Sloan Challenges Pethtel For House
Editor’s note: The Wetzel Chronicle sent questionnaires to candidates in local, contested races. In an effort to provide fair, informative election coverage, they are being printed in simple question and answer format, preceded by the candidates’ biography.)
Constitution Party candidate Denzil Sloan and Democrat incumbent Dave Pethtel are competing for the Fifth District House of Delegates seat.
Pethtel was born January 28, 1951, a son of the late Forrest and Helen Pethtel of Hundred. He is a graduate of Hundred High School and went on to earn his BA at Glenville State College, MA at West Virginia University, and MA plus 45 hours at WVU.
He has been employed as a teacher for Wetzel County Schools for 36 years. He and his wife Mary Ann (Jones) have two children, Kevin (wife Stephanie (Cox)) and Eric. Pethtel has served in the legislature from 1988-1992 and from 1998 through this current term.
He is a member of the West Virginia Education Association, National Education Association, Wetzel County Education Association, Community Sportsman’s Club, Littleton Lodge #131 AF & AM, Loyal Order of Moose, Wetzel County Farm Bureau, National Rifle Association, and is on the board of directors of the Clay Battelle Health Center and Community Health Center of North Eastern Wetzel County. He is a Methodist by faith.
Sloan is a resident of the Reader area. He grew up near Fairmont where he attended local schools and attended West Virginia University where he received a degree in Business Administration. He has lived in Wetzel County for about 16 years.
During the past eight years he has helped to organize the Constitution Party in West Virginia, served as the past chairman, and serves as the current first district vice-chairman of the Constitution Party of West Virginia.
He is running for House of Delegates for two reasons: 1. The Legislature is the place where laws are made and where real changes can be made. 2. I am tired of waiting around for others of the same viewpoints to run, so I am doing it myself. I offer no new or revolutionary ideas to the people, just the same ideas this country was founded upon and which worked so well for us for so long.
1. West Virginia seems to have a hard time retaining its best young citizens. How can the Mountain State keep its educated young people to help grow its economy? How can you, as a delegate, assist in that endeavor?
Pethtel: The West Virginia Promise is helping to keep more educated young people in West Virginia. This is a merit-based scholarship program designed to make college affordable to all qualified West Virginia students.
According to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, about 9,300 students are currently benefiting from the Promise Scholarship and roughly 3,000 incoming freshmen received Promise in 2007.
West Virginia continues to have abundant, quality natural resources. Clean coal technology is something the legislature should continue to investigate and encourage. By working with the State Department of Education and energy companies, pilot vocational programs may be established in our local school systems to identify students who can graduate from high school with the skills needed for gainful employment in the energy industry.
According to West Virginia University’s Economic Outlook, most of our job growth will come from the service-providing sector, health care industry, technology, and leisure and hospitality. The legislature should always be looking for workforce development opportunities and ensure quality public schools, universities, and technical colleges.
Sloan: We need to make heavy cuts in state spending and taxes. Specifically, we must at least reduce the corporate income tax rate down to that which is common among most other states.
The property tax on inventory, machinery, and equipment must be eliminated-a tax that punishes exactly the type of businesses we need the most, heavy industry.
State and local laws, ordinances, and regulations must be reduced. Local zoning ordinances must be eliminated as well as building codes. Municipalities must be prevented from using “pipelining” and other means of annexing businesses that have chosen to locate outside of municipal boundaries.
Local farmers could be selling their own meat and raw milk to local consumers, but that does not legally happen because laws and regulations prevent it. Laws of this nature must be repealed and changed.
We need to make changes in the judicial system to try to eliminate foolish lawsuits and ensure that judgments are reasonable and predictable.
When business can make more money in West Virginia than in other states, capitol investment and property will come and West Virginians will have no reason to leave the state.
2. Gov. Manchin has admitted the roads in the northern panhandle have been ignored for years. What could you do as a delegate to help bring more attention and money to the roads in our area?
Pethtel: During the past few years, revenue from fuel and automobile privilege taxes have been level in providing money for the West Virginia State Road Fund while supplies and materials for maintenance and construction have sky-rocketed. The legislature must look at alternative methods of funding such as public-private partnerships and the selling of road bonds. We must build an even stronger coalition between legislators in the northern panhandle to leverage more highway dollars for our area. We will continue to work with the Route 2/I-68 Authority to get their priority projects funded.
For the first time in history, during the past two years, the legislature has appropriated over $100 million in surplus monies from the general revenue fund to the West Virginia State Road Fund for additional maintenance and construction of highways.
Sloan: The Governor, as chief executive officer of the state, and the department of highways are in the best position to solve such problems, I want road money to be equitably and fairly distributed to all the areas and counties of the state based on road usage and population. If it isn’t, I will complain and support the removal of department heads who refuse to be fair.
3. Elaborate three main reasons you should be elected to this position.
Pethtel: The people of the Fifth Delegate District have been very good to me in electing me eight times to the position of delegate. One must not only have the respect of the voters in their district, but also the respect of their colleagues in the legislature to be effective. In my judgment, I have earned this respect. I feel I have a good working relationship with Senators Edgell and Kessler, our county commissioners, as well as the local officials. This working relationship has enabled us to get several projects funded for our district at the Wetzel County 4-H Camp, Wetzel County Courthouse, our county schools, and other projects in our communities.
When considering their vote, I want citizens to answer three questions about Dave Pethtel:
1. Is he honest and trustworthy?
2. Does he represent my beliefs and values the majority of the time?
3. If contacted, does he try to find answers/solutions to my issues and/or concerns?
Once again, I ask for your support on Nov. 4.
Sloan: 1. I will vote for motions to discharge bills from committee. All too often, the committee chairmen, particularly on the judiciary committee, are refusing to put on the agenda those bills they oppose even when such bills have support among the members. The leadership doesn’t like these motions to discharge because they challenge their domination over the agenda. Under a republican form of government the Speaker and the committee chairmen are to be managers and leaders, not dictators.
2. My view of government is the traditional, American view of government as espoused by the early leaders of this country, in particular, by Jefferson. What we have now is a government based on alien ideas that are opposed to Biblical authority and opposed to what the founding fathers believed.
3. So far I haven’t gotten any contributions or support from special interest lobby groups so I don’t owe them anything. I don’t expect to get any such contributions because I have nothing to offer them. I am not going to vote for their bills in most cases because what they want are new laws that restrict individual liberty or which create more taxes on the people in order to get special favored benefits for themselves. What I want to do is to work for the “general welfare” of the people as opposed to the specific benefit of certain groups or classes of people.