by KATE SHUNNEY
Morgan County Commissioner Ken Reed last week won his bid to become a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates. Reed, a Republican, said previously that if he secured the seat in Charleston, he would step down from the Morgan County Commission in order to serve in the Legislature.
Reed’s Commission term doesn’t run out December 31, 2022, which means there will be a vacancy on the three-member County Commission as soon as Reed resigns officially. Commission President Joel Tuttle said that resignation could come later this month or in early December.
During a November 4 commission meeting, Reed’s colleagues said they will aim to select his replacement from interested candidates after a series of interviews and a vote at their last meeting of 2020.
Commissioner Tuttle said he has already talked to several people who are interested in filling the remainder of Reed’s term.
Tuttle, a Republican, was just re-elected to a second six-year term on the commission. Tuttle is also a member of the Morgan County Republican Club.
According to state code, Commissioners can appoint a member to their board by consensus. Under that path, each commissioner would bring a list of their top picks of appointees to a public meeting and try to narrow the choices to an appointee.
Tuttle said the Morgan County Commission will accept letters of interest and qualifications at their office and by email to commissioners until December 7.
A candidate for the seat must be a registered Republican and must live in the North, West, or South magisterial district for the county. The Morgan County Clerk can assist residents in determining which district they live in.
Tuttle said anyone who meets those qualifications can submit a letter of interest for the commission seat. He said he’s hoping to get interest from a county resident with some experience in government, budgets and other matters the commission handles.
Commissioner Sean Forney, also a Republican, agreed to try and reach a consensus with Tuttle about an appointee to fill Reed’s seat.
The two will each get copies of all letters of interest, then said they would narrow all applicants down to a group to be interviewed and potentially ranked for selection. Tuttle said commissioner could bring in all top applicants for interviews in a public meeting, but he preferred commissioners to narrow the field on their own through individual discussions and interviews.
Commissioners could make their selection of an appointee during their last meeting of the year on December 16.
In the event that commissioners don’t reach a consensus on who will fill Reed’s seat, the Republican Executive Committee could submit their recommendations for a suitable person and commissioners will choose a person from that list.