PARKERSBURG - Wood County commissioners have decided they will take resumes in considering a replacement to temporarily fill the vacancy left by the resignation of County Clerk Jamie Six.
Six's resignation takes effect July 31 and the appointment will be effective Aug. 1.
The commissioners decided to accept resumes until July 8. Applicants must be a Democrat.
Photo by Pamela Brust
Deputy clerks Melody Ross, Barbara Johnston and Martha Devore were among clerk’s office staffers who urged Wood County commissioners to appoint deputy clerk Mark Rhodes to fill the vacancy left after County Clerk Jamie Six announced he would resign July 31.
Six, the county clerk of 26 years, announced May 31 he intends to resign July 31 to pursue other interests and spend more time with his family. The county commission, by code, has the task of appointing a replacement from the same political party. Six is a Democrat.
Six earlier recommended deputy clerk Mark Rhodes for the appointment, and staff from the clerk's urged the commission on Monday to choose Rhodes.
"In the past, the county commissioners have always honored the recommendation made to them," said deputy clerk Barbara Johnston.
She read a letter signed by employees in the clerk's office urging the commissioners to appoint Rhodes.
"Twenty-six years in office has earned Jamie much respect in the community and with his employees and we want this office to continue running smoothly and efficiently. We feel that Mark is the best, most qualified person to continue the operations of this office. Mark is an asset not only to the county clerk's office, but to other offices in the county. His knowledge and experience from working under many elected officials throughout his 29 years in county government is unsurpassed. Mark does a great job as the administrative assistant in this office, and the employees stand united with him for this appointment," a letter from the employees stated.
"We ask you be respectful and considerate of our wishes, because who you appoint in this position will determine our future, and we are the most affected by your decision," the letter said.
"I know of at least one other individual who has expressed an interest and there may be others," said commission President Wayne Dunn.
"There is no doubt Mark is the front runner, but I think we have to do our due diligence and see who else might be interested. We could accept resumes until our meeting next week. In the past the commissioners have accepted resumes or had a list of interested candidates, and I think we need to do that," Commissioner Blair Couch said.
"I feel Mark is well-qualified for the job. It's just a temporary appointment until the next election when anyone can run. We need to decide if we want to appoint Mark, then just go ahead and do it, if not we can ask for resumes," Commissioner Steve Gainer said. "The public can run for the office next year."
"Mark has always been cooperative and helpful, he knows the job and I think he would be a good choice," Wood County Circuit Clerk Carole Jones told the commission.
Six urged the commission to make a decision as soon as possible to "alleviate employees' anxiety" and to give him time to work with his replacement before he leaves.
Couch and Dunn voted to accept resumes until Monday and announce a decision July 15, with the appointment effective on Aug. 1. Gainer voted no.
Any appointment the commissioners make to fill the clerk's office vacancy would be to 2014. In January anyone interested in running could file as a candidate for the office. Once that election is certified, whoever wins would become clerk for the next two years and some days filling out the unexpired remainder of Six's term in office. In 2016 the office will be on the ballot again for a full six-year term.
If a quorum of the county commission cannot agree on a replacement for Six within 30 days of the vacancy, the county executive committee of the vacating officials' political party would select and name a person to fill the vacancy from their party.