Bloom: Daley’s departure from DOH District 4 ‘a great loss’

MORGANTOWN — Monongalia County Commissioner Tom Bloom said he was surprised to receive a weekend email from West Virginia Division of Highways District 4 Manager Mike Daley, announcing the end of his short tenure atop the district.  

Bloom received the message on the morning of May 25. In it, Daley explains he would no longer be the District 4 manager as of May 28 and that he is taking over the same position in District 3. 

This news comes weeks after local officials heralded the unprecedented DOH decision to allow a private contractor to take on core maintenance ditching projects within the district in Monongalia, Preston and Harrison counties. 

Around that same time, Bloom touted a “major shift” in the relationship between the county and District 4 as he began working directly with Maintenance Assistant David Vaughn, who, according to Bloom, was directed to focus specifically on Monongalia County. 

The DOH denied Monongalia County was getting any special treatment. 

Either way, Bloom said Daley’s departure is “a great loss for our district.” 

He took over as interim manager of the six-country District 4 in late 2022. 

“That’s who we worked with. He was good to work with. I was very pleased. I feel like we had a good relationship and were moving forward,” Bloom said of Daley. “It is somewhat of a shock. I do not understand why this continually happens in our district.” 

According to Daley’s email, Randy Harris has been named the district’s interim manager. 

District 4 has just over 4,815 miles of road in Doddridge, Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Preston and Taylor counties. 

The Dominion Post reached out to the DOH seeking additional information about the personnel change but did not receive a response in time for this report. 

In other county news, the commission approved a $126,445 contract with Veritas Contracting to renovate the main entrance and security station area of the Monongalia County Courthouse. 

The project dates to late 2022, when the commission approved a $12,300 proposal from Mills Group to design, bid and administer a project addressing the congested security area just inside the 133-year-old building’s front door. 

The work will include new doors, new flooring and new security equipment among other improvements. 

The room sitting immediately behind the security station is currently empty but will be home to the expanded county clerk’s office. 

A portion of that room’s exterior wall will be bumped back to get the security station out of the flow of traffic in the main hallway. 

Construction is expected to start in July. 

Lastly, the commission issued a reminder that the grant process for the county’s directly allocated opioid settlement funds is open through noon June 7. 

Agencies can apply through the county’s grant portal, which can be accessed via a pop-up link at monongaliacounty.gov.  

The county has thus far received $1,019,972.