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Dr. Joseph Reed speaks at Buckhannon City Council's Sept. 3 meeting, asking council to support the concept of a community leadership academy.

Commission gives the go-ahead to community leadership academy

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission approved Create Buckhannon’s request to approve the revival of a Leadership Academy.

Dr. Joseph Reed attended the Sept. 3 Upshur County Commission on behalf of Create Buckhannon to receive the commission’s approval to organize the academy.

“We are proposing the recreation of leadership academy, like David Taylor did 10 years ago,” Reed said. “The proposal right now, is to possibly do it in person and try to prepare for the possibility of it online if we cannot do it in person.”

Reed provided an outline of the previous academy that included 10 different topics and locations to align with the topic. The previous topics of the academy included governing the city and county; parks and recreation; community health; patient care; connecting our community and economic development; official records; taxes; public schools; judicial administration; law enforcement and responsibilities; and public safety.

“I would ask you to consider giving your support to this concept and idea,” Reed said. “The outline on the back is not exactly the way it ended up being I don’t believe, although that has not been signed off at this point. If we could meet in person for a couple of places, we would like to use the courthouse specifically for the court system.”

Reed said he just need the verbal support from the commissioners to start organizing the academy, and he would return to commission after more details and specifics were planned out.

The handout Reed distributed said the tentative date for the academy would be in February 2021.

“Ten years ago, David Taylor spearheaded and organized a 10-week, three hours per week academy with 41 presenters and about 25 participants to explore functions of county and city government and community organizations,” the handout said. “Many individuals who participated have taken greater part in our community since then. West Virginia Wesleyan College was the primary sponsor.”

Reed said Wesleyan has not agreed to sponsor the academy but has not said no either.

Commissioner Sam Nolte made the motion to approve the concept of the academy and commissioner Kristie Tenney seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Later in the day, Buckhannon City Council likewise approved the concept of the academy unanimously. Councilman CJ Rylands said the original leadership academy “helped [him] find his public voice.”

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