relevant sections of the Building Code before getting advice from two attorneys? I will be glad to stand corrected if either the commissioners or these two attorneys can show me a legal justification for this action.

I believe that this county government has sold its soul to Penn National for the money they receive from them. In this case, certainly not for the public welfare.

My appreciation to Commissioner Tabb and Commissioner Knode for their resistance to pressure in this matter. Apparently, they do have a regard for the law.

Herbert E. Ramsburg Sr.
Bakerton, W.Va.

G&G was uplifting

To the editor:

People watch football and baseball games that are just as long as Gods and Generals. I saw the film and I liked it very much. It is about war between people. Disregarding the reasons, war pits man against man. It is brutal but thank God for the brave men and women who have fought to preserve our freedom.

Oh, yes as a Christian I enjoyed seeing Godly men who followed the dictates of their conscience on both sides. They were fearless because they knew that their lives were in God's hand. It was their duty to stand and fight if necessary for right, and they trusted the results to God - God's sovereign will.

You could take your child to this film and teach them values. Yes, compared with the sexual, immoral, violent films that are popular, this was a flop. It was uplifting to me.

Bill McCaffrey

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