McKinley Visits Wetzel County
Congressman David McKinley recently paid a visit to the Wetzel County area to talk with local business owners, officials and law enforcement about the major issues in the area.
McKinley explained that congress is in session for two weeks and in the district for a week. While in the district, members of congress try to meet with as many people as possible. This allows the members to bring local issues to a state level. McKinley stated that this is helpful to them and this is his way of being the voice of those in his district. McKinley averages 250 meetings in a year.
Many local issues McKinley heard during his time in Wetzel County was the drug problem, flood insurance and road damages, along with issues with imports. Another item McKinley discussed during his visits was the Syrian Refugees.
An ongoing issue that McKinley encountered was flood insurance, in which he stated that they were not done yet. This issue goes back when the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA, who underwrites all flood insurance and at the time was losing more than $40 billion. As a way to remedy this, premiums skyrocketed.
“I explained to them that we are not finished with that work, we were able to stop the first wave of flood insurance issues but now we have to get back and perfect it,” McKinley said.
Syrian Refugees have been a major issue and congress has placed a hold on a decision. McKinley is referring to this as a pause.
“Can we just pause for a minute? We are not going to say no because there are people that need our help but lets just pause until we can plan better,” McKinley said.
In order to protect national security, McKinley feels that they should pause until the 10,000 refugees can be cleared.
Congressman David McKinley also held a round table discussion with local law enforcement officers to discuss the drug problem in the area.
The round table discussion featured several officers from Wetzel County and Tyler County, New Martinsville Council members, Wetzel County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Haught and Levi Lynch, a recovering addict.
“He had me set up a round table discussion on drugs, what we could do to help with treatment, what we could do to help stop it,” New Martinsville Police Chief Tim Cecil said.
Cecil then received a phone call from McKinley office and informed him that he has about six things to take back to congress. This was also the first time McKinley was able to talk with a recovering addict. This gave him a new prospect of what kind of life an addict and those who are going through recovery actually live.
Lynch’s drug of choice was perc 30s. He didn’t stop until the day the New Martinsville Police Department kicked in his door and arrested him. He quit while he was in jail.
“(Lynch) brought up that yes there is treatment but we need something here for after treatment,” Cecil stated. “He let McKinley know that he lives 24 hours a day and wakes up the next day and lives another 24 hours.”
Cecil said that the biggest issues in the area are pills and right now they are getting crystal meth and heroin. For the last seven years, Cecil has seen a significant change in the demand for drugs and the market change.
Another issue that Cecil is seeing is Subutex, a drug that is suppose to help with recovery but more and more are selling or abusing it. Cecil believes that it is something needs to be done with these suboxone clinics because they are not helping but rather pro-longing the habit and giving the user a legal high.
“The habit was here, the sellers were here. It is just like any business, if you have the quantity, if they want it, if they have the need for it, they are going to up the quantity up for it,” Cecil said.