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NAME: Steven A. Buyers

CANDIDATE FOR: Huntington City Council At-Large, elected by all Huntington voters.

PARTY: Democrat

HOME CITY: Huntington


AGE: 55

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Master’s Degree in Health Promotion Management, Certified Health Education Specialist CHES.

CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Senior Vice President, American Institute for Preventive Medicine.

CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: Highlawn Neighbors Association; Formerly Vice President, Board of Directors for the Wellness Council of West Virginia.

FAMILY: Wife, Melanie Buyers; stepdaughters, Carrie Watts and Kayla Watts.

PERSONAL STATEMENT: I am running for the Huntington City Council because I love the City of Huntington. My wife and I have lived in Huntington for 9 years. I would like to be on City Council because I would like to help develop Huntington to become a more prosperous and safer place to live for all of the city’s residents and businesses.

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

I suggest that the City of Huntington use financial forecasting and strategies to project revenues and expenditures in order to be flexible for economic conditions and unforeseen circumstances. One strategy to increase revenue for the city would be accomplished by attracting new businesses and homeowners into the city.

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

I feel that crime, drug addiction, affordable housing, and issues with the city’s infrastructure (roads, flooding, street lights, etc.) are the most important problems that need to be addressed.

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?

Yes, the city should bring back a curbside recycling program by expanding the county’s program.

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

I do not think that new housing is the only answer. Due to the decreased population, there is a surplus of existing housing in the city for new residents. However, I would welcome new housing by making Huntington more attractive to additional residents.

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

I would continue to fight the opioid epidemic by making sure police and fire are adequately funded. I do support the harm reduction program, but I do not support passing out free needles to addicts. I think money would be better spent on opioid addiction education and rehabilitation.

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

If the city could allocate more of its budget to tearing down dilapidated houses, we could tear down more houses faster. If there is any way to streamline the process that would help as well. If there is grant money available for this endeavor, then it should be pursued.

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

I will try to help eliminate the reasons why people are leaving Huntington. I feel the population is leaving Huntington because of crime, the drug problem and the lack of good paying jobs. As Huntington becomes a more attractive and safer place to live, businesses and homeowners would be encouraged to relocate to the city.

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

I will continue to support the Huntington Police Department by making sure they have the budget to continue to combat crime and make sure that they are fully staffed. I will also encourage residents to become more active in their neighborhood organizations and neighborhood watch groups.

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?

I think that the fire department is adequately staffed and I would also like to see more police officers on the street. If staffing levels do become too low, I would support allocating more money for the police and fire departments.

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?

I do support this because I believe that transparency in government is very important to gain the support and trust of the city’s residents.

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