Marlinton Mayor’s Corner

I did not want to take time to attend the West Virginia Municipal League winter meeting, but I’m so glad I did.

The Legislative update was worth being there.

The Honorable Mitch Carmichael, Senate President, stated this was the most optimistic legislative atmosphere that he had experienced in 20 years. New strategies in the state are bringing real results.

West Virginia added three thousand jobs in 2017. The positive growth in West Virginia, during the first half of 2017, was second only to Texas. During the second half, Senate President Carmichael reported growth in the state as number one in the nation. Tax payments in the last quarter of 2017 were at a record high.

These positive events in our state have enabled a faster road to recovery than was originally expected. Don’t misunderstand. There is still a lot of work to do. But, as far as they are concerned, these representatives believe the ship has turned the corner.

Other moderators and distinguished speakers included The Honorable Ed Gaunch, Senate Government Organization Chair. The Honorable Charles Trump, Senate Judiciary Chair and The Honorable John Shott, Chair of House Judiciary.

The Honorable Craig Blair, Senate Finance Chair, who believes the best possible cabinet is in place for the state and the cabinet is committed to doing more with less. I believe the cabinet could learn from The WVML membership, where it is generally understood that mayors in our state do more with less, every day.

Economic Development is (and will always be) the major part in community planning. If we don’t have growth, graduating students will continue to move away. West Virginia is losing 44 residents every day to other states. We must do things differently. Jobs must come first from the private sector. The government cannot create a real job. When a governmental agency does add a position to provide a service, then, that entity must charge taxpayers, for all associated expense.

Isn’t it interesting how people are up in arms of a temporary government shutdown? But the same ones show little or no concern, when a business, or in the case of coal, a whole industry is cited for shut-down. What about those jobs?

Our State and cities within our State, are making bold moves to maintain services, while reducing overall operating costs. I am encouraged to hear our state representatives awakened to pressing concerns of economic and regulatory reality. We all want to be good stewards of our creation. We need to be just as concerned about the cost benefit ratios involved with each regulatory requirement. Because, in the end, the customer/user pays that cost.

Most citizens do not think about the total population of West Virginia, being at approximately 1.8 million people. Some of the country’s large cities have neighborhoods with more population than our entire state.

We need to realize how blest we are to live in West Virginia. Our lower overall cost of living also has a lower cost of business start-up.

You have opportunities within your reach. More than you can imagine.

Encourage one another to take a risk. Work out the details of your business plan. Lots of people are waiting to help you succeed. The time is now. The place is right. It is past time that sustainability be applied to areas in the business environment, where predictability and uniformity is of utmost concern.

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