Blue Book reflects changes in state government size - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

MAP TO PROSPERITY: Blue Book reflects changes in state government size

Posted: Updated:
GEORGE HOHMANN / The State Journal. Consultant Karl Lilly, left, and Assistant Clerk of the Senate Lee Cassis look over a complete set of Blue Books in the Legislative Library at the Capitol. GEORGE HOHMANN / The State Journal. Consultant Karl Lilly, left, and Assistant Clerk of the Senate Lee Cassis look over a complete set of Blue Books in the Legislative Library at the Capitol.
GEORGE HOHMANN / The State Journal. Assistant Clerk of the Senate Lee Cassis carefully handles a 1916 Blue Book — the first year the book was published. GEORGE HOHMANN / The State Journal. Assistant Clerk of the Senate Lee Cassis carefully handles a 1916 Blue Book — the first year the book was published.
  • Blue Book reflects changes in state government sizeMore>>

  • Map to Prosperity

    Map to Prosperity

    Thursday, January 2 2014 11:59 AM EST2014-01-02 16:59:08 GMT
    "Map to Prosperity" is a long-term project of The State Journal that will deeply examine government and business in West Virginia — both the perceptions and the reality.
    "Map to Prosperity" is a long-term project of The State Journal that will deeply examine government and business in West Virginia — both the perceptions and the reality.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • UPDATE: Power Restored to Over 400 in Raleigh County

    UPDATE: Power Restored to Over 400 in Raleigh County

    Monday, September 1 2014 12:33 PM EDT2014-09-01 16:33:12 GMT
    Emergency crews are responding to a downed tree on the 300 block of Stovall Road in Glen Morgan Monday (9/1) morning.
    Emergency crews are responding to a downed tree on the 300 block of Stovall Road in Glen Morgan Monday (9/1) morning.
  • Update: Names Released in Deadly Crash in McDowell County

    Update: Names Released in Deadly Crash in McDowell County

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:54 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:54:18 GMT
    Fatal Car Accident in McDowell CountyFatal Car Accident in McDowell County
    Two people were killed in a car crash Sunday, August 31. Troopers at the Princeton detachment of the West Virginia State Police said three people were traveling from Cheers in Princeton back home to Northfork when they crashed on Route 52 near Switchback. One man and one woman were killed and one man was sent to Bluefield Medical Center. Troopers told us in a statement made by the survivor, the man said the driver was drunk and driving too fast on wet roads when they lost control of the car.T...
    Two people were killed in a car crash Sunday, August 31. Troopers at the Princeton detachment of the West Virginia State Police said three people were traveling from Cheers in Princeton back home to Northfork when they crashed on Route 52 near Switchback. One man and one woman were killed and one man was sent to Bluefield Medical Center. Troopers told us in a statement made by the survivor, the man said the driver was drunk and driving too fast on wet roads when they lost control of the car.T...
  • Update: New Information Released in Raleigh County Murder Investigation

    Update: New Information Released in Raleigh County Murder Investigation

    Monday, September 1 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-09-01 15:48:36 GMT
    Joe Collins is arrested on murder chargesJoe Collins is arrested on murder charges
    The Raleigh County Sheriffs Office made an arrest Sunday after a man was murdered in Glen White.Joe Collins was arrested and is being charged with 1st degree murder for the shooting and killing of Larry Totten.The incident occurred Sunday morning at Mr. Tottens residence.
    The Raleigh County Sheriffs Office made an arrest Sunday after a man was murdered in Glen White.Joe Collins was arrested and is being charged with 1st degree murder for the shooting and killing of Larry Totten.The incident occurred Sunday morning at Mr. Tottens residence.

The West Virginia Blue Book, described as "a comprehensive record of all levels of government in West Virginia," has been published annually since 1916 by the clerk of the state Senate. 

Thanks to modern technology, the size of the 2011 edition, which includes some photos and features not found in the 2012 edition, is only 286 pages longer than the 1916 version.

But a peek inside shows many differences. Examples include: 

  • It takes just 3 1/2 pages in the 1916 edition to introduce Gov. Henry Hatfield and all of the offices and staff under his purview in the Executive Department. The governor and related offices occupy five pages in the 2011 edition. 
  • Information about the secretary of state occupies one-third of a page in the 1916 edition. It occupies three pages in the 2011 edition.
  • The 2011 listing of the state boards and commissions that license professions ranging from accountants to veterinarians takes up 30 pages.
  • The book, known by the color of its cover, was officially titled the "West Virginia Legislative Hand Book and Manual and Official Register" when first published by Senate Clerk John T. Harris. The shorter title was adopted in 1933 by then-Clerk Charles Lively.

Karl Lilly III helped compile and edit the Blue Book from 1975 to 2006. He came out of retirement to work on the 2011 edition and continues to serve as a consultant to the Senate clerk. 

As Lilly notes in a West Virginia Encyclopedia entry he wrote, the Blue Book lists "officers and employees of all state, county, and municipal governments, the Legislature and courts, West Virginia's congressional delegation, federal agencies in the state, and all major institutions.

"Pictures and biographies of officials of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, as well as the U.S. president, congressional representatives, federal district judges, and state chairs and officers of political parties are included in editions printed in odd-numbered years.

"The Blue Book also includes the federal and state constitutions, directories of newspapers and broadcasting stations, zip codes, place names not covered by the postal directory, statewide election results, historical data about counties and municipalities, officers of clubs and organizations, plus a section dedicated to departmental, statistical, and general information."

"The first individual index was included in the book in 1944," Lilly said. "We compiled that using index cards." 

Now the process is computerized. Lilly said the biggest change he has seen is in the technology used to compile and publish the book. In fact, the entire book is now available both in print and online. The online address is www.legis.state.wv.us/Senate1/clerk.cfm

Although the process is more efficient, Assistant Clerk of the Senate Lee Cassis said compiling the information is still a year-round job. 

"For the boards and commissions section, for example, we reach out and ask them for updates," he said. Some promptly reply. Some take months to reply with updated information.

Each member of the Legislature receives 75 copies of the book. Also, two copies are mailed to each high school and junior high school and one copy is mailed to each elementary school.

Cassis said a total of $150,000 was appropriated by the Legislature for the paper, printing, binding, distribution and mailing of the 2012 Blue Book.