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NAME: Ted V. Kluemper Jr.
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.)
HOME CITY: Huntington
HOME COUNTY: Cabell
EDUCATION: attended Marshall University.
CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Retired/Consultant.
OTHER WORK HISTORY: Owned the Ted V. Kluemper. Owner and Director of TED V. Kluemper Insurance Agency insurance agency for fifty-three years of the eighty-five years.
CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: Rotary, Boy Scouts, Church.
FAMILY: Married thirty-five years, currently widowed; two sons and families, Teddy V. Kluemper III, (wife, Molly), David Kluemper (wife Tai); grandchildren, Sophie, Lucy, Vincent and Jack.
PERSONAL STATEMENT: Having served on City Council since September 2019, I have found challenges for Huntington represent opportunities to find creative solutions to problems, such as homelessness, opioid problems, and dilapidated housing. Also, I am passionate about attracting business. Diversity of ideas and cooperation will foster solutions. I want to help individuals in our community to find solutions to their problems. I have been privileged to serve on the finance and personnel committees. I am proud to see the beautification of downtown as well as the acquisition of ACF and Flint properties and the future building of a baseball stadium.
1. What are your suggestions for the long-term financing of Huntington's government?
I think that continuation of successful collection of city fees, sports attractions, and new business will help to provide for the long-term financing of Huntington’s government.
2. What are the most important problems in your district (or city for mayor and at-large council candidates)?
Dilapidated housing, generation of new business, opioid problems, leisure activities for all are the major concerns.
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?
Curbside recycling is a great idea; however, with the economic climate and the current taxes would be challenging.
4. What more needs to be done to encourage new housing construction in the city?
The more new business brought to the city, will equate to new housing. I also think we cannot forget about housing for the elderly.
5. How would you continue to fight the opioid epidemic? Do you support the harm reduction program?
The harm reduction program is a tool as if it is enforced according to the guidelines. As far as fighting the epidemic, education and recovery are essential.
6. What more could be done to help tear down dilapidated houses?
Although getting rid of dilapidated housing is never fast enough, we are moving along in that area thanks to private donations. It would be great if there were additional methods to encourage the owner to take the responsibility to repair or remove.
7. How will you address Huntington’s dwindling population?
I think we have made great strides in making the city safer. Downtown has become a destination with more businesses looking to locate here. We have worked to allow tax incentives for the establishment of new businesses. When you look at the hospitals, university, medical, pharmacy, physical therapy, and engineering schools, the HMOA the HSO, MAS all attract business.
8. How will you continue to encourage the decrease in crime throughout the city?
We can by simply continuing our support of the police department. For example, we recently voted to purchase new radios and replacement of vehicles annually. Huntington continues to be a model for the state because the police and fire pension contributions are up to date.
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?
The police and fire departments do a fantastic job; however, they are understaffed. There is room in the budget for 19 more police officers and 9 new firefighters.
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?
Transparency has been vitally important to this council. The more the public knows the better the system works. All council meetings are televised and open to the public. Everyone is encouraged to attend these meetings and express his/her opinion.