Assistant administrator resigns

BUCKHANNON – After less than seven months on the job, Upshur County Assistant Administrator Jennifer Dinkelo is resigning from her post.

The Upshur County Commission on Thursday approved the resignation of Dinkelo, which will be effective Jan. 31.

Dinkelo, an advanced certified paralegal, stepped into her current role with the county on July 8, 2013, according to previous reports.

She replaced current Upshur County Administrator Megan Pomeroy, who had served in the slot prior to the resignation of former longtime administrator Willie Parker.

Dinkelo said Thursday she is moving to Charleston and has accepted a position as a human resources manager.

In her letter of resignation, dated Jan. 16, Dinkelo cited monetary reasons and an opportunity for advancement when explaining her decision.

“An opportunity has been presented to me that will allow me to utilize my management education and experience to its fullest extent as well as provide me with a substantial increase in salary,” she wrote. “I have appreciated the opportunity to work on behalf of the residents of Upshur County and thank the Commission for the opportunity.”

Commissioner Donnie Tenney made a motion to accept Dinkelo’s resignation, which Commissioner Troy “Buddy” Brady seconded “with regrets.”

“I hate to lose a good employee,” Brady said.

Commission President JC Raffety said he was likewise sorry to see Dinkelo go.

“I have also expressed regret personally to Jennifer,” Raffety said. “She has served us well, I believe, particularly early on in her tenure. I recall her being able to secure a grant for us.”

Raffety said the commission will be advertising the job opening within the next two weeks.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, Jan Cochran, the director of the Lewis-Upshur Animal Control Facility, provided commissioners with an update about the facility’s activities.

During 2013, the facility took in 1,421 animals, Cochran said.

“Out of those, 63,5 percent went to homes, rescue shelters or were adopted,” she said. “I was really shocked at how many animals we took in.

“Hopefully, this year, we’ll do even better by taking in less animals and placing more animals.”

Cochran said the facility on Tuesday was evaluated by the West Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine “and passed with 100 percent.”

She also reported that she’s in the midst of developing policies for the shelter that she will present to the commission for approval at a later date. One of those policies involves the fate of dogs that have bitten humans.

In Lewis County, if a dog bites, the dog is destroyed, Cochran said. However, in Upshur County, animals are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and some animals that have bitten are adopted out – but only if and after their new owners are made fully aware that they have bitten before. Cochran wants to change the policy in Upshur County to bring it in line with Lewis County practices.

“We are going to be asking you to approve the rule that if a dog bites and the original owner does not take it back, then we destroy it,” Cochran said. “I think it’s important for both counties to have the same policy since it’s a joint shelter, and Lewis County will not budge on the issue.

“This was a hard decision because I do believe that some of the dogs that come in deserve a second chance,” she added.

The commission also voted to approve the appointment of Richard “Rick” Edwards to the Upshur County Fire Board. He will serve as a 1st District community representative.