Commish wants to lay out mission

Commissioner Tony Barton broached the possibility of establishing a mission statement for the Weston County Commissioners at their Feb. 2 meeting, saying he believes it will help focus and prioritize the board’s work.

“I think it would be a good idea for this board to develop a mission statement going forward and use that to kind of guide our policy and our decisions,” he told his fellow commissioners.

Barton said he hopes to see discussion of the development of a mission statement be made an agenda item to be addressed at future meetings.

Happy customers

Positive responses to hospital survey

Weston County Health Services has been providing surveys to patients in various departments, either through the mail or in person, in an effort to identify areas where customer service can be improved. The survey also seeks to point out issues at the facility that can be addressed, and at their board meeting on January 21 JoAnn Farnsworth, who is responsible for quality control at WCHS, shared the results of the surveys collected so far.

The questions used on the survey are provided by the federal government, and Farnsworth said WCHS was required to use those questions. Each area of care has a survey specifically designed to address the type of care they provide, and they all received different responses to the survey questions posed. Farnsworth acknowledged that the number of responses for each specific survey varied as well.

Hunt reports on session Ed forecast

Rep. Hans Hunt (House District 02) gave the WCSD #1’s Board of Trustees a brief overview of the agenda of the House Education Committee, on which he serves, at the trustee’s Jan. 27 meeting.

Hunt described the committee’s to-do list for the upcoming legislative Budget Session as not overly long, but as nonetheless containing some important legislation.

“This is a bill that says that all student records are private and they’re not to be treated publicly, as are staff records,” Hunt explained of House Bill 13, which stems from a controversy in which the university-account emails of the UW’s student body president and vice-president, who are technically considered faculty, were released to the media. Hunt said the bill covers all students within the public school system, K-12 and at the college level.

City looking for new auditor

Mark Sylte has been preparing the audit for the City of Newcastle since 1988, but his recent announcement that he will no longer be conducting audits has city officials questioning how to proceed moving forward.

Sylte may have helped answer that question himself when he approached the Newcastle City Council on February 1 with a proposal that could make the search for the next auditor at least a little bit easier.

Sylte offered to continue preparing the financial statements for the city, much like he has done in the past, which would leave the city in a position where they only need to find a new auditor. In order to help the group understand the situation a little more clearly, Sylte explained what an audit technically consists of, and how his knowledge in preparing financial statements will aid both the city and the new auditor.

Writer learned the value of rejection

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Renee Blare, an author of “rugged Christian fiction,” presented on the topic of her personal journey to publication to a small crowd at the Weston County Library on January 29.

Blare, who works as a pharmacist by day, told the gathering that the publication process can be intimidating and that’s why many aspiring authors never venture far along the path of attempting to get their work on bookstore shelves.

“I think every writer dreams of being published someday, but a lot of people are just afraid of it,” she stated. “They think that publication is just an unreachable goal, and they don’t know how to even start the process. Writing is so personal you’re almost afraid to even try, because you’re afraid of being criticized.”

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