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NAME: Tia "Fix" Rumbaugh
CANDIDATE FOR: Huntington City Council District 3 (Downtown Huntington from 1st Street to 18th Street between the Ohio River and 8th Avenue.)
CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: http://www.tiafix.com
HOME CITY: Huntington
HOME COUNTY: Cabell
EDUCATION: Ceredo-Kenova HS 1996, New York University Bachelors of Science in Communications 2000.
CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Owner, So Social LLC - Montessori & RIE Daycare Facility.
OTHER WORK HISTORY: Highlands Museum, Ashland KY; Recovery Point, Huntington, WV; Eton International, Beijing, China; THINK Partnership, Newark, NJ; Adspyre LTD, New York City, NY.
CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: Junior League, Women's Caucus, Success By Six United Way, Stoop Group.
FAMILY: children, Emmaleah Rumbaugh (age 8) and James Stump (age 6).
PERSONAL STATEMENT: I'm focused on helping others. Our neighbors. Our children. Our town. I have a wealth of experience from growing up here, working around the world, and returning to our city to build something great for my family and yours. I've done it with grit, aligning the pieces of happenstance to an optimistic outcome. I'm a problem solver who leans in to the Golden Rule and applies it to everyday situations. I want to help create a safe and more family friendly downtown Huntington for our residents, students, and businesses to enjoy, grow, and prosper. I'm here for you.
1. What are your suggestions for the long-term financing of Huntington's government?
Different taxation, modeled after growing successful municipalities. Lower the user fee, replace with revenue generation concepts, like parking meters which can be free on specific days, but raised during events with high tourism. Establish a "think tank" in collaboration with Marshall to assist with grant research for long term investment into our private and public infrastructure. Lots of options, honestly.
2. What are the most important problems in your district (or city for mayor and at-large council candidates)?
Unemployment. Health. Quality of life. What do we do after our world view has so drastically changed to keep a decent standard of living, instill hope, purpose, meaning into our daily lives in Huntington? Look towards our children, our parents - what can we do to support them to success? What actions can we take that have direct, quick, positive impact?
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! If we look at Marshall University's Sustainability Program, we'll see it's funded by grants to build an infrastructure capable of recycling food waste into compost, which can then be sold and utilized within our region. We can do the same with household recycling through grant writing. Collaboration with Marshall's program will lead to revenue generation and positive environmental impact.
4. What more needs to be done to encourage new housing construction in the city?
Construction resource providers can be centralized at a city level, including ordinance passage regarding new build requirements for downtown. Taxation and permits can be adjusted to meet needs of investors who adhere to a city-wide vision of progress, like the 2020 City Plan. Marketing of our properties on a national and international scale will lead to greater investment.
5. How would you continue to fight the opioid epidemic? Do you support the harm reduction program?
Beautiful green spaces give programs like First Steps and The City Mission a location for our most vulnerable residents to await services, instead of being forced to sit on sidewalks and alleys or roam the streets where they're targets of exploitation. I support programs that meet their mission, and the needle exchange works to reduce the spread of disease.
6. What more could be done to help tear down dilapidated houses?
Greenlighting collaboration between non profits, like Coalfield Development, which remove valuable materials from structures prior to demolition, to help the city and residents make an informed choice to demolish vs remain derelict, is an idea. Code enforcement, adjusting taxation, penalties when convicted of certain crimes, and amnesty for fiscal debts to the city could expedite designating dilapidated structures for demolition.
7. How will you address Huntington’s dwindling population?
Jobs, housing, variety of indoor/outdoor entertainment, festivals, and excellent, varied, education options are the deciding factors of where one settles and plants roots. I've travelled the world, returning once in 2005, when things were just picking up downtown, and then again in 2010, and that's when the magic of our community really spoke to me. Let's keep it going.
8. How will you continue to encourage the decrease in crime throughout the city?
One of the great thing about Huntington is that we do what we say we're going to do. Obesity capital of the country? We fixed that. Opioid capital of the country? We're a national example of improvement. Crime? We're going to be the safest city in America. We'll be 3 for 3 with increased training, staffing, and community outreach.
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 don't think we can have too many of either, ensuring higher quality performance with decreased work loads, is a win for the community. Decriminalizing minor offenses, complimentary alarm distribution, are ways to lower work loads and increase job efficacy. Grants for these programs need to be utilized, so we can best support those who support all of us.
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?
Sure thing. Corruption and greed are ever present, everywhere, and tools to stay vigilant against it are important. Granted, whoever is inputting the data, needs to be free of corruption themselves. Accidents and mistakes happen, and having checks and balances is a part of the American process. We're all in this together. So together, we can all succeed.