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Chapmanville VFD struggle continues

Submitted Mon, 11/05/2012 - 9:05am by Andy Alm

CHAPMANVILLE – Tempers are running high at the Chapmanville Volunteer Fire Department.  The department could still face decertification if all board members haven’t relinquished their posts by Wednesday.  At a heated meeting last night, president of the fire department Kelly Keener said the board would not be stepping down.  Later that night, Plum Township Supervisor Chairman Glen Williams told Forever Broadcasting six member did sign resignation letters, leaving four who are still holding out — Kelly Keener, Kevin Keener, Rachael Keener and Agnes Keener.

“We are still sticking to our deadline,” Williams said, adding that he will check with the township solicitor this week to see what action can be taken if not everyone on the board resigns.

He said a civil suit is likely.

Chapmanville resident Chuck Heffern said the Keener family is being unfairly targeted.

“I know this family, and I know they dedicated their whole damn life to this township.  That’s what I know.  That’s what I know for a fact!”

The board was ordered to step down by the Plum Township Supervisors, who are raising questions over allegations of financial mismanagement.  Officials have said the department is being audited by the state.

Fire department president Kelly Keener told us last night she and others on the board do not agree with the choices made by the township for replacement officials.  Some of the potential replacements served in the fire department in the past, and Keener said financial problems started under their watch.

Supervisor Williams wants to appoint Wern Cook and Roger Sterling to Chief and President, respectively, replacing Kelly and Kevin Keener.  Township officials are expected to fill some of the remaining positions.

Keener said the Chapmanville Fire Department responded to 200 calls so far this year, and has not dropped a single one.

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