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Mon Commission contacted about ‘organizing efforts’ in assessor’s office

MORGANTOWN — There appears to be at least some talk of unionizing the Monongalia County Assessor’s office. 

The Dominion Post obtained an email dated April 12 submitted to the county commission through the county’s general info email account. 

The email is requesting a meeting with commissioners Sean Sikora and Jeff Arnett and states, in part, “It is concerning a resolution that we are asking for approval from the commission concerning the organizing efforts of the Assessor Office.” 

Commissioner Tom Bloom said he did meet with representatives of the United Mine Workers of America at their request but wasn’t aware of the subject matter prior to the meeting. 

“They brought it up at that time but all I did was listen and provided no feedback,” he explained. 

About a dozen individuals wearing UMWA shirts attended Wednesday’s commission meeting but did not address the commission. 

A representative of the group did not wish to comment following the meeting.  

Assessor Mark Musick said he is aware that some of the 41 employees in his office have met with the UMWA. He said he doesn’t know how many, only that he and the office’s deputy assessor have not been contacted. 

“I’ve kept myself out of it, and the reason why I’ve stayed out is I support my staff, but I just can’t answer any questions. I’m not going to be one to sit there and say, ‘No, you can’t do it, or yes you can do it,’ because I don’t know,” Musick said. “I don’t know if there’s anything out there in county government that you could point to and say, ‘Ok, here’s how it would operate.’ ” 

In other news from Wednesday’s meeting, the commission received a letter from the Monongalia County Volunteer Fire Companies’ Association supporting a $19,000 allocation to the Star City Volunteer Fire Department. 

The requested funds would be pulled from additional state dollars provided to the county through the Fire Protection Fund, the County Protection Fund and the All-County Protection Fund — all three of which were either created or received increased funding following passage of Senate Bills 1021, 1022 and 1023 in the 2023 legislative session. 

While the commission and the association are still in the process of figuring out how best to distribute those dollars, the association voted to support the release of these funds to repair the motor in the 1990 Pierce Lance fire engine donated to the Star City VFD by the Terry Farrell Foundation of Long Island, N.Y., earlier this year.