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NAME: Ally Layman
CANDIDATE FOR: Huntington City Council District 9 (includes Guyandotte, Altizer and a small portion of Highlawn between 28th and 31st streets; also includes the Arlington Park subdivision in the Beverly Hills area.)
CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: www.allyforhuntington.com
HOME CITY: Huntington
HOME COUNTY: Cabell
EDUCATION: Allied Health Degree
CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: General Manager at Taps at Heritage
OTHER WORK HISTORY: Front of the House Manger/Bartender/Server at Backyard Pizza and Raw Bar, Peddler, and The Wedge
CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: Commissioner on the HHRC, The Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Committee, The Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Founding member and President of Huntington Pride
FAMILY: wife, Cheyenne Packer; mother, Judy Layman; father, Corky Layman.
PERSONAL STATEMENT: Growing up in the east end of Huntington was one of the best times of my life. The sense of community one gets growing up in Huntington is beyond compare. I would love the opportunity to continue to serve our community as your district 9 city council representative. If elected I will listen to the community, I will represent everyone with positivity, and I will bring revitalization back to my district. I am an ally for Huntington.
1. What are your suggestions for the long-term financing of Huntington's government?
Being in management and working with a non-profit I will bring a unique perspective, being as frugal as possible. In light of COVID-19 and the effect it has had on our community, supporting our residents and local businesses should be of utmost importance. I also support exploring other funding opportunities for district 9 to fulfill our community’s needs.
2. What are the most important problems in your district (or city for mayor and at-large council candidates)?
Small business development, addressing the dilapidated houses in this area, and maintaining safety in our community are just a few points that I would like to work on. I will seek to give my constituents in district 9 a voice and make myself available to hear any issues and work on improving these problems together.
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, I do think that the city should bring back curbside recycling. I think it should be done in a way that is least burdensome to our community.
4. What more needs to be done to encourage new housing construction in the city?
One thing that I am most passionate about is giving people a reason to stay in Huntington and raise their family. I think that through community development, continued removal of dilapidated houses, and community clean-ups we can continue to improve our district in a way that will foster new construction.
5. How would you continue to fight the opioid epidemic? Do you support the harm reduction program?
One of the things about being in ground zero of the epidemic is that we have some experienced and informed experts to help us. I think we can reach a balance between supporting people suffering from substance use disorder through treatment and public safety in our district. Yes, I do support the harm reduction program.
6. What more could be done to help tear down dilapidated houses?
Last year, the city removed more than 100 dilapidated houses. I think, to keep this effort going, our next step would be cleaning up the vacant lots and marketing them for new housing developments. I also think holding property owners responsible for codes and ordinances set by the city will help with this effort.
7. How will you address Huntington’s dwindling population?
As someone who has lived in this district almost my entire life, we need a revitalization of this area. We need to keep the historical value of this district, while bringing back art, opening small businesses, farmers markets and creating a family environment to all members of the community.
8. How will you continue to encourage the decrease in crime throughout the city?
Keeping all citizens safe is a priority. A great start would be by filling positions that are currently available with HPD and getting more patrolling throughout the community. I would also like to bring neighborhood watch programs to areas that do not have them.
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 would love to see an increase in both departments. We are budgeted for more personnel than they currently have and we need to fill the positions that are available. This is an exciting opportunity to grow and to bring new, young people to each department and into careers where they will stay here in Huntington.
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?
Yes, I support full transparency.
11. How would you address the problem of loose trash and litter in your district?
I am a big believer in teamwork makes the dream work. I would like to organize a “Love Your District” clean up in all sections of district 9. Keeping the area clean, and helping revitalize the district are very important to me.
12. Do you support rehabilitation housing in your district? Why or why not?
I am supportive of people getting all the assistance they need for recovery. I also think we need to see ordinances and zoning set in place to ensure these facilities are operating properly.
13. What more could be done to encourage businesses to open in the city?
Out of the box ideas such as Co-Works, The Market, and Heritage Station that all provide affordable rental spaces, shared expenses, office space, and food options, with reliable high-speed internet would attract a younger generation of entrepreneurs.
14. What more could be done to promote an inclusive environment as part of the city’s “Open to All” campaign?
As a member of the diversity and inclusion committee, the steps that have been taken for a more inclusive environment have been very well received. I personally know people who have chosen Huntington for their home because of these efforts. I would like to see more businesses continue to educate and inform the community on what “OTA” is all about.