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NAME: Bob Bailey

CANDIDATE FOR: Huntington City Council At-Large (At-Large candidates are elected by all Huntington voters)

PARTY: Democrat

HOME CITY: Huntington

HOME COUNTY: Cabell

AGE: 80

EDUCATION: BA in Language Arts MA Physical Education Administration

CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Retired

OTHER WORK HISTORY: Sheriff of Cabell County 8 years, Teacher-coach 13 Years, City Council 8 years, Mayor 1 year, Cabell County Commission 24 years.

CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: President Of Board, Tri-State Transit Authority, President of Board, Cabell County Community Services Organization, Member County Recycling Board, Elks 313, Moose Club, Veterans of the Marine Corp, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Current card carrying, dues paying, member of AFSCME Retirees chapter 7 & AFL-CIO.

FAMILY: daughters, Robin Bailey and Lisa Bailey.

PERSONAL STATEMENT:  l have 40 years experience in City & County Government, including many years of assisting old and new generations of citizens and government work together, with the new elected body and the Mayor, to move Huntington forward and make it even better.

1. What are your suggestions for the long-term financing of Huntington's government?

Clean up Huntington to attract more new businesses to locate here. Revamp the collection of all city fees and educate residents on the necessity and importance of them, for the growth of our city. Investigate and seek federal and state grants to help move this city forward, designated to help residents and businesses achieve their highest level of satisfaction.   

2. What are the most important problems in your district (or city for mayor and at-large council candidates)?

Most importantly is for Mayor and Council to work as a team to focus on finances, street & sidewalk repairs, garbage & little pickup, especially the alleys that need attention. Transparency to the public is important and welcoming feedback, to better serve taxpayers needs. 

3. Should the city bring back a curbside recycling program? If so, should it be funded with a levy vote or by expanding the county's program?

The city needs a volunteer curbside recycling program. Being a member of the county recycling board, I'm pushing hard for this to be done. I hope we can put it on a levy for a monthly fee of about $7.00. It will be on a volunteer basis and convenient to the hard working people of Huntington that want to recycle.

4. What more needs to be done to encourage new housing construction in the city?

As we rid our city of dilapidated houses, we need to show citizens our assets such as: Marshall University, excellent hospitals, outstanding police & fire departments, friendly business communities, churches of many denominations and great schools with up-to-date facilities. We want to make Huntington a city people want to settle and build their lives in.

5. How would you continue to fight the opioid epidemic? Do you support the harm reduction program?

I would continue to fight the opiod problem by education, enforcement, treatment, job training & Christian values. There are many pros and cons on Harm Reduction. The needle exchange programs needs to be upgraded in part for its benefits, such as reducing hepatitis, HIV & overdose deaths. I do support some parts of the harm reduction program for the sake of families.

6. What more could be done to help tear down dilapidated houses?

I think the Mayor and Council are doing a good job on demolition of dilapidated houses, but it's expensive to continue. A source of revenue will have to be found in the budget or contributions from the public and businesses. This is another area we need to seek out designated federal and state grants.

7. How will you address Huntington’s dwindling population?

Thank God for Marshall University which increases our population and team spirit. We need to show families how our city is a good place to live, raise and educate their children. We have great schools, churches, emergency responders, an art community containing the Huntington Museum of Art, Radio Museum & Railroad Museum, animal rescue groups and no kill shelters.

8. How will you continue to encourage the decrease in crime throughout the city?

We have a fine Sheriffs Department and a great Police Department in Huntington. We, as a council people, must give them the manpower and equipment to serve and protect the citizens and themselves. we must encourage good applicants to apply for the vacant positions and offer them good pay for putting their lives on the line to protect the citizens from criminal outlaws.

9. Do you think staffing levels for the city’s police and fire departments are adequate, too low or too high? If you think changes are needed, how would you accomplish those?

The staffing levels of the police and fire departments are far too low for Huntington, the second largest city in WV. We as a Council need to seek qualified applicants and offer incentives such as higher pay, good health insurance coverage and good retirement packages.

10. The state of WV government recently put all finances and purchases online for the public’s review. Do you support a similar thing happening in Huntington?

Transparency in government is a very important asset and a necessary one. The public wants to know that they have the right to know how their tax dollars and city fees are being spent. No government body can be successful if the exclude the public in their decision making process. If there is no transparence involved, citizens become distrustful of their city leaders.

NEW QUESTIONS FOR THE GENERAL ELECTION

11. How would you address the problem of loose trash and litter in your district?

I will work with the mayor and council about instituting a curbside recycling program, at a small cost, possibly paid for by grants, or a “levy” vote by the city. Two city workers in a truck can pick up all trash and debris, in designated zones, weekly. I plan to meet with Public Works department and neighborhood groups to help with this clean up plan.

12. Do you support rehabilitation housing in your district? Why or why not?

Yes I support rehab housing, in controlled situations, with qualified personnel in charge. Being a former teacher and coach, I believe educating children early, about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse, by just saying no to any drug. I believe in education, enforcement, rehab and Christian values.

13. What more could be done to encourage businesses to open in the city?

Regular cleaning of neighborhoods, tearing down dilapidated houses, give tax breaks to businesses, old and new, to encourage them to locate and stay here. Showcase Marshall University, local school system, parks and concert venues, animal parks and rescue organizations, non-profits, YMCA and fitness centers and our low crime rate due to our outstanding police and sheriff departments.

14. What more could be done to promote an inclusive environment as part of the city’s “Open to All” campaign?

I fully support the Open to All campaign, and the mayor working to include diversity in higher ranking positions. We will build stronger communities by recognizing and respecting individual differences in a city where everyone can thrive and all are welcome.

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