Wheeling City Council Appoints City Clerk’s Successor

Jones leaving longtime post after 23 years


WHEELING — Brenda J. “B.J.” Delbert has never been to a Wheeling City Council meeting, but her master’s degree in business administration, along with experience in both private and public sectors, impressed members enough that they unanimously named her the next city clerk on Tuesday.

“We really liked her experience,” Mayor Glenn Elliott said of Delbert after council members spent about 30 minutes behind closed doors discussing the hire. “And she already works in the (City-County Building), so she is familiar with the territory.”

For almost three years, Delbert — a 2004 Wheeling Park High School graduate — has worked as a deputy clerk in Ohio County Circuit Clerk Brenda Miller’s office, which is on the fourth floor of the City-County Building.

Delbert’s new office will be just one level down, as the city offices occupy the third floor.

“I’m really excited,” Delbert said Tuesday after council voted to hire her. “It is such a great opportunity.”

Miller said Tuesday she and her staff will miss Delbert, but they wish her the best.

“As a friend and a co-worker, I’m very excited for her,” Miller said. “I am losing a great employee.”

Delbert earned her MBA from Fairmont State University, while she attained her bachelor’s degree in marketing from West Virginia University. Prior to joining Miller’s staff, she spent several years as a store manager for Bath and Body Works.

“I believe I bring multiple forms of experience to the job,” she said. “By working in retail, I learned to deal with customers. Working (in the circuit clerk’s office) has taught me how to deal with records and legal documents.”

On Monday, council members interviewed three finalists to fill the position, which became open when City Clerk Janice Jones announced her retirement plans on Aug. 31. Vice Mayor Chad Thalman said the other two finalists were solid candidates, but said Delbert proved the most impressive.

“We really felt that her skill set best matched what we were looking for,” Thalman said.

Delbert acknowledges she has a tough act to follow after Jones retires from the post she has held for more than 23 years in late January. Officials want Jones and Delbert to work together for a few weeks once Delbert officially starts on Jan. 2.

“There is a lot to learn, and I’m glad to help,” Jones said.

In addition to serving Wheeling, Jones has worked with the West Virginia Municipal League since 1995, eventually serving as the organization’s president for two years. She is also a two-time recipient of the “Clerk/Recorder of the Year” award from the West Virginia Municipal Clerks and Recorders Association.

In Wheeling, the clerk is one of three positions, along with the city manager and finance director, to be directly appointed by the mayor and council. Other employees serve at the discretion of the the city manager or the department heads the manager appoints.

The city clerk position pays an annual salary of $49,498.

Delbert said she is glad to be working for her native city, while she hopes to contribute in some way to the ongoing downtown renaissance.

“Anybody who says it is a dying city should take a look at all the activity we have downtown,” she added.