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W.Va. judges' bathrooms might be cleaned weekly

January 25, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The state's trial court judges and two other elected county officers in Berkeley County's new judicial center may be relieved of "latrine duty" pending efforts by the County Commission to revisit the scope of a janitorial business' contracted services.

On Thursday, Jay Russell, the county's facilities director, told commissioners that Lescrub Janitorial Services might be able to provide weekly cleaning of five private bathrooms used by three state trial court judges and the county's prosecuting attorney and circuit court clerk.

Russell had previously notified the elected judicial officers that they would be asked to clean their own facilities as part of a plan by the county to save money in wake of a downturn in revenues. Other staff have been asked to vacuum their offices.

Prosecuting Attorney Prosecuting Attorney Pamela J. Games-Neely and Circuit Clerk Virginia M. Sine had previously indicated they had cleaned their own bathrooms in former offices and didn't object to resuming the practice. Both Games-Neely and Sine separately said they didn't ask for their private-use facilities in the new building.

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Though relieved of bathroom cleaning, county employees are being asked to vacuum and clean their offices as a means to help the county save money, according to a memo they received last week. The reduction in the cleaning contract was designed to save about $60,000.

"The whole purpose of this is to save taxpayers money," Russell said on Thursday.

State court officials, however, have said the county is required by statute to provide janitorial services and have noted the county receives rent for use of certain space.

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