THE NEWS AND SENTINEL DID GREAT PRE ELECTION COVERAGE ON ALL OF THE CANDIDATES SEEKING OFFICE.
OBVIOUSLY THEY HAVE TO EDIT CANDIDATE RESPONSES. I WANTED YOU TO SEE THE FULL RESPONSE I SUBMITTED BASED ON THE QUESTIONS THAT ASKED.
As a former Commissioner, myself and my colleagues were a part of the
recruitment team that brought HINO Motors to Williamstown. At the time, much energy and governmental cooperation between Williamstown, the State of West Virginia and Wood County Government worked very closely together to achieve that milestone for the Mid Ohio Valley.
There are many facets to the economic development. It is ever changing and Commissioners must be working on recruitment every day. The Commissioners, along with other local elected officials need to be good salesmen for our county and local communities. As with Hino, we must be ready when opportunity strikes.
Many cities often see that they are in competition with other cities, when in fact, we need to collaborate on recruitment efforts. What is good for any particular city in the County is a benefit to all of Wood County.
Part of “being ready” include having a county with a quality and hard working workforce available. Working with the local school systems, both traditional and technical colleges to provide employees that are in demand.
During my time as Commissioner, we worked very hard to keep our tax rates low and stable, making our area attractive for business to locate.
The Commissioners can assist by utilizing TIF zone for new business attraction. They must work closely with Dept of Highways and Public Service Districts to ensure that proper infrastructure is available. They must be supportive of the local educational institutions for proper workforce development.
As Commissioner, it is important to maintain a close and trusting relationship with
all of the local government officials; as well as being supportive of efforts by the Wood County Development Authority and the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid Ohio Valley, with such things as area promotion, marketing, and site inventories.
When we think of bringing a more skilled workforce, we need to keep in mind the wants and desire mind sets of both employees and employers. They are generally wanting to locate to an area that has a good school system; has good parks and recreation, such a biking and walking trails; and cultural activities and the like.
As a community, we must try to market ourselves as a good place to live. We must be diligent on reducing crime activity, thus providing a safe place to live; and market our education systems as producing quality employees for the workforce.
We must be prepared to market ourselves daily, due to the fact, many major corporations with have scouts checking out areas long before they make contact with local government officials, thus, we must always try to have our best foot forward.
Lastly, as a County Commissioner, I would also keep in mind that small businesses in our areas are the back bone of our community. We must ensure they have an acceptable tax rate, and available stable work force, and a safe environment to conduct business. The County Commission should utilize the services of the local businesses whenever possible.