CHARLESTON – For the first time since the Truman administration, an Eastern Panhandle resident is serving on the West Virginia Real Estate Commission.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin last month appointed Densil Nibert of Shenandoah Junction to a four-year term on the five-member body, which is charged with licensing and regulating all real estate brokers and sales people in the Mountain State.
While two Berkeley County residents served on the commission in the 1940s, no one from Jefferson County ever has been selected for the post.
Richard E. Strader, the commission’s executive director since 1990, says many counties in West Virginia have never had a representative on the commission.
“Over the years, most of the commission members have come from the bigger cities – Charleston, Huntington, Wheeling, Parkersburg, Morgantown, Beckley,” he said. “A minority of counties, including Morgan, Hardy and Hampshire, still have never had someone from there serve.”
When Martinsburg residents Charles V. Pownall and Roy H. Stotter served on the commission – Pownall starting in 1943 and Stotter in 1947 – the trip to Charleston, where the Real Estate Commission meets monthly, wasn’t an easy one for residents of the Eastern Panhandle, Strader notes.
“It takes a long time to get from the Eastern Panhandle now,” he said. “Imagine what that trip was like back in the ‘40s. What might have been the case was that it was difficult to find people from the Eastern Panhandle who wanted to that appointment, who were willing to make that drive.”
But Strader said having the Eastern Panhandle represented on the commission makes for a governing body with a more complete understanding of issues facing real estate professionals here.
“The issues in the Eastern Panhandle certainly are different from most of the rest of West Virginia,” he said. “The Eastern Panhandle, for instance, had quite a building boom a few years ago. That was mostly confined just to that part of the state.”
Nibert, a former teacher and principal who retired after 30 years with the Jefferson County school system, has been licensed to sell real estate since 1988. He earned his broker’s license in 2003.
A graduate of the Realtor Institute, the Certified Appraisers Guild of America and the Missouri Auction School, he earned both his undergraduate degree (in secondary education) and a master’s (in school administration) from West Virginia University.
Serving with Nibert on the commission are chairman John H. Reed III of Hurricane; Kathryn L. Martin of Morgantown; Cheryl L. Skiles, also of Hurricane; and Kathy J. Zaferatos of Beckley.