By Phillip Williams
Upshur County Commissioners Court last Thursday appointed veteran county Road and Bridge Department worker Phil Stegall as county road administrator.
The court had recently named Stegall, a department employee the past 19 years, as interim administrator after administrator Andy Jordan resigned effective July 7. Jordan had held the post more than 10 years.
Stegall was chosen from four applicants, including Lisa Tefteller, who has worked for the department 18 1/2 years and who the court had appointed as his interim co-administrator. In a separate vote Thursday, the court raised her salary by $2,200 to $40,000.
Although the vote to appoint Stegall was unanimous, County Judge Todd Tefteller told the four commissioners he favored naming Lisa Tefteller (no relation) instead. He added, however, that both had longevity with the department, so “there’s not a reason in the world either of them couldn’t do it (the administrator job).”
“At first, I wasn’t gonna vote” on the appointment, Tefteller said, adding he then recalled he had pledged when campaiging for judge that he would vote on issues. (Some county judges traditionally abstain from voting on motions.) So “I’m not gonna be a chicken” by abstaining from voting, he said.
Tefteller said his favoring of Lisa Tefteller didn’t take an “ounce” from Stegall, who the judge voted to appoint because “you submit to the will of the majority (the commissioners).”
Tefteller also said the other two applicants for the position were “overqualified.”
The court interviewed all four in closed session before voting at the temporary courthouse in Gilmer, where many county offices have been relocated for the forthcoming historic renovation of the aging county courthouse across the street.
In another vote, the court created a new $30,000 position of office assistant to replace one of road area leader.
After the meeting, Stegall said that during his tenure with the Road and Bridge Department, he has been a patch hand, and has operated motor graders, backhoes and dump trucks.
By Phillip Williams