The Mingo County Commission conducted its first meeting with a Republican majority Wednesday. The composition of the governing body shifted during the last election cycle when political newcomer Gavin Smith, a Republican defeated the Democrat incumbent and Commissioner Thomas Taylor switched his party affiliation.

As the current moderator of the commission, President Diann Hannah opened the meeting and proceeded through the agenda. When the topic of the annual reorganization of the commission came up on the agenda, Hannah immediately nominated Taylor to take over the role of commission president. That nomination and Smith’s subsequent nomination of Hannah for president pro tempore both passed without opposition.

Hannah continued to conduct the meeting as Taylor was attending the meeting via phone conferencing. Taylor was absent because he was at the hospital in Huntington with his wife following the recent birth of their second son.

Other reorganization matters remained unchanged: Tina Abbott will continue to serve as county purchasing agent. Courthouse hours will still be Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; however, the courthouse will now be open during lunch. The commission will continue to use all branches of BB&T, Bank of Mingo, Community Trust and First National Bank of Williamson as the county’s depository banks. The county government will observe the holiday schedule as set by the West Virginia Supreme Court and the Office of the Governor.

Taylor was appointed to sit as the commission representative to the Southwestern Regional Jail Authority and Smith will replace former Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith on the Mingo County Airport Authority. Hannah was named as the new commission representative to the Mingo County Board of Health during the commission’s last meeting in December.

Following a job posting and interview process, the commission voted to hire Lynette Morrison as the new crime victims advocate in the Sheriff’s Department. Her employment was effective as of Thursday but will be contingent upon her passing screening tests required by the department. This is a new grant-funded position with the term ending each year in September if the grant continues to be renewed.

Williamson Mayor Charlie Hatfield addressed the commission during the public comments section of the agenda. The mayor expressed his gratitude to the body for allowing the city to put a lighted 2021 sign on top of the Coal House as part of a New Year’s celebration.

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