Morgan Co. planning panel appointment causes controversy

July 27, 2007|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Morgan County Commissioner Brenda Hutchinson voiced her disapproval Friday of the commission's appointment of Wayne Omps to a seat on the board of the Morgan County Planning Commission.

Hutchinson said the commission was close to its lunch break when the paperwork to approve Omps' appointment was put before them. She said everyone who attended the morning meeting had left.

Hutchinson said she refused to sign the paperwork, but Commission President Glen Stotler and Commissioner Tommy Swaim signed it, which put Omps on the planning commission. A vote is not needed, she said.

Hutchinson was at the site of a proposed skate park on U.S. 522 later Friday and was waiting for the other commissioners to arrive. She said she was frustrated by the lack of discussion regarding Omps or other board appointments.


"I wanted to discuss this and any board appointment - they shape the county," she said. "He's (Omps) too closely associated with development. I would not be on the planning commission because I'm too closely associated with zoning. An unbiased person is needed."

Hutchinson voiced her displeasure to Swaim when he arrived at the skate park site.

"We need to review board appointments prior to making a decision," she said.

Swaim said he had no intention to review Omps' appointment.

Swaim also said Hutchinson did not want Omps to serve on the planning commission because he ran against her in the November general election.

"I think not," Hutchinson said.

"I think so," Swaim answered.

Stotler at first said he was not at the skate park site to discuss the matter, but when asked if he would review Omps' appointment because Hutchinson wanted it discussed, he said, "I don't have a problem with it."

"I want to discuss my position in a room full of people," Hutchinson said. "West Virginia Code is in front of people."

Swaim said he didn't have a problem with more discussion, and Stotler said Omps' appointment will be reviewed.

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