HD Media is running submitted questionnaires from candidates in the 2020 elections.
Read more responses from candidates by clicking on the links at right.
We are working with all candidates in contested races to get their questionnaires included on our website. If a candidate is having trouble sending in a questionnaire, please click on an existing profile in your race. Send the same information, your numbered answers and your photo in an email to acopley@HDMediaLLC.com.
NAME: Tyler Bowen
CANDIDATE FOR: Huntington City Council District 1 (includes Westmoreland and a small portion of West Huntington from West 29th to 17th streets)
CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: www.ElectTylerBowen.com
HOME CITY: Huntington
HOME COUNTY: Wayne
EDUCATION: BS in Dietetics
CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Residential dining manager, Sodexo, Marshall University
OTHER WORK HISTORY: Guyan Golf and Country Club
CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: Vinson Little League Board of Directors
FAMILY: wife, Alesha; four children ages 2-10.
PERSONAL STATEMENT: I'm running for Huntington City Council to make our neighborhood a priority. We have taken a back seat to other parts of the city for too long. We must act now to make our part of the city a safe and thriving place to raise a family once again. I look forward to working with you, getting your input and being your voice on city council.
1. What are your suggestions for the long-term financing of Huntington's government?
I think the most important factors to consider with financing Huntington are increasing the amount of new businesses in Huntington, creativity in sourcing funds, and maintaining integrity and transparency in handling city funds. Increasing the efficiency of any business will help to decrease the costs of doing business, city finances should be expected to be maintained efficiently and effectively.
2. What are the most important problems in your district (or city for mayor and at-large council candidates)?
Safety and security remain at the forefront of the concerns of District 1. Crime, drug-use, and prostitution are problematic concerns and are spreading, families shouldn’t fear for their safety. The grocery store that once stood as a cornerstone of District 1, now sits empty and boarded up. We need small business exposure and expansion to revitalize the district.
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 believe that there needs to be exploration into alternative means of traditional recycling programs to conserve resources and protect our beautiful city and state. With the decrease in recyclables being purchased, many cities are seeing recycling as more burden than benefit. There’s plenty of work to do in this city without raising residential taxes.
4. What more needs to be done to encourage new housing construction in the city?
Increasing the availability of employment offering living wages as well as increasing the perception of safety in Huntington will go a long way to encourage new housing. There are plenty of great homes here begging to be restored, and others to be demolished. However, without a population excited to live here, the “new” housing construction will be troubled to flourish.
5. How would you continue to fight the opioid epidemic? Do you support the harm reduction program?
I think the most effective means of fighting the opioid epidemic is to dry up the demand. I support systems to help recovering addicts, but I do not support the current needle “exchange” program as-is. I don’t believe we should ever stop looking for a “better” solution, with the goal of providing a hand-up rather than a hand-out.
6. What more could be done to help tear down dilapidated houses?
I think there with the current pandemic and economic struggles being faced, Huntington should investigate using volunteers, vocational students, or training tradespeople to deconstruct houses prior to demolition. In many cases, some materials from these houses would still be salvageable for donation or use elsewhere in the city. The house may be dilapidated, but shouldn’t we reuse anything we can?
7. How will you address Huntington’s dwindling population?
By working toward business and community program growth. Without growth and encouraging outlooks for the future, there is little left to entice citizens to want to raise their families here. Parents want to know that they are providing opportunities for a better future for their children, if they don’t find that here, they will leave.
8. How will you continue to encourage the decrease in crime throughout the city?
Huntington’s Police Department needs to be funded and staffed with the best possible standards. A strong showing of order, paired with community involvement through organizations devoted to the safety of their neighborhoods, are proven means of discouraging crime. Increasing the pride felt by residents for their community will strengthen bonds from within the community and set precedence for peaceful communities.
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?
Too low. It’s not uncommon to hear fire stations aren’t operating. It’s been common knowledge for years that HPD is not staffed to budgeted figures. Huntington’s on the right track with the first responder’s wellness center, providing services for those putting it all on the line for us, but it’s just a drop in the bucket to what they deserve.
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?
Absolutely. Transparency is key to providing residents with an understanding that the city government is leading with integrity and purpose. Codes and ordinances should be enforced, and finances should be easily reviewed by the citizens of Huntington. Elected city officials work for the residents after all, residents should be afforded the ability to easily review how their money was handled.
11. How would you address the problem of loose trash and litter in your district?
I believe that work details should be coordinated to assist with the cleanup, as well as enforcing codes and ordinances in place regarding property. Understanding that there are those with outstanding balances of their refuse bill, perhaps a quid-pro-quo arrangement can be made to help with the arrears of some accounts for community service hours in this regard.
12. Do you support rehabilitation housing in your district? Why or why not?
I support helping our neighbors, by offering a hand-up not a hand-out. I believe that rehabilitation facilities need to be properly zoned, regulated, and have standards enforced according to the ADA, with respect given to the wishes of the community members.
13. What more could be done to encourage businesses to open in the city?
Improving connectivity and access to the digital world is a must to encourage business growth in Huntington. Marketing of the local educational and trade institutions ability to provide staff should also be encouraged when enticing business to develop here.
14. What more could be done to promote an inclusive environment as part of the city’s “Open to All” campaign?
I think the Open to All campaign has done a wonderful job in demonstrating inclusiveness, and acceptance, and I encourage businesses to continue implementing diversity and inclusiveness education for their staff to increase understanding. Huntington should serve as a beacon of understanding and promotion of community involvement. Residents celebrate their differences and stick together especially when times are hard.