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: Andy Battista
CANDIDATE FOR: Huntington Mayor
CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: Facebook: Andy Battista
HOME CITY: Huntington
HOME COUNTY: Wayne
EDUCATION: St. Joe and Vinson High-1965 and Associate Degree at Mountwest-2015.
CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Retired
OTHER WORK HISTORY: Chapman Printing, SW Community Action, General Building Supply.
CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: Life member: VFW 1064, DAV Chapter 2, Military Order of Purple Heart, Vietnam Veterans of America, and member of Elks Lodge 313, American Legion Post 93.
FAMILY: children, Shelly, Tina, Adrianna and Andrew II; grandsons, Logan and Ashton; great-granddaughter, Leigha Jade.
PERSONAL STATEMENT: I graduated high school 1965. Took my Senior trip to Vietnam. After my Army service, 1968, I returned home and went to work in the printing industry and finally retired September 2019. I'm ready to go back to work as Mayor of Huntington. I do not like the way things are in our city. I have some plans that I believe will benefit all of Huntington. Huntington has always been good to me and this is one sure way I can repay. We need a Mayor that will be in his office and also answer emails from the citizens.
1. What are your suggestions for the long-term financing of Huntington's government?
Huntington needs to be on stable ground first before any long-term financing can be worked out. To many Fees. I know all fees can't be eliminated but they can be restructured to help all citizens.
2. What are the most important problems in your district (or city for mayor and at-large council candidates)?
Home break-ins and theft are all over the city. Drugs are playing a big part that. We need to get all the homeless off the streets and possible purchase one of the many empty buildings and convert it into a type of rehabilitation facility. No grocery carts allowed on city sidewalks. That is also against the law.
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?
Absolutely not. It was a when Huntington had it before and it will be again. We could put dumpsters in designated areas and label them similar to what Walmart had for awhile. I believe the city could handle the cost if and when we can get a grip on where the money is going.
4. What more needs to be done to encourage new housing construction in the city?
One possible way is to eliminate property taxes for the first 5 years on new construction and anyone moving to the city from another state purchasing a home for sale.
5. How would you continue to fight the opioid epidemic? Do you support the harm reduction program?
The needle exchange program needs to be eliminated NOW. Its illegal and against the law. I personally can't believe this program even exists. Revive a person with Narcan and then drive away is no answer. They need to be arrested. The city could purchase one of the many empty building and use as a holding cell until a fine is paid.
6. What more could be done to help tear down dilapidated houses?
The owner has thirty days to make plans to tear down or remodel. If no reply, tear down and bill the owner or attach the bill to property. I think the city is putting leans on property now, at least for fees not paid, but I know of one that sold and the fees were not collected. I wonder who is in charge of that?
7. How will you address Huntington’s dwindling population?
When citizens move out there is less fees to collect and so the city raises the fees of the ones that are still here. Makes no sense at all. The city needs to find a way to collect all normal fees from ALL citizens instead of threatening people by putting a lean on their property.
8. How will you continue to encourage the decrease in crime throughout the city?
The police department needs an upgrade. I would like to see at least 100 or more officers on duty. I would work on incentives that would be hard to turn down for a chance to be a Huntington police officer; possibly a junior police crew. Like a minor league to see if a recruit would like to make a career of being on the force.
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?
Not until you have a complete police and fire department could you evaluate the staffing level. My personal thoughts are that there are to many staffing levels, at the present time, in all of city hall.
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?
This is an easy one. Definitely! This would be a sure way to just see where the money is going. I would also like to see an audit on city hall and every ones favorite, the Sanitary Board.