By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian
The Marion County Commission has a new president.
During Wednesday’s meeting, Commissioner Burley “Butch” Tennant was elected president of the county commission. Commissioner Randy Elliott was elected vice president.
Tennant’s has served as commission president for one two-year term in the past. His seat is up for re-election this year.
For 2014, Tennant said there are several goals the commission is looking to achieve.
One goal of Tennant’s is to have the new state building on Adams Street completed.
“That’s really going to make a difference here,” he said. “I think we’re ahead of schedule. We had a big part in that with bringing it here and working with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.”
Other goals include starting a drug court, which was introduced in 2013, and working to grow the Day Report Center.
“We’re very involved with the drug court, and over the last four years, our Day Report Center has grown,” Tennant said.
Tennant said his main focus this year is getting work done at Palatine Park.
“I want to get stage one done on Palatine Park,” Tennant said. “That’s the first thing I want to get done.”
During the meeting, Tennant said there has been recent vandalism at Palatine Park and that the commission is going to respond quickly to prevent any more. He said a piece of one of the concrete picnic tables is missing.
“It probably happened last weekend,” Tennant said. “We’re going to put cameras and lights up right away.”
Tennant said the plan was to put cameras and lights up more toward the end of the project, but now the items have been brought to the top of the list.
“I’m not going to have (vandalism) down there,” he said.
At the end of the meeting, a proclamation was read in honor of Marion County’s 171st birthday. The commission welcomed the Marion County Historical Society (MCHS) to the meeting, which brought birthday cake for all who attended.
“I think that we should take great pride in that this is Marion County’s 171st birthday,” Dora Grubb, president of the MCHS, said.
The MCHS will be celebrating Marion County’s birthday with an open house at the historical society’s museum on Jan. 18 and 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a short ceremony at 12:30 p.m. The open house is free and open to the public.
In other business:
• Commission approval the 2014 schedule of night meetings it will have. Night meetings will be held March 26, June 25, Sept. 24 and Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Marion County Commission chambers.
• Next commission will be be Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 10 a.m., in the Marion County Commission chambers.
Email Emily Gallagher at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.