Newcomers vie for vacant Jefferson Co. clerk position

October 12, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County will have a new county clerk next year, and it is up to county voters to decide whether it will be Democrat Scott Coyle or Republican Jennifer Maghan.

Voters will choose a new county clerk on Nov. 2 because longtime County Clerk John Ott is retiring.

The county clerk's salary is $46,200 and the term is six years.

Scott Coyle

Coyle said the county clerk's position is an important job, overseeing the county's elections and acting as the keeper of records, including property deeds and wills. Marriage and hunting licenses are issued through the office and it is where county residents register to vote, said Coyle, who currently is building inspector for the City of Charles Town.

Coyle said he has high regard for Ott, and he plans to carry much of Ott's philosophy forward if he is elected.


"Our community is changing rapidly and I am convinced that I am capable of taking the office into the future," Coyle said.

Coyle said he became interested in the position partly due to the deep history associated with the county's land records, some of which date back to the Civil War and to the 1700s.

Jennifer Maghan

Maghan said she has experience in various backgrounds, including the military and business. Maghan is a U.S. Army veteran, and her military stint included work as a linguist and a financial manager. Maghan said she has worked as an office manager for a communications-related business and has overseen records operations for banks.

Maghan, of 73 Appamattox Lane, Shepherdstown, W.Va., said she is ready to offer her skills to county government.

Maghan said her priority is making sure people have access to the records they need.

"Most people don't know what the county clerk does," Maghan said.

Maghan said she supports use of the Internet to make public records available for viewing online, supports the idea of televising Jefferson County Commission meetings and wants to make sure the county's historical records are preserved.

Maghan and her husband, Rex, have four sons.

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