Bob Bailey: Concern for public safety is important
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is one of a series of columns written by candidates in contested races in the Nov. 6 general election.
As an 18-year veteran of the County Commission, I was honored to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the new ambulance station that will serve Barboursville, Pea Ridge, Guyan Estates and all the surrounding areas. This is station number 8 that the County Commission has built, and I have been privileged to have been on the commission long enough to help with building six of those eight stations.
Most of the credit for this station should go to Gordon Merry, who is the director of Cabell County Emergency Medical Services. It is very rewarding when you can build something so beneficial to the people that won't be paid for with taxpayer money, but by fees that have been collected for the service. As far as I know, this will be the last ambulance station built in Cabell County because we now have the entire county covered.
As a county commissioner, I think the public safety should be one of the main concerns of any commissioner who serves in office. Fire and ambulance service is important for the protection of the people of Cabell County. While serving my 18th year on the commission, I have found these services to be a very important factor. This has always affected my decisions and vote on the County Commission. I will continue to do this if I am re-elected to another term.
In my 18 years on the commission, I feel honored to have been awarded three "Distinguished West Virginian" awards by Governor Underwood, Governor Joe Manchin and Governor Tomblin for my work in the community and with senior citizens.
I have been fortunate to build four new senior centers in Cabell County, and the current plan is to convert the old West Middle School building into a senior citizen center with 20 new apartments and move the CCCSO headquarters into this building. This will better serve the wellness program because of the gymnasium and better serve the "meals on wheels" program because of the kitchen. Protecting our seniors and looking out for them play a very important part in my life, and I have always tried to do this for the last 18 years.
I believe the safety of the public and being a steward of the public's money are very important parts of being a county commissioner, and I will work hard to obtain grant money for West Junior High School to become Jefferson Park Senior Center.
As far as water and sewer, we have completed 95 percent of this service for the people of Cabell County. I am presently working to install fire hydrants along those lines, which we did not have the opportunity to do when the lines were installed.
If re-elected as county commissioner, I will continue to support Hospice, the Hospice House, the Tri-State Airport, CCCSO for seniors and any organization that asks for help and who promotes the welfare of our fine citizens of Cabell County. We have always been in the black in our fiscal affairs for the county, and I do the best job I know how and I will continue to do so.
If I am re-elected, I will be a full-time commissioner, as I have been for the last 18 years. I feel a commissioner should be in the office every day to talk to people, take phone calls and answer questions that the public might have. The question that should be asked at every debate is "will you be a full-time commissioner, if elected?" The answer for me is "I promise I will be there, and no other job will interfere with my decision to be full time." The one thing I leave you with is "there is no substitute for experience."
Thank you very much.
Bob Bailey, a resident of Huntington, is the Democratic candidate for Cabell County Commission.