Jeers to freshman Marion County Commissioner Bobby DeVaul for convincing County Commission President Ernie VanGilder to collude together to create the new, unnecessary position of Director of Media and Events so they could hire Matt Offutt, who had described himself as DeVaul's lifelong friend on his Facebook page. The duo also co-hosted and produced together the podcast called "The Boddy," which begins with an F-bomb in the intro.
Jeers to Matt Offutt who has since gone to his Facebook page and removed any verbiage that connects him to DeVaul.
Jeers to Ernie VanGilder for collusion and for creating a new county government position. This is hypocrisy because ever since he took office (which, when he was elected pledged to serve only one term), he always told department heads they could never have new positions, but could replace employees. What's different now, Mr. President?
Jeers to VanGilder and DeVaul for holding an illegal meeting when they alone interviewed Matt Offutt for the job they had planned for at least a month to give him with the salary of $47,500 a year and a county credit card. That's where every Marion County resident should be livid. Why would a new employee need a credit card? Also, VanGilder and DeVaul shut fellow county commissioner Linda Longstreth out of this interview. Perhaps that was a blessing in disguise because it's certain Longstreth would not want to be involved in an illegal meeting.
Jeers to Bobby DeVaul for calling the county commission back into the commission chambers April 26 for an illegal meeting so they could discuss how to answer the tough questions about hiring his friend Matt Offutt. If you have to meet and discuss your unethical hiring decision, don't count on anyone to save you when you are grasping for the just and ethical words to say in your defense. The reality is, there is no defense. You were called out on it and you are in the wrong. Marion County voters need to look in the mirror and ask themselves if these are the type of people they want to represent them in local government — those who cavalierly spend other people's money and spend it on their friends. Both VanGilder and DeVaul should really consider a public apology or, better yet, resign from their jobs. If they don't resign from their jobs, perhaps they need to go back and conduct an above-board, ethical hiring process so they can find someone who is actually qualified for the position. Maybe the public needs to call the county commission office and ask to see a copy of the job description and qualifications.
Cheers to the students, staff and faculty at East Fairmont Middle School for raising $8,000 for the Marion County Humane Society. Misty Skarzinksi, art teacher and club advisor to the Humane Society Club, teaches students about living a life of humility and how and why humans should care for and help animals. This is called setting a great example for living.
Cheers to Pierpont Community and Technical College and its new headquarters for its Culinary Arts Program, which was recently ranked No. 4 in the U.S. This program is definitely a feather in Marion County's cap and everyone should celebrate it and help spread the word.
Cheers to Todd Ensign, of NASA, for his unflinching passion for getting kids involved in science, engineering, technology and mathematics using hands-on activities that promote group interaction and critical thinking skills. There is a strong foundation being laid here to help kids explore and come up with life-changing solutions. Keep up the good work.
And, last but not least, Cheers to 52-year-old Cheri Warcholak Lohrey, a Fairmont native who was here visiting recently, and she has taken a dark time in her life and turned it into a positive by publishing her memoir "Powered by the Pivot," which is scheduled to come out in June. In 2010, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and wants to inspire others with her story.
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