Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

October 9, 2013

County Commission looks to fill vacancy

PRINCETON — A search is now underway for a person who wishes to serve the public by filling a vacancy on the Mercer County Commission.

The commission’s October meeting at the Mercer County Courthouse was dedicated in memory of the late Joe Coburn, who passed away Oct. 3. Coburn had served on the county commission and other local entities for almost 30 years. A moment of silence for Coburn was observed before the meeting proceeded.

County Commission President Mike Vinciguerra invited county residents interested in completing Coburn’s term to send their resumes by Oct. 18. The county commission must appoint a new member by Nov. 3.  Coburn’s term was set to end Dec. 31, 2014.

To fill the vacancy, candidates must be Democrats and reside in the county’s Third Magisterial District, Vinciguerra said. The requirements are mandated by the West Virginia State Code.

The Third District encompasses outlying areas of Mercer County including Oakvale, Matoaka, Lashmeet, Spanishburg, the Gardner area, Flat Top, Sun Valley, and part of Montcalm, according to information at the county Voter Registration Office.

Resumes should be mailed to the Mercer County Commission, 1501 West Main St., Suite 210, Princeton, WV 24740.

In other business, the commission appointed Mayor Tom Cole of Bluefield to the Development Authority of Mercer County for a term lasting until Aug. 1, 2014. Mayor Patricia “Pat” Wilson of Princeton and Mayor Louise Stoker of Bramwell were reappointed to the development authority’s board of directors; their terms last until Aug. 1, 2014. Bill Hopkins of First Community Bank was reappointed to the authority for a term lasting until Aug. 1, 2015.

Development authority officers Frank Brady, chairman; E.T. Smith, vice chairman; Mike Vinciguerra, treasurer; and Janet Bailey, secretary; were reappointed by the commission.

The county commission unanimously approved a $2,984 change order for the construction of the new Mercer County Health Department building in Green Valley.

“The project is still under budget,” Vinciguerra said. A contract to provide the facility with new furniture has been approved.

Executive Director Marie Blackwell of the Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau gave the county commission her annual report. Between June 2012 and July 2013, the county’s hotel/motel tax raised $437,750.

This figure is $10,000 above the amount raised during the 2012 Fiscal Year, Blackwell said, adding that it shows how the county’s tourism industry is growing. The bureau’s share of the tax revenue is used to promote Mercer County both in West Virginia and across the nation.

Trick or Treat in Mercer County is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 31 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. This date and time applies only to the county and not to municipalities, Vinciguerra said.

— Contact Greg Jordan at

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