Wood County Commission seeks answers on board service

PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Commission is continuing to look into issues regarding the Wood County Building Commission.

Questions were raised recently about people who served on the Wood County Building Commission while also serving on other boards, including the Parkersburg Planning Commission.

The state Ethics Commission had told Wood County Prosecutor Pat Lefebure, in an informal opinion, someone cannot serve on the Wood County Building Commission while also serving on a planning commission or a civil service commission.

The issue was brought to the county commission’s attention by Cam Siegrist, attorney representing the Wood County Building Commission.

The commission wants access to the building commission’s meeting minutes housed. They also had questions about how and when Siegrist was appointed to represent the building commission, which would be noted in those minutes.

Because Siegrist is based in Charleston and has to travel to Parkersburg for meetings and other actions, commissioners wondered if he was compensated for that time and travel and how that is handled.

County Administrator Marty Seufer said he had received word from Siegrist, who has requested to appear before the Wood County Commission and the Parkersburg Planning Commission along with other attorneys in person as opposed to replying with an email.

Commission President Blair Couch said he wants to see where the meeting minutes are housed.

Commissioners wondered if they even exist.

If Siegrist appears before the county commission with other attorneys, officials want to make it clear the county will not be charged for the time for this appearance.

“I don’t think we should pay,” Commissioner Jimmy Colombo said. “We should tell them upfront that no funds will be changing hands.”

Couch said he still wanted an answer to when Siegrist was appointed to represent the building commission, who appointed him and how he is compensated.

“We don’t have any meeting minutes or agendas or anything stored at the county so that begs the question of where they are stored and if there are any,” he said.

Couch said all of that can be done in writing.

The commission agreed to have a letter sent to Siegrist detailing that.

Seufer has received documents from Siegrist that he believes are meeting minutes from the building commission, but said he has not had time to review them in detail to see what was included.

Couch also asked to send a letter to the state ethics commission to see if there was a waiver the county could apply for to allow people to continue to serve on both boards.

The matter could impact three people serving on the Wood County Building Commission: Charlie Matthews, Dan Marshall and Sean Andrews.

“We have three quality board members,” Couch said. “I want to petition for a waiver because these guys are good.”

The code being cited is specific to the building commission.

Officials said they need people to serve on these groups who have experiences dealing with many facets that the commission regularly deals with.

Couch wanted to know if Siegrist was requesting these three people resign from the Wood County Building Commission.

“That is not his position to request such a thing,” he said of that being the job of the county commission.

However, the commission does need to see what issues are in question and act accordingly, Couch said.

“We do want to abide by state code so if there is a problem we need to address it,” Couch said.