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Berkeley County Council split on vote to send letter of appreciation

March 15, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The resignation last week of longtime Berkeley County Roundhouse Authority members Clarence E. “CEM” Martin III and his wife, Judy, led to an unusual split vote by Berkeley County Council on Thursday whether to send the couple a letter of appreciation.

County Council President Anthony J. “Tony” Petrucci and Council member James “Jim” Whitacre said they voted against sending the letter to the Martins because they did not want to see them resign from the board.

The Martins had served on the Roundhouse Authority since it was created by an act of the state Legislature in 1999. 

Council member Elaine C. Mauck made the motion to send the letter, thanking the Martins for their efforts on the board, which was formed to restore and redevelop the 19th Baltimore & Ohio Railroad roundhouse and shop building complex in Martinsburg. Douglas E. Copenhaver Jr. and Jim Barnhart joined Mauck in voting for the motion.

Martin and his wife, said they plan to travel more and spend more time at their second home outside the Martinsburg area.

Mauck said Thursday that the Roundhouse Authority board will hold its next meeting on April 2 at Caperton Train Station, which is connected to the Roundhouse complex by a pedestrian bridge. 

Meetings previously been held at Martin & Seibert L.C., the law firm where Martin, an attorney, is a shareholder, according to the firm’s website. Martin’s grandfather, Clarence E. Martin, founded the firm.

In other business Thursday, County Council approved the hiring of a new IT analyst who will replace an employee who had been added to the payroll through a state employment subsidy program last year.

Donald DeChalus’ contract through the program expired at the end of January, but IT director Gary Wine said he was allowed to continue employment while the county advertised the position. DeChalus’ last day was Friday.

Wenda Deville of Falling Waters, who was among 10 applicants, is tentatively expected to begin work on Monday, according to county officials. Deville is to be paid $46,000 per year. 

In other personnel actions, Berkeley County Sheriff Kenneth M. Lemaster notified County Council of the part time employment of Travis F. Shroades as a process server and court security officer.

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