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County selects Ath as commissioner

By Toni Milbourne - For the Chronicle | May 28, 2021


CHARLES TOWN — The Jefferson County Commission voted last Thursday, during their regular meeting, to appoint Clare Anne Ath to fill a vacant seat on their board.

Ath steps into a seat vacated by Josh Compton earlier this month. Compton resigned from his position in preparation for a move away from the area.

Before Thursday’s vote, the JCC had held a special meeting the day before to select potential candidates from a pool of applicants. Of approximately nine applicants vying for the position, commissioners chose four to interview on Thursday during their regular meeting.

In addition to Ath, commissioners interviewed Jack Hefestay, Mason Offutt and Jacob Tyler Harris. Following the interview process, nominations limited the potential newcomer to Hefestay and Ath, with Ath receiving the majority vote.

Ath, who described herself during the interview process as a Christian, said she felt a call to serve.

“I’m proud to announce today that as of May 20, 2021, I’ve been appointed to serve as Jefferson County Commissioner representing the Charles Town district,” Ath wrote on her Facebook page.

“As a commissioner, I will make it my priority to fight for policies that create jobs, keeps our communities safe and ensue that future generations of West Virginians live in freedom and prosperity,” she continued.

Ath explained, during her interview, that she is studying public policy, and feels she will bring value to the commission. A graduate of Liberty University, Ath has been deemed a conservative activist.

Ath has never served on a public board, but feels she can bring much to the table for Jefferson County. She spoke of core values in the county, including the feeling of community presence.

Areas that are of specific interest to Ath include all facets of public safety, as well as economic development. As did other candidates, she also spoke to the importance of securing adequate broadband for the county.

Following Ath’s appointment, which took place at the start of the meeting, she immediately took her seat at the table for the remainder of the evening’s business, observing as the group worked through the agenda, but without providing comment to the evening’s issues.

Prior to her appointment to the JCC, Ath had preregistered to run for delegate in the 67th District in the 2022 election. She announced on her Facebook page that she has officially withdrawn from that race. Ath’s appointment to the JCC is for an unexpired term, set to be on the ballot for re-election in 2022.

“I am ready to get to work for the people of Jefferson County, and with your support, we can keep Jefferson County in conservative hands,” she said.