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Berkeley Co. hires its first IT director

September 07, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Berkeley County Commission's first choice to become the county's first director of information technology accepted the job offer Thursday and was hired by a unanimous vote of the commission Thursday night.

Gary Wine of Morgantown, W.Va.-based Software Systems Inc. will be paid $82,000 annually, making him the fifth-highest paid employee in the county, according to county compensation and benefit records released in July.

"We'll never miss a beat," Commissioner Ronald K. Collins said after the commission's monthly night session had ended.

A primary task of the IT director will be managing all aspects of information and telecommunications technology for the county commission, county departments and the county's other elected officials.

Among numerous other duties, the director is expected to maintain and update the electronic security systems in all Berkeley County facilities, including the county's judicial center.

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Wine's duties will replace at least part of the contracted services now being provided by Software Systems, which provides information technology support to a number of West Virginia counties, officials said Thursday.

Wine has traveled to the Eastern Panhandle for a number of years to provide the county with IT services, Collins said.

Wine was one of three finalists and 24 applicants for the job, according to information released this week by county human resources director Alan J. Davis.

The names of the other finalists were not immediately available, but an applicant log released by Davis indicates that all but four applicants - two from Maryland and one each from Virginia and California - were West Virginia residents.

If Wine had been on board for the first six months of this year, Collins said the county could have saved about $56,000. Collins said the county could have saved $126,000 if the newly hired IT director would have been in place for the county's move to the newly opened judicial center, which began late last year.

The full-time position is estimated to save more than $100,000 per year, Commission President Steven C. Teufel has said.

The salary for the full-time position with benefits ranged from $77,000 to $124,500, according to the recruitment announcement released by Davis, and Collins said some candidates wanted more money than was offered to Wine.

Collins said he was confident that Wine is the best choice for the job and that their choice would save the county money, similar to the commission's decision to create the director of legal services position, which was filled by Norwood Bentley III.

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