CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County Commissioner Dave Hardy says becoming the new state Revenue Secretary is a natural fit for him because he’s always been interested in numbers.
“I’ve loved numbers my whole life,” Hardy told MetroNews. “All my time in public service, since 1995, I’ve always been interested in the budgeting process.”
Governor-elect Jim Justice chose Hardy to be his administration’s revenue secretary on Tuesday.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve Governor-elect Jim Justice and the taxpayers of West Virginia,” Hardy said. “I welcome the challenge of digging into the books and solving West Virginia’s budget crisis. This isn’t impossible; it will take innovative ideas and creativity.”
In a news release, Justice said Hardy, who has helped balance 21 government budgets, has the experience necessary to help lead the state through tough financial times.
“Dave Hardy has the experience to help my administration conquer the budget crisis,” Justice said. “Dave Hardy is a real asset for our team because he knows how to pass a responsible budget. Our state finances are a mess and require a watchful eye over every penny. We will not achieve greatness until we get out of the financial hole.”
Hardy is a practicing attorney and a certified public accountant. He is a Kanawha County native having been first elected to Charleston City Council in 1995, where he served on the city’s finance committee. He also teaches a budgeting class at West Virginia State University.
“I’ve taught accounting a long time and budgeting, so I’m really looking forward to bringing those things together and working with the Governor who is very practical. He just wants to get the problem fixed so we can move the state’s economy forward,” Hardy said.
Hardy was appointed to the Kanawha County Commission in 2001 and won the election the next year. He was reelected to six-year terms in 2004, 2010 and again last November. He said leaving the Commission was not an easy move.
“That was a very tough decision,” he said. “I’m always honored when the public trusts me to sit in that chair and make judgements. I had 16 years there with two fellow commissioners that I like and respect as much today as I did 16 years ago when I joined the Commission.”
Kanawha County commissioners Kent Carper, president, and Hoppy Shores congratulated Hardy on his appointment in a Tuesday news release. They said he is the “right person at the right time” for the job.
Hardy said the transition will be “the same concept, but a different venue.” He said he plans to meet with state Revenue Secretary Bob Kiss and his staff later this week to understand the budget.
Hardy will resign the county commission post effective Jan. 19. He’ll go to work at the capitol the next day, Justice said.
The county commission will be in charge of appointing Hardy’s replacement until the next general election in 2018.