Buckhannon hires new grant writer

BUCKHANNON — After months of searching, the city of Buckhannon has welcomed Callie Cronin Sams, the newly hired city information coordinator and grant researcher/writer.

During last week’s city council meeting, Mayor David McCauley said, “As time went by over the past 18 months … I (also) found a large chunk of my time and other people’s time, supervisory wise within the city, was being expended with trying to put information out to our public, to our residents, our citizenry and still often coming up short with doing an adequate job.”

After several months of discussion and vetting through the process of hiring a dedicated candidate, McCauley said he was “hugely pleased” to announce the newest addition to the city. Buckhannon City Council unanimously approved Sams’ hiring that evening.

Sams’ duties will include distributing information to the community and constituents, said Amberle Jenkins, the assistant recorder, office manager and director of finance and administration for the city.

“The benefits (of the position) is maybe we can get more grants awarded to us,” she said. “The other thing is people, like the employees and supervisors that are working on the grants, that frees up their time a little bit to where they can do their regular job.”

Because this is a new position, Jenkins said Sams’ duties will probably “be groomed as she’s here, and how we see how it evolves.”

Sams’ employment will begin Jan. 1. She will be paid $35,000 with benefits, Jenkins said.

McCauley described Sams as a “truly outstanding writer (and) information specialist.”

According to a press release issued by the city, Sams currently serves as a Public Information Specialist II with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, where she has worked for more than six years. Previously, Mrs. Sams was a research assistant with Volunteer West Virginia.

While attending Fairmont State University she earned her bachelor of science in business administration in 2007. She later completed 12 hours toward her master’s in business administration at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

Currently, she’s about to enter her final semester in the master of art in teaching program (biological sciences) through Miami University, the release states.

In the news release, McCauley said, “We are fortunate to welcome her to City Hall as a member of our excellent team.”