HD Media is running submitted questionnaires from candidates in the 2020 elections.
Read more responses from candidates by clicking on the links at right. Candidates who have not received a questionnaire can send an email to acopley@HDMediaLLC.com with their name, candidacy and phone number.
NAME: Brian Asbury
CANDIDATE FOR: Huntington City Council District 9 (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: electbrianasbury.com
HOME CITY: Huntington
HOME COUNTY: Cabell
EDUCATION: Barboursville High School, Marshall University, Harley Davidson University.
CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Sales and Warranty Administrator
OTHER WORK HISTORY: Harley Davidson Motor Company
CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: YMCA
ENDORSEMENTS: Brent Casey Iraq Veteran/President of Valor Coins; WWII Veteran Woody Williams; Senator Mark Maynard; Greg George Founder of Franchise Genies / Co-Founder @ Empire Franchise Group.
FAMILY: wife, Mary Fels Asbury; daughter, Melinda Turley; son, Joseph Kwiatkowski; grandson, Gavin Kwiatkowski.
PERSONAL STATEMENT: I’ve been a Huntington resident my entire life. I come from humble beginnings and hard work is in my genes. A son to my mother who worked 3 jobs and my father who worked hard everyday to provide for our family . Employed since I was 16 years old, I’m a working man who is ready to work hard for you!
1. What are your suggestions for the long-term financing of Huntington's government?
On Day One, I will request a forensic audit of the accounts within the city budget. Develop a comprehensive financial plan for the city with the input of all stakeholders within our community. I’ll network with cities throughout the state to see what works and what doesn’t. Too many reinvent the wheel. I’ll prioritize funding to meet the people’s needs.
2. What are the most important problems in your district (or city for mayor and at-large council candidates)?
Huntington faces numerous problems, but the top issues of concern in my district are: (1) Crime (2) Drugs (3) Homelessness (4) Street Repair 5) Lack of business opportunities and jobs. I am a problem solver and believe there is a solution to every problem when you have elected officials who care. I will work tirelessly to solve these problems!
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?
Currently the county has financially supported the recycling program for the county which includes city residents. There are bigger problems the city needs to address and fund before bringing this program back. We can have this discussion once police and fire departments are fully funded and staffed, when the residents feel safe, and our roads are patched and paved
4. What more needs to be done to encourage new housing construction in the city?
Too many in the construction trade tell me they prefer to build outside of the city limits. Over-regulation and a difficult & slow permitting and inspection process makes it hard to provide affordable housing opportunities within the city. I believe we need a more reasonable & streamlined process and address dilapidated houses to protect the property values of others.
5. How would you continue to fight the opioid epidemic? Do you support the harm reduction program?
First off, it’s not just an opioid epidemic, it’s a drug epidemic of a mass nature that includes opioids. I’m a true believer in faith based recovery and needs to be long term. With the city’s opioid lawsuit pending, we need city council leaders who won’t squander settlement money! I don’t believe in enabling the addict Re: (needle exchange program)
6. What more could be done to help tear down dilapidated houses?
I believe the City should set up a department to do this themselves and not sub contract it. It would create jobs and reduce overhead. The city needs to combine efforts with state leaders. I’ve read of Senator Swope’s ideas on addressing dilapidated housing statewide. Also, enlist companies to underwrite the demolition of a house for reduced city taxes or fees.
7. How will you address Huntington’s dwindling population?
People live where they can work and raise a family in a safe and inviting environment. Staff the police and fire departments adequately to accomplish this. This will also encourage new businesses. I will think outside of the box and work to increase family-friendly activities & events to give people a reason to stay here.
8. How will you continue to encourage the decrease in crime throughout the city?
Identify the high level crime areas and put our resources where most needed. Staff the police department adequately and put an officer in every district within the city. Address homelessness and the vagrancy associated with a portion of this population. Work with federal prosecutor to eradicate the drug dealers. We have to do better as a city.
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?
Police and Fire departments are severely underfunded and under staffed. If elected, this will be one of the very first things I change. Public safety should be a highest priority of government. I’ll ensure the city is aggressively recruiting officers & working on a contract to get them to stay. Officers are being hired in other WV cities and counties.
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 would fully support this and partner with our state auditor to open the city books online to the people. I would sponsor an ordinance putting the city’s finances on wvcheckbook.gov. The people have the right to know where and how their tax dollars are being spent. I will be a good watchdog of the people’s money!