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Commissioner unapologetic over his actions

November 03, 2005|By DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County Commissioner Greg Corliss said he wants to examine what government bodies can do to control disruptive behavior during meetings following an Oct. 18 Jefferson County Development Authority meeting where Commission member Jim Surkamp argued with officials.

Surkamp said he went to the Jefferson County Development Authority meeting because he has concerns about the authority's plans to sell a water system that is used for an industrial park.

Surkamp said he had four documents that he believed the authority members should review before proceeding with the sale.

Surkamp said he raised his voice during the meeting and said it was "fiscally irresponsible" to proceed with the sale.

Corliss said Surkamp pointed his finger and argued with officials during the meeting.

"As far as I was concerned, he was disrupting at a public meeting," said Corliss, adding that Surkamp is not a member of the development authority and was not recognized to speak during the authority meeting.

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Surkamp said he thinks county commission members might attempt to admonish him during today's commission meeting. Surkamp said he discussed the matter with the state Ethics Commission and was told that the commission could pass a resolution admonishing him, but it would have no effect.

"I'm not one of their employees," Surkamp said.

Corliss declined to comment about some of the issues involved. But at the minimum, Corliss said he would like to have a discussion about what government bodies can do to control disruptive behavior.

One of the topics on the agenda for the commission's meeting today is a "review of commissioner activity at 18 Oct. Development Authority meeting."

Surkamp said members of the commission have asked him to apologize following the development authority meeting, but he has refused.

"Every word I said I stand by," Surkamp said.

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