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New public servants learn basics of government

Exponent Telegram photo by Jim Davis Public servants from across the state listen to a presentation Wednesday during a Newly Elected County Officials Prep School at the Bridgeport Conference Center. Front table, from left: Monongalia Commissioner-elect Ed Hawkins, Monongalia Assessor Mark Musick, Monongalia Chief Deputy Assessor Chuck Penn and Raleigh Commissioner-elect Byrd White.
Exponent Telegram photo by Jim Davis
Public servants from across the state listen to a presentation Wednesday during a Newly Elected County Officials Prep School at the Bridgeport Conference Center. Front table, from left: Monongalia Commissioner-elect Ed Hawkins, Monongalia Assessor Mark Musick, Monongalia Chief Deputy Assessor Chuck Penn and Raleigh Commissioner-elect Byrd White.

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — Newly elected county officials from across West Virginia gathered Wednesday in Bridgeport to learn the ABCs of government.

More than 30 newcomers to public service learned about employment issues, property taxes, budgeting, ethics and other matters during the Newly Elected County Officials Prep School at the Bridgeport Conference Center.

“We provide this as a service to all newly elected county officials every election year to help them get off to a good start,” said Patti Hamilton, executive director of the West Virginia Association of Counties.

The association has been offering the training since 2000 to novices to public office and recently elected officials who have been serving unexpired terms, Hamilton said.

The training focuses on potential problem areas such as employment issues and ethics, Hamilton said.

“We cover the basics,” she added.

Putnam Prosecutor Mark Sorsaia went over the state Ethics Act in an amusing presentation titled “Why Good People Do Stupid Things.”

Public officials can get into trouble simply because they don’t know the rules…

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