CHARLES TOWN – Jefferson County’s newest commissioner took her seat for the first time last week after emerging victorious in the 2012 election.
“It was nice to be back in the saddle again,” said Jane Tabb, who was ousted from the commission by Democrat Frances Morgan in 2006.
Tabb says the environment in the county is very different from that in her prior term, which ended six years ago.
“As far as the county’s economy, things are very different,” Tabb said. We’re looking at a reduced budget going forward, whereas before our budget was just multiplying astronomically and the assessor couldn’t keep up with the increased assessments.”
Tabb says these budgetary concerns will be one of the first major issues she hopes to address in her term.
“I think I need to get a really good handle on the current budget,” Tabb said. “I know there will probably be a somewhat different process for handling the budget because [Paul] Shroyer has the financial director position.”
She says another priority will be speeding up the planning approval process for the county. “Another area that I’m hoping to work on is streamlining our planning and zoning process so that all citizens can get through the system a little faster.”
Tabb, a Republican, says she attaches little significance to the small change in the political makeup of the commission – which narrowed from four-to-one in favor of the Democrats to a slimmer three-to-two margin.
“Just because I’m basically conservative, I associate myself with the Republicans,” Tabb said. “For me party, at the local level, has no consideration.”
At last week’s meeting, commissioners elected Dale Manuel to assume the position of president, where he is responsible for maintaining order in bi-monthly meetings. Manuel has served as vice president for the past two years and once served as president.
Assignments to the nearly 30 agencies to which the commission sends liaisons were also completed Thursday.