The Mingo County Commission has some tough decisions to make this week. With both coal severance funds and property tax revenue way down, they don’t have enough money in the coffers to run the county government.
They met for hours on Monday and could not come up with final decisions on where to cut. Commissioners John Mark Hubbard, Greg “Hootie” Smith and Diann Hannah met with the elected officials from all departments.
It looks like there will need to be more layoffs.
The last eight years our economy has continued to struggle. With all of the mining operations that have been shut down – the ripple effect continues to widen. With the tougher EPA laws from the Obama administration, it has crippled the coal industry.
Besides coal miners that have lost their jobs, railroaders, mine supply employees and retail stores have suffered. In many of our southern W.Va. counties, several teachers’ positions have been cut. Now it looks as though more jobs will be lost in the courthouse.
The economy in Appalachia is suffering badly and unfortunately we can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.
This is one time I would not want to be in the commissioner’s shoes. They are facing tough decisions that will affect so many families.
I wrote a few months back about the domino affect that the shutting down of so many coal mines was having on our local economy. And it is continuing.
The Mingo County Commission will hold another special meeting on Thursday at 9:00 a.m. They apparently needed a couple of more days to reach some tough decisions.
Let’s hope and pray things will get better. But for now – regardless of political views – we need to support the county commissioners and the other elected officials that are faced with extremely tough decisions.
(Kyle Lovern is the Managing Editor for the Civitas Media Mountain District including the Williamson Daily News and Logan Banner. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)