Government, Latest News, Preston County

Preston Commission elects new president, sets meeting times

KINGWOOD — Don Smith will lead the Preston County Commission as its president over the next year.

Smith was elected 3-0 Tuesday at the commission’s first meeting of 2021.

He replaces Samantha Stone. Before the vote, Stone noted commissioners agreed last year to rotate the presidency. Commissioner Dave Price, who held the title before Stone, agreed.

Commissioners voted unanimously to stop holding the first meeting of each month at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and to instead hold all regular meetings at 9 a.m. Tuesdays. If Tuesday is a holiday, the meeting will occur on Wednesday.

“The first meeting of the month we did so that people who couldn’t come during the day could come then. And that hasn’t happened,” Price observed.

Stone said during her tenure she can only recall once when someone attended an evening meeting to address an issue. When meetings are held in the evening, elected officials and employees have to work an extended day.

Smith noted when the evening meetings started they were on Monday, which is the day county offices are open later.

County Administrator Kathy Mace said sometimes evening meetings were used to hold public hearings or address trending issues. But special meetings can be called for that, she said.

Price noted the commission now broadcasts its meetings on social media. The commission initially used Facebook, when COVID-19 dictated keeping people apart. That was halted in the latter half of 2020, when meetings were reopened to the public.

In November, the commission began broadcasting meetings on YouTube.

On Facebook, more than 400 views of a meeting were typical and several drew more than 1,500. On YouTube, no more than 32 views are noted for any one meeting and there are nine subscribers to the commission’s channel.

The commission YouTube channel is at and there is no charge to watch.

Commissioners chose to keep hours for county offices the same. The courthouse will be open 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and the Courthouse Annex, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday and 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday.

Commissioners were also appointed to a variety of boards.

Price will serve on the 911 Advisory Committee, Local Emergency Planning Commission, Preston County FEMA Board and the Clean Up Committee.

Smith was appointed to the Preston County Solid Waste Authority Board of Directors, Region VI Planning and Development Council, Workforce West Virginia Board of Directors, Community Corrections Board of Directors and the Mountaineer Country Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Stone will serve on the Preston County Economic Development Authority Board of Directors, Farmland Protection Board and the Extension Service Committee.

TWEET @DominionPostWV