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‘Move at the speed of business’: Secretary of State moves Fairmont office to Clarksburg


The Fairmont News

CLARKSBURG, W.Va.  — The Fairmont field office for the West Virginia secretary of state will be moving to Clarksburg to help build on the idea of a “one-stop shop” for business owners and entrepreneurs.

Secretary of State Mac Warner said the move is a result of listening to the concerns of those coming into the office and those working in the office.

Mac Warner, Secretary of State

“Right now, it’s in the state building in Fairmont, and it’s a nice facility. The state already has this large space (in Clarksburg) with the auditor, and it’s not fully utilized with personnel,” Warner said. “It’s a secure space with extra offices, and they are providing it to us for a very reasonable cost.”

Aside from being more convenient for people who need to access the office, Warner said that with the money saved, he will be able to fund two field offices for less than what’s being paid for the office in Fairmont.

Warner also mentioned the Secretary of State’s Office motto, “Move at the speed of business,” meaning that when the business community asks for something, the office aims to fulfill those needs.

When someone has to get a document signed at the secretary of state’s field office in Fairmont and then drive to Clarksburg to get to the state tax office, only to find it be closed, it can be frustrating, Warner said.

“We want to remove those frustrations. We want to move at the speed of business. I don’t want to be the reason they get slowed down, frustrated or decided to take their business elsewhere,” he said. “If they have problems getting their business registered, they might decide to go across the river to Ohio. So we just lost those jobs and tax base. We’ve got to be responsive to the business community.”

Communication with business owners is an important part of what’s done at the Secretary of State’s Office, Warner said. Making sure people know what to do and where to go is a top priority, he added.

If someone doesn’t understand how to work the website, a field representative can go to their location or bring them into an office to teach them, Warner said.

“We just want to be as accessible to the business community as possible and make it as easy as possible,” he said. “That’s why we have the field reps in the field, and there are seven across the state.”

Mike Queen, deputy chief of staff for the secretary of state, said staff are excited to be able to move the field office a more convenient location. The office won’t be losing or hiring any staff, but will maintain the three employees who are in the Fairmont office.

For those wanting to start a business, there are several steps, with the Secretary of State’s Office being one.

“To start a new business, you have to communicate with the Secretary of State’s Office, the Department of Tax, Department of Labor and the unemployment office. The one-stop shop project has really been around 12 years, but Secretary Warner is really embracing it,” Queen said. “We want to have one facility where you can pull it all together in one location, whether that’s physically or online.”

Queen said although state offices won’t all be in one location in Clarksburg, the secretary of state’s field office will be just down the street from the new state building.

“We didn’t have to buy any office furniture. We are close to two of the other agencies, and this is really the first step in implementing the one-stop shops,” he said. “We are hoping that the operation in Clarksburg becomes a call center or satellite center for the one-stop shop program.”

The new location will be used to host training on upcoming municipal elections for clerks on May 12.

The official opening of the office in Clarksburg won’t be until the beginning of July.

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