In today’s Daily Mail, I wrote about the West Virginia County Commissioners’ Association’s annual meeting to be held next week at Stonewall Resort.
Every county in the state is a member of this association except Kanawha County. County Commission President Kent Carper said Kanawha County chose to drop out of the association about three years ago, mainly due to the county disagreeing with the association’s position on legislative issues.
As an example, Carper said he disagreed with the commissioners’ association being against a bill passed during the 2013 legislative session that required counties to provide bulletproof vests to sheriff department deputies – which can cost several thousand dollars and requires replacement of the vests every so many years.
In response, Vivian Parsons, the executive director of the county commissioners’ association, wanted to clarify the association’s position on the issue. While the association didn’t disagree with the law itself, it did take issue with an amendment to the bill that changed the funding mechanism for how the vests would be replaced in the future.
“CCAWV did not oppose the Deputy Sheriff’s Mandatory Safety Vest Bill,” Parsons wrote in an e-mail. “We did take issue with a last minute amendment that usurped the current budget process for future vest replacements and updates! We believed that once all deputies have protective vests, sheriffs have ample time to plan for replacement and updates of those vests, through requests in their equipment budget or using weapons permit funds (as many sheriffs, including Kanawha’s, have already been doing).”