Commission searches for new 911, OES director

By Beth Sergent -

POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Commission is taking applications to replace Chuck Blake, who is retiring as director of Mason County 911, Mason County Emergency Medical Services and Mason County Operation of Emergency Services.

Blake technically wears multiple hats and due to the existing bylaws of the Mason County Ambulance Authority, that body must appoint an EMS director and the commission must appoint a director of 911 and OES. Whether or not the same person will be chosen to fill the vacancies that will be left behind by Blake’s retirement remains to be seen, though in the realm of possibilities. It is also possible that two different people will be chosen — one as director of EMS and the other as the director of 911 and OES.

The commission will be advertising for the 911 and OES position with a deadline for submission of applications being Monday, Oct. 17. It’s possible the commission could choose a candidate during its Oct. 27 regular meeting. Blake’s retirement will be effective Nov. 30.

In other commission news:

  • County Administrator John Gerlach announced the county has once again been approved for a $29,830 grant that funds the victim’s advocate program in the county.
  • Approved allowing a work-study student from the Mason County Career Center to assist at the Mason County Animal Shelter.
  • Approved trick-or-treat in all non-municipal areas in the county as 5:30-6:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27.
  • Approved the resignation of Kevin Durst from the advisory board of the ambulance authority, and the appointment of Zach Kearns of Pleasant Valley Hospital to serve out Durst’s unexpired term.
  • Approved the resignation of Gerlach from the 911 board and approved the appointment of Commission President Tracy Doolittle to serve out Gerlach’s unexpired term, representing the commission on the board.
  • Presented Darlene Haer, a member of the Battle Days committee, with a check for the operation of the festival for $1,000.

Earlier this month, commissioners unanimously approved appropriating $1,000 each to the Point Pleasant Sternwheel Regatta, the Mothman Festival, Battle Days and the Point Pleasant River Museum and Learning Center. Commissioners said these donations are evaluated on a year-by-year basis, dependent on available funding.

In a previous commission meeting, Gerlach reported the commission had received a letter from Paul Mattox, state secretary of transportation and commissioner of highways, saying both W.Va. 62 and W.Va. 2 are on his agency’s “list for repair.” He added these repairs should take place within the next 30 to 60 days. Mattox’s letter did not elaborate on the type of repair or where specifically the repairs would take place. Paul Crump, of Mason, had recently written letters to legislators and the county commission about the state of disrepair of both W.Va. 62 and W.Va. 2 – Mattox referenced Crump’s concerns in his response to commissioners. More on this as information becomes available.

At Thursday’s regular meeting were Commissioners Doolitle, Rick Handley, Miles Epling, as well as County Administrator Gerlach and County Clerk Diana Cromley.

By Beth Sergent

Reach Beth Sergent at or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.

Reach Beth Sergent at or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.