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NAME: Joyce Clark

CANDIDATE FOR: Huntington City Council District 1 (includes Westmoreland and a small portion of West Huntington from West 29th to 17th streets)

PARTY: Democrat

HOME CITY: Huntington

HOME COUNTY: Wayne

AGE: 70

EDUCATION: Glenville State College, Indiana University School of Non Profit Managment, Brushy Fork Institute of Community Development at Berea College.

CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Huntington City Council.

OTHER WORK HISTORY: Small business owner; Personnel Director, Wayne County Community Service Organization; Executive Director, Wayne County Habitat for Humanity; Independent Non-profit Consultant.

CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: Past President, Westmoreland Neighborhood Association; Past President Westmoreland Woman’s Club; Wayne County Economic Development Authority; Huntington Housing Authority Commissioner; Housing Development Corporation; Cochair, Recovered Solutions of Huntington.

FAMILY: Married to Wes Clark for 49 years. Sons, Jason and Brandon; grandson, Brodie; mother, Freeda Crockett.

PERSONAL STATEMENT: Serving on Huntington City Council since 2012, I have seen many challenges. Budget issues, police and firefighters pension projections, rising insurance premiums, dilapidated buildings, homelessness, property crime and of course the opioid crisis present many challenges for this administration. Effective leaders not only acknowledge challenges, but work in collaboration with others on the leadership team to bring innovative solutions to the issues. My experience on City Council, committees and other community development boards and commissions in Huntington and Wayne County proves a history of community engagement and public service.

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

Faced with a financial crisis 2 years ago when pension projections and insurance costs took a dramatic increase, this administration put in place changes which will benefit long term. These changes as well as continued aggressive efforts to collect fees and taxes owed the city will be vital long term.

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

While crime is low in Westmoreland, nuisance violations and compliance issues seem to be the most important. The fire station is need of replacement.

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?

I would definitely like to see curb side recycling. In order to finance it, a levy should be considered. Working collaboratively with Cabell and Wayne Counties Solid Waste Authorities would be vital.

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

Huntington needs new, affordable single family homes as well as multi-family Housing. There are few sites on which to construct new homes. The land bank is a great resource for developers.

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

The opioid epidemic is a result of hopelessness. We must encourage programs such as Recovered Solutions which provides job training and personal development to recovering addicts. I do support the harm reduction program, especially the rapid response team.

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

While funds from the annual CDBG budget have Ben allocated, private and corporate donors have stepped up to fund more demolition. We must continue to form these relationships and encourage more.

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

While Huntington has an aging population, we also have many young families and young professionals. We must continue to promote the quality of life that residents experience. We must encourage resent graduates of Marshall and Mount West to stay in Huntington and share their expertise and skills. Collaboration with local industry, housing developers, realtors, school boards, park district and churches.

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

Continuing support of the police department and neighborhood watch groups is the best way to discourage crime.

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?

Our staffing of police and fire fighters is not what we need it to be. That being said, the proposed budget allows for increases in both departments. There has been a lack of acceptable applicants for the police department. This is a national trend and aggressive recruiting has been implemented.

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 am in favor of all financial statements and purchases being on line. I feel that financial transparency is a must for all municipalities. As chair of the Administration and Finance Committee, I request a monthly reports be provide to council members for their review.

NEW QUESTIONS FOR THE GENERAL ELECTION

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

Our refuse department is perhaps the most efficient department in the city. Partnering with the compliance department, the trash collectors, as they run their routes, could note the location of loose trash and litter and report to the compliance department, who intern visits the location and issues a citation to the property occupant.

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

I do not support rehabilitation housing in Westmoreland. Our community is made up of mostly single family homes. The residents are primarily senior citizens and young families. Rehabilitation housing should be near conveniences as most residents of rehabilitation housing do not have vehicles or driver's licenses and need close by conveniences.

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

The current administration and council have recognized the need to assist those wanting to open a business within the city. Our finance department works with these individuals to make the process less daunting. Business and Occupation taxes have been reduced by this administration. During the Covid pandemic, many fees have been waived for retail and food merchants.

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

Continue to promote the Open to All campaign by recognizing the businesses that participate at council meetings and in the press.

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