West Virginians need to take action at the ballot box - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

West Virginians need to take action at the ballot box

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  • Transition team must act with urgency

    Transition team must act with urgency

    Friday, December 16 2016 6:00 AM EST2016-12-16 11:00:16 GMT

    Governor-elect Jim Justice’s policy committees seem to be made up of some of the state’s best minds. Dr. Clay Marsh with West Virginia University Hospitals; Bill Ihlenfeld, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District; Richard Adams of United Bank; Dave Arnold with Adventures on the Gorge; a host of other intelligent, qualified, inventive people who understand the challenges our state faces. 

    Governor-elect Jim Justice’s policy committees seem to be made up of some of the state’s best minds. Dr. Clay Marsh with West Virginia University Hospitals; Bill Ihlenfeld, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District; Richard Adams of United Bank; Dave Arnold with Adventures on the Gorge; a host of other intelligent, qualified, inventive people who understand the challenges our state faces. 

  • Chief of staff brings needed experience to the Justice team

    Chief of staff brings needed experience to the Justice team

    Friday, December 9 2016 6:00 AM EST2016-12-09 11:00:15 GMT

    This week, Governor-elect Jim Justice announced that Nick Casey, a long-time lobbyist, former congressional candidate, former state Democratic Party chairman and a fixture in West Virginia’s political scene, will serve as the Justice administration’s chief of staff.

    This week, Governor-elect Jim Justice announced that Nick Casey, a long-time lobbyist, former congressional candidate, former state Democratic Party chairman and a fixture in West Virginia’s political scene, will serve as the Justice administration’s chief of staff.

  • Opportunity makes WV workers happy

    Opportunity makes WV workers happy

    Friday, December 2 2016 6:00 AM EST2016-12-02 11:00:19 GMT

    As you’ll read in “The Buzz” in this week’s edition, Sokanu, a company that bills itself as “a career discovery platform,” recently released a study that indicated the happiest workers live in Hawaii. Working on a tropical island that boasts breathtaking natural beauty, stunning beaches and awe-inspiring mountain vistas should not come as a surprise. 

    As you’ll read in “The Buzz” in this week’s edition, Sokanu, a company that bills itself as “a career discovery platform,” recently released a study that indicated the happiest workers live in Hawaii. Working on a tropical island that boasts breathtaking natural beauty, stunning beaches and awe-inspiring mountain vistas should not come as a surprise. 

West Virginia is, once again, out of step with the rest of the nation. As usual, we seem to be maintaining our nearly unshakable perch high atop the bad lists and staying firmly rooted at or near the bottom of all the good lists.

This time the subject matter is what’s commonly known as food stamps.

More and more state residents are receiving aid through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This is in direct contrast to what’s happening across the nation.

It seems like every week we fill this page with sad tales of how this state is being swallowed up by poverty. The economy remains stagnant, our bedrock industries have fallen on hard times and now that tax revenues from gambling are drying up, our lawmakers are being forced to deal with red ink for the first time in years.

Again, we ask what has to happen for our elected leaders to wake up and do something? What else has to go wrong? More and more of us are having trouble feeding ourselves; yet when the lawmakers come to Charleston, the House of Delegates and West Virginia Senate develop new, creative ways to waste time and resources. Like Nero, they fiddle while Rome burns.

We can no longer afford the status quo. As the next election season draws near, we urge voters to look beyond incumbency or party affiliation. Select the candidate who has new ideas and a willingness to work for something other than special interests. This state does not have to crumble. We have so much going for us — not the least of which is a natural gas play that could, if done right and with the proper leadership in place, transform the state in amazing ways. But nothing is going to happen until we say “enough is enough” and make our voices heard at the ballot box.

If we do not step up and pick candidates who are actually going to fight for what’s right, then we shoulder some of the blame. We need men and women who welcome sustainable, lasting investment and do all they can to keep it and who put fairness above all else in our courts and prepare our young people for life in the 21st Century. Nothing will happen overnight, but a future where our kids and grandkids can actually make a life in this state is a possibility. To make that happen, we need people who see beyond federal aid and dependency — we need people determined to work for a better West Virginia.


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