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Commission Earns State Tax Department Award

By Staff | Aug 13, 2014

Pictured is Wetzel County Commission President Bob Gorby, Commission Vice President Larry Lemon, and West Virginia State Auditor Glen B. Gainer III. Wetzel County Commission received the Thelma J. Stone Award on Aug. 5. (Photo provided by Justin Southern, Communications Director of the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office)

Wetzel County Commission was honored Aug. 5 as they became the 2014 recipients of the Thelma J. Stone Memorial Achievement Award.

The history of this award stems back over 30 years, as in 1981 the State Tax Commissioner’s Annual Special Achievement Award for County Commissions was established. Tax Commissioner Michael Caryl renamed the award in honor of Thelma J. Stone after her death in 1985.

Stone was a treasured employee with the State Tax Department. Her 1960 temporary job with the Assessment and Levies Division soon became a permanent one. She served as the Budget Section Supervisor and the Conference Coordinator and Training Officer for the department. She earned the admiration and respect of all county officials and those in the department who worked with her. She is fondly remembered by family, friends, colleagues, and county officials.

In July 1999 the West Virginia State Code was changed, making the State Auditor the Chief Inspector and Supervisor of local government offices. State Auditor Glen B. Gainer III has continued this tradition of honoring excellence in county government.

The criteria for selection of the award includes the following: compliance with laws governing actions and conduct of county commissions; effective collective leadership exhibited by harmonious relations by members of the county commission; innovation in office procedures; administration; responsible fiscal conduct; cooperation with the various departments of county government; effective communications with federal, state, and city government; progressive personnel management policies, and demonstrated achievement in county government.

Pictured is Wetzel County Commission Vice President Larry Lemon, Wetzel County Commission President Bob Gorby, and Wetzel County Commissioner Don Mason. (Photo by Lauren Matthews)

The Selection Committee for the 2014 Award included West Virginia State Auditor Glen B. Gainer III, Deputy State Auditor Chief Inspector Division Stuart Stickel, President of the County Commissioner’s Association of West Virginia Tim McCormick, Director of Property Tax Division of Department of Tax and Revenue and President of the Monongalia County Commission Bill Bartolo.

“We’re really recognizing a county, and what they have done during the last year, and applauding their effort,” stated Gainer of the Wetzel County Commission’s honor. “They are all working together and pulling in the same direction, and that begins with leadership.”

The Wetzel County Commission was recognized for their strategic use of new oil and gas revenue for additional services such as paying the membership dues of county residents for emergency medical flight service, providing matching funds for water service expansion, adding funding to help establish a drug court, assisting the Grow Local Go Local Farmer’s Market, and other community programs. The commission also teamed with the the Wetzel County Clerk’s office on preserving a large amount of land books that dated back to the county’s formation.

Upon accepting the award, Wetzel County Commission Vice President Larry Lemon said, “On behalf of our fellow commissioner Don Mason, and Bob Gorby our president, it is indeed a true honor to accept this recognition. We are just trying to do our best to treat our taxpayers well, and create a good working relationship with our fellow public officials.”