Governor’s mansion’s vacancy appears to be both a practical and constitutional matter

No one lives at their job anymore, barring a few over-the-top achievers and firefighters.

After all, it is the digital age, and most of us are a phone call or a text away, anywhere.

However, the vast majority of us still have office hours. That is, we are expected to arrive at or about at a certain hour and do the job we were hired to do. Some have gone so far to as say the greater part of success is simply showing up.

Some jobs even prescribe when and where you work, like the office of governor of West Virginia.

No higher authority than the state Constitution addresses where officers of the executive branch, including the governor, should (must?) live.

In no uncertain terms it reads: “They shall reside at the seat of government (Charleston) during their terms of office …”

Obviously, that does not apply to Gov. Jim Justice, according to him, and we probably shouldn’t care less where he calls home during his term of office.

However, as a constitutional matter and a practical one, we need to give it some thought.

As to the state Constitution, we’re no legal scholars but it’s pretty clear that he needs to spend his weekdays in the Governor’s Mansion.

Justice calls home Lewisburg — 112 miles from Charleston — where he’s had a permanent residence for years.

Not so long ago he told reporters that the mansion is still occupied, hosting dinners, luncheons and private receptions, for a price.

He claims he’s actually saving the state money by not living in the mansion and allowing it to be rented out to the public

Turns out the mansion actually hosted only seven such events since Jan. 1.

But as an even more practical matter, the state has seen far more than its fair share of political lapses lately. Not that our state government is ever a stranger to dropping the ball, but in recent weeks one scandal after another has made headlines.

Criticism of Justice’s absence at the Governor’s Mansion has come from both sides of the aisle, too, and rightfully so.

Flood victims from the June 2016 torrents are still waiting for assistance, our judicial system is a laughingstock and every audit of every agency is even more damaging.

Perhaps the real question is what is he doing when he’s not at that mansion in Charleston?

His oath of office calls for him to work full-time on state matters, not personal matters, if he is.

Just like the state Constitution calls for him to live full-time in the Governor’s Mansion.

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