Keyser mayor appoints new city administrator

Outgoing Keyser City Administrator Buck Eagle and Mayor Damon Tillman pose for a photo during a City Council meeting on Wednesday. The city appointed a new administrator during the meeting.

KEYSER, W.Va. — Keyser Mayor Damon Tillman announced the appointment of Amanda Brafford as the new city administrator during Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

The council, with one member absent, approved the appointment. It came after an executive session.

Brafford, who was not present at the meeting, will succeed Robert “Buck” Eagle, who this month marks his one-year stint with the city.

“He only signed on for six weeks,” said Mike Ryan, councilman in charge of finance, referring to Eagle.

“I’m 61 years old and things are starting to give out,” Eagle said, giving reasons for wanting to leave. “I want to spend more time in my recliner.”

Eagle, during a council meeting on June 26, requested that the city devise a plan for his departure because he wants to assist in the transition and help things “go smoothly” for the new administrator. He will be paid on a “per diem” basis, said Councilman Terry Liller.

Tillman wanted to make sure Eagle was not leaving because he had differences with the mayor and council.

“Right here in front of God and the press, I have nothing against the mayor and council — I love you guys; I love working with all of you,” Eagle said.

“He has done a great job, very knowledgeable in finances. He has taught me a lot,” Tillman said.

Brafford has a background in banking and also will be good with finances, the mayor said.

“We are looking forward to having Amanda here and the changes she will bring,” Tillman said.

In other council business:

• The required first reading of Keyser’s ordinance pertaining to its application to the state for home rule status was read and approved. The ordinance will require a second reading and will become effective upon approval.

“Keyser is seeking to improve its economic, social and cultural prospects, and in general enhance the overall quality of life of its residents,” the document states. “The City of Keyser finds certain West Virginia statutes, policies and rules are making the City’s efforts in these regards overly difficult,” the document continues.

• A Community Participation Grant Award for $5,000 is to be used for upgrades to the John R. Shelton Swimming Pool project, according to William Zacot, councilman in charge of Parks and Recreation.

The certificate was given to Zacot by state Del. Gary Howell (R-Mineral), and was signed by Gov. Jim Justice.

• No resolution took place between the mayor and council pertaining to the future of the town’s historic Alkire Mansion, as per discussion between them and Frank Roleff, representing the Mineral County Historical Foundation.

Tillman said the city has two parties looking at the property.

• After a lengthy discussion, city officials are still considering the abolishment of the water and sanitary boards.

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