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Barnes-Russell appointed to Berkeley County Roundhouse Authority board

June 29, 2013

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The Berkeley County Council on Thursday appointed a field operations manager for Frontier Communications to the Berkeley County Roundhouse Authority.

The appointment of Michelle Barnes-Russell of Martinsburg to the public corporation’s board comes after a string of six resignations, including the group’s executive director, since March.

The roundhouse authority was created by state lawmakers in 1999 to preserve and redevelop the 13.6-acre historic Baltimore & Ohio Railroad shops in Martinsburg’s historic core off East Martin Street.

“I assume you know what you’re getting yourself into,” Councilman Jim Barnhart told Barnes-Russell before he and fellow council members voted to appoint her.

Barnes-Russell was appointed to replace former board treasurer Richard Paden, who tendered his resignation at the roundhouse authority’s June meeting about two months before his three-year term was set to expire.

Fellow council members agreed to vote on Barnes-Russell’s application for appointment immediately after interviewing her instead of following protocol and waiting until the next council meeting.

The county council is not scheduled to meet Thursday.

Councilwoman Elaine Mauck, who serves as the council’ representative on the roundhouse authority, said Barnes-Russell’s business management experience is a critical need for the board. 

The roundhouse authority’s next meeting is July 9, Mauck said.

The county council separately agreed Thursday to schedule an interview with State Farm Insurance agent Eric Gates, who also has applied to be appointed to the roundhouse authority.

In other action on other board and commission appointments, the council voted unanimously to reappoint Jerry Williams to the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks & Recreation Board.

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— Matthew Umstead

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