Commissioners Name Tennant Interim County Solicitor

For the next few months, veteran local attorney Donald J. Tennant Jr. will serve as Ohio County’s top legal representative.

County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved Tennant to take over for former County Solicitor Landers Bonenberger on an interim basis. Bonenberger announced his retirement earlier this month after more than 30 years in the position.

Tennant, a Wheeling Island resident and Linsly graduate, has practiced law in Wheeling since 1986 and describes himself as a litigation specialist.

In recommending the selection, commission President Randy Wharton called Tennant “a tough attorney.” He said he anticipates a smooth transition, as Tennant has done prior legal work for the commission as an independent contractor.

Wharton previously said commissioners expect to name a permanent replacement for Bonenberger in January.

Tennant plans to maintain his private practice on 15th Street and said he is eager for the opportunity to serve the county.

“I look forward to working hard for the commission,” he said.

In other business, commissioners authorized County Administrator Greg Stewart to apply to FEMA for $162,518 in Emergency Management Performance Grants to fund operations at the Wheeling-Ohio County Emergency Management Agency and help pay for new audio recording equipment for the county’s 911 center.

Stewart said with tight budgets all around, the commission is not counting on receiving the full amount, but he hopes it will be awarded at least $59,000, which the EMA is counting on for about half its $120,000 annual budget.

Also unanimously approved Tuesday were:

  • a $220,000 bid from Farber Specialty Vehicles of Columbus for a new mobile command center. Stewart said that was the only bid received, and he expects to receive the new vehicle in eight to 10 weeks;
  • payment of the county’s annual $500 Ohio Valley Regional Transportation Authority dues.

The commissioners’ next meeting is set for 6 p.m. Nov. 10 on the second floor of the City-County Building, 1500 Chapline St.