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Martinsburg mayor's reappointment to health board on hold

August 13, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- The Berkeley County Commission on Thursday delayed a vote on whether to reappoint Martinsburg Mayor George Karos to the county Board of Health because commissioners said they had not received written notification that he wanted to serve another five-year term.

Karos, whose term expired July 31, has only attended one of the volunteer board's five meetings this year, according to meeting minutes.

Commissioner William L. "Bill" Stubblefield said reappointing Karos without receiving written notice of interest from the mayor would not follow the commission's policy when considering board and commission appointments.

Karos' pending reappointment comes as the Board of Health is fielding public comments about proposed revisions to the county's clean indoor air regulation, which include a ban on smoking in most public places and places of employment, including bars and most hotel rooms. Private residences, along with bingo operations that distribute more than 100 bingo cards or sheets would remain exempt.

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County Health Department Administrator Bill Kearns told commissioners Thursday the agency received more than two dozen comments about the proposed revisions, which have been put out for public comment for 30 days.

If adopted, Kearns told commissioners Thursday the new regulation might not be put into effect until Jan. 1.

According to state code, no more than two members of the Board of Health can reside in the same magisterial district and no more than three members of a county board of health may belong to the same political party.

Karos is one of three Democrats on the board, according to the Berkeley County Commission's website.

A draft of proposed clean air regulations is on the Internet at http://www.bchealthdept.org/index.html

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