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NAME: Carl Eastham
CANDIDATE FOR: W.Va. House of Delegates District 24 (western-central Cabell County)
HOME CITY: Huntington
HOME COUNTY: Cabell
EDUCATION: Huntington High, Marshall University, Mountwest CTC, AAS Degree, New Mexico Tech, Certification with instructional permit.
CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Cabell County School Transportation.
OTHER WORK HISTORY: Retired City of Huntington Fire Dept (30 years including 4 as Fire Chief), WV Attorney General’s Office (Consumer Advocate).
CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: WV Fire Commissioner, Huntington Planning Commission, Elks, Moose, American Legion (SOL), Former Huntington Municipal Development Authority.
ENDORSEMENTS: WV Can’t Wait, WV AFL-CIO, Southwestern District Labor Council, Professional Fire Fighters of WV, Huntington Professional Fire Fighters Assoc., International Union of Operating Engineers Local 132.
FAMILY: wife, Linda (Tinker) Eastham; sons, Carl (Ben) Eastham, Jason Eastham; grandchildren, Kaleb, Madalyn, Braxton, Jaxon, Adalyn Eastham, Avery Stewart.
PERSONAL STATEMENT: A lifelong resident of Huntington Served 26 years as a Huntington firefighter rising to rank of Captain, retired to work for the WV Attorney General as a Consumer Advocate. At the request of Mayor Williams returned to service as Fire Chief, retiring after 4 additional years as Fire Chief. In 2019, began driving a school bus for Cabell County Schools. "I have the skills, ability, and integrity to be your next delegate in the new 24th House District." Together we can make a difference!
1. Do you agree with the Legislature's recent action to allow nuclear power plants in West Virginia, and why or why not?
Yes, great strides have happened in the nuclear power safety. With plant reactors being smaller and more sophisticated helps to make this a safer energy source. This will also provide quality high paying job in the construction, operation, care, and maintenance of these plants.
2. What is your stance on the full legalization of recreational cannabis?
I favor legalization of recreational cannabis with strict regulations to help keep out of the hands of those less than 21. Grown in West Virginia and sold by West Virginia companies. Taxed and regulated similar to alcohol and tobacco. This new revenue could be used to help reduce other taxes.
3. What should be done to diversify the state's economy and prevent population loss?
Rebuilding the infrastructure, build new roads to connect West Virginia cities to each other. Make reliable high-speed internet available everywhere in the state. By doing this we can attract the quality jobs necessary to keep and entice people to stay and to move here.
4. The state’s foster care system struggles to care for the thousands of children who are now in it. What further action do you think might be necessary?
We can see that privatizing our foster care was a mistake. We need to learn and work to adjust the laws, not weaken, adjust the laws to make it easier for someone to adopt or become a foster care provider. Entice people to foster, not overwhelm with paperwork. Also make oversight a priority keeping these children in safe environments.
5. How can West Virginia attract and keep qualified educators?
Pay, when you can go a few miles and get 10 or 15 thousand dollar raise, there is no incentive to stay. Get the legislature out of telling teachers what to teach. Local boards can work with teachers giving them say in what they teach or how they teach. This will also give teachers a voice.
6. Do you support amending state law to provide anti-discrimination protections for West Virginia's LGBTQ community?
Absolutely, no one should ever be singled out because of their race, religion, sex, special need, sexual preference, or how they identify themselves etc... Discrimination is discrimination no matter what the issues. We need to protect a person’s right to choose their path in life free of discrimination.
7. How would you describe efforts so far to add more support staff in the state’s schools to help children in troubled homes?
The current system of students to faculty ratio is outdated and needs revised if not completely done away with. Hinders retention of quality educators due to annual layoff notices. Currently schools must share everything from nurses, counselors, assistant principals, and other support staff. Use specialized schools like Crossroads Academy for troubled students.
8. What can the state government do to improve workforce development in West Virginia?
Through rebuilding of our infrastructure, we can entice industries to come and build their plants and provide quality jobs. When students want to go to vocational schools, we need to make these classes free or as low cost as possible. Partner with business and unions to develop streamlined training to get them into on job training as quick as possible.
9. West Virginia has been especially hard hit by the opioid abuse epidemic. What do you see as the role of the legislature in addressing this crisis?
Make the drug courts a separate and qualified court system, this will allow for closer scrutiny of clients and help with their recovery. Work with faith based and non-faith based centers to provide long term recovery in order for those addicted to get clean and stay clean.
10. Who is more qualified to handle education policy issues, legislators or county board of education members?
State and local boards are not perfect, but they do keep policies relevant to education not politics. Get the legislature out of telling teachers what and how to teach. Local boards can work with teachers, giving them say in what they teach and how they teach. The State School Board was designed to keep politics out of the school system