Linda K. Barth and Matt Bland are both seeking the First Ward's seat on New Martinsville Council. While Bland did not respond to our questionnaire, following is Barth's response.
Barth and her husband, Bill, have lived in Ward 1 for over 26 years. They are the proud parents of three daughters: Holly Barth of New Martinsville, Laura Haught Rodgers of Algoquin, Ill., and Valerie Haught Belcher of Great Mills, Md. They also have six grandchildren.
She is the daughter of the late Jack Davis of Pine Grove and the late Iva Lou Davis of New Martinsville. Barth is a native of Wetzel County, having graduated from West Virginia Career College in Morgantown, W.Va., and Valley High School. She is a member of the First Christian Church in New Martinsville. She was active in the New Martinsville Girls Softball League and Brownie Troops.
She has worked for Wetzel County Schools as a teacher aide, school secretary, and administrative secretary/coordinator at the central office. Barth has broad experience with finance, budgets, and working with the public. After 34 years of employment, she will retire from Wetzel County Schools on June 30.
"I would like to be a part of positive change for the City of New Martinsville. I am very excited about working for my neighbors in Ward 1, and ask for their support in the upcoming election," said Barth.
What would you do with a $10,000 gift to the city if it was completely up to you, and why would you use it in that manner?
(Editor's Note: The Wetzel Chronicle mailed questions to all political candidates in races of local significance. Their responses are printed in the April 25 and May 2 editions of the Wetzel Chronicle in a simple question and answer format.)
Barth: This sounds like a lot of money, but to get the most for our money I would like to use the $10,000 for a larger project that can benefit the most people. I would like to use the $10,000 for a total upgrade of the public restrooms at each park, Lewis Wetzel, Bruce Park, and Brooklyn Park.
The restrooms at Lewis Wetzel are newer and may need less renovations. I would propose a total gut and commercial renovation.
I would propose new epoxy floors, commercial stalls with all new commercial sinks and toilets. At the present time the restrooms are old, dark, and difficult to keep clean.
I feel upgrading anything with our parks would be money well spent. Good public facilities draw families. New Martinsville is a great little town and we need to present ourselves to people moving into the area as a great town for families.
Do you have a plan for progress in New Martinsville? Give some specific steps to achieve that goal.
Barth: One issue for progress in New Martinsville is the traffic. I know this is a problem that continues to grow and has been addressed by many citizens, city and state representatives, and state officials.
I can't promise specific steps that can achieve a solutions to traffic issues. If elected I will contact and meet with those involved up to this point, and devote as much time and effort possible to come to a solution. I don't think it's a problem we can not fix. I do think it's something that has a lot of things that come together to cause a huge problem.
Name one city issue you would like to see addressed and how specifically you would work to rectify it.
Barth: The street sweeper in New Martinsville runs on a varied schedule. It runs around cars and mostly just down the middle of streets if there are cars parked on both sides of the street. Running down the middle of the street does little since most of the "dirt" collects nearer the curb.
I would like to see the street sweeper have a set schedule with street signs posted for no street parking on the scheduled time/day (for one side of the street). Example: 1st Tuesday of the month no parking on the east side of Clark Street, and 3rd Tuesday of the month no parking on the west side of Clark Street.
Cars that continue to park during the posted time would receive a warning first time, and then a small fine if they continue to obstruct the street during the posted sweeping schedule.