The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

November 23, 2011

Greenbrier clerk to retire next month

LEWISBURG — Greenbrier County Clerk William J. “B.J.” Livesay has announced he will retire at the end of 2011, after serving only a year of his current six-year term.

Appointed to the clerk’s position Aug. 1, 2000, when illness forced Sandra Morgan to step down, Livesay was elected to complete Morgan’s unexpired term that November and was re-elected in 2004 and 2010. He had previously worked for a few years in the 1960s for then-County Clerk Paul Hogsett, experience Livesay believes figured into the county commission’s decision to appoint him to fill Morgan’s post.

“Mr. Hogsett taught me the importance of the records kept here; he taught me to respect the records,” Livesay said.

Asked why he decided to step aside now, Livesay said, “The people in my office are very capable. They do all the work; I’m sort of extraneous. I think it’s time to go.”

Livesay said he believes the county commission will appoint one of his deputy clerks to take his place for the coming year. His unexpired term will then be on the ballots next year, in both the primary and general elections.

The accomplishment of which he is most proud during his 10 years as clerk, Livesay said, is the switch to touch screen voting machines, a move he terms “one of the best things I ever did.”

He said he regrets that the county has not yet computerized the vital records kept in the clerk’s office, a task that will cost an estimated $76,000.

“I worry about my records,” Livesay said. “Some of them go back to the 1700s.”

Looking forward, Livesay said he hopes retirement allows him and his wife to spend more time with their two children, both of whom live in South Carolina, and their six grandchildren.

“I’m not sure if I want to relocate or just visit,” Livesay said.

 “My father built the house I live in now when I was 10 years old. It would be hard to leave it and all of my friends.”

Livesay will celebrate his 80th birthday in February.

The county commission has not yet taken action on naming a new county clerk.

— E-mail: talvey@register-herald.com

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