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Ohio County Wants To Move Quickly on Search for New Administrator

Ohio County commissioners plan to have a new county administrator in place within two months, according to Commission President Randy Wharton.

According to the job description for the position approved by the commissioners, they are seeking someone who is experienced in both government and business, and who is “technology savvy.”

Deadline to apply for the job is Feb. 15.

The job is defined as a full-time position, and one in which the employee will work more than 40 hours each week. Salary is not defined in the job description.

“I think we need somebody who can very quickly learn elections, very quickly step in and learn the human resource side of the county, and who has strong experience with databases and spreadsheets,” Wharton said.

The administrator also should have a working knowledge and grasp of the West Virginia State Code, he said. That’s because found within the code are any questions the county might have pertaining to budgeting, procurement or spending.

“If someone has those skills, that frees up some of our staff who work on the financial end to do their work,” Wharton said.

He predicts the commission will move quickly to hire an administrator.

“In my opinion, it is something we need to do right away,” he said. “I hope to have someone in place within 60 days.”

Commissioner Don Nickerson said he is looking for “someone who is a good communicator” with both the commissioners and the public to serve as administrator.

That person also should know how to delegate duties and utilize expertise already in the staff, he said.

“I also would like the individual to be someone who believes in strictly following applicable rules,” Nickerson said. “I believe that those personal qualities are even more important when you are the government.”

A bachelor’s degree in public administration, business, or related field is required of the future county administrator, though a master’s degree is considered a plus, according to the job description. Candidates must have at least five years of previous “innovative and progressive leadership” experience at a government entity similar to or greater than Ohio County in population and geographic size.

Previous experience researching and helping support grant opportunities and working with county development areas — including tax increment financing districts and opportunity zones — is a plus, as is prior in county or business-related economic development, according to the job posting.

Ohio County is the only county in West Virginia where the county commission administers elections, and commissioners want the next administrator to have experience in running elections.

Knowing how to use computers and technology in a modern and effective way is a must, according to the job description.

“Candidates must be technology savvy and be able to use a wide array of technology platforms to enhance the effectiveness and operations of the county,” it states.

The incoming administrator must have training in National Incident Management System practices through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or be willing to obtain it within a year of employment.

The administrator serves as the chief administrative officer (CAO) of the county for the Ohio County Commission, and can also serve as a consultant to outside agencies and/or organizations as directed or required by the Commission. That person also will serve as the commission’s public spokesperson when the need arises.

The administrator also is responsible for the upkeep of county facilities.

Those interested in apply should send a resume, cover letter and at least two work-related reference letters to CA.hiringcommittee@ohiocountywv.gov; or by hard copy to the following mailing address, City County Building, Suite 215,1500 Chapline St, Wheeling, WV 26003.

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