Berkeley County Roundhouse Authority board has no executive officers

A special meeting has been scheduled next Tuesday to regroup organizationally

June 12, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |
  • Clarence E. "C.E.M." Martin III, former Berkeley County Roundhouse Authority chair, is shown in this Herald-Mail file photo. Martin and his wife, Judy, resigned their posts in March. Since then, Roger Lewis, who was serving as the board's vice chairman, board member Lisa Dirting, and board treasurer Richard Paden, have resigned from the organization.
Herald-Mail file photo

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — And then, there were none.

Two more members of the Berkeley County Roundhouse Authority have resigned, leaving the public corporation’s board without any executive officers.

The resignations of Martinsburg City Councilman Roger Lewis, who was serving as the board’s vice chairman, and board member Lisa Dirting, come on the heels of the resignation of former board treasurer Richard Paden, who resigned at last Tuesday’s board meeting. That meeting ended abruptly when Lewis walked out.

Executive Director Rosetta Chiofalo also tendered her resignation at the meeting.

Lewis, who made his resignation effective last Friday, declined to say Wednesday why he stepped down after serving 18 months on the board.

In his resignation letter, which county officials received Monday, Lewis suggested the Berkeley County Council consider appointing a “qualified business manager” to oversee the roundhouse authority’s long-standing efforts to restore and redevelop the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad shop complex.


The project has been awarded about $8.2 million in grant funding since 1999, but the roundhouse authority lost a $50,000 state grant last year because it was unable to generate the required matching money to draw down the funding.

The departures of Dirting, Lewis and Pane follow the resignations of Clarence E. “CEM” Martin III and his wife, Judy, in March. Martin served as the board’s chairman since the roundhouse authority was created by the West Virginia Legislature in 1999. Judy Martin was serving as board secretary.

Now, without any board officers remaining, the roundhouse authority has scheduled a special meeting next Tuesday to regroup organizationally, Berkeley County Councilwoman Elaine Mauck said Wednesday.

The meeting will be at 6 p.m. at the roundhouse office, Mauck said.

Mauck, who serves as the county council’s representative, said she welcomes anyone interested in serving on the roundhouse authority board to contact her, other board members or the Berkeley County Council office to apply. 

Mauck said she hopes to recruit individuals who will help build public trust in the roundhouse authority and boost private financial support.

In addition to the board’s reorganization, Mauck said she expects members also will review the roundhouse authority’s finances.

In his resignation letter addressed to county council President Anthony J. “Tony” Petrucci, Lewis said all of the roundhouse authority’s current invoices had been paid as of May 30.

Lewis also noted that the roundhouse authority had a total of $70,000 in contributions from the Berkeley County Council and the city of Martinsburg to use as 50/50 matching funds for a grant that the agency received to build restrooms at the railroad shops complex. Plans for the restroom complex are ready to be advertised to contractors, but still must clear a design review by the West Virginia Department of Transportation.

Lewis said about $414,000 of the $585,684 restrooms grant, which was awarded in 2006, remains for the project.

Lewis added that the roundhouse authority had been able to commit rental income to paying off outstanding debts.

The roundhouse authority’s financial standing improved considerably after it entered a commercial lease agreement last year to provide storage space for the West Virginia National Guard.  

In her resignation letter dated June 6, Dirting said she participated and saw many restoration and preservation accomplishments in her years of service on the board.

“May I take this opportunity to wish the authority members success as they move forward in their endeavor in the completion of the project into a facility which can be used and enjoyed by our community,” Dirting said in her letter.

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