Wiley, Pethtel Look For Support For Delegate Seat
The Wetzel Chronicle mailed questions to all city, county, and state political candidates in the upcoming May 8 primary election. Their responses are being printed in the April 25 and May 2 editions of the Wetzel Chronicle in a simple question and answer format, candidates in alphabetical order by race. Two Wetzel Countians are on the ballot to represent the Fifth Delegate District in the West Virginia House of Delegates: Republican Phillip Wiley and Democrat Dave Pethtel.
Wiley is a lifelong resident of Wetzel County and grew up on Proctor Creek. He now resides in New Martinsville.
Wiley is a 1965 graduate of Magnolia High School. He graduated from West Virginia Northern Community College with an Associate’s Degree and Wheeling Jesuit University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business/Accounting. He was the Treasurer at PPG Credit Union for over 20 years. Wiley hopes his honesty and dedication to the area will allow him to be the best candidate for Delegate.
Wiley is a veteran of Vietnam and Desert Storm, retired CW5 from Army National Guard, retired pipefitter for PPG (Axiall), retired Pilot for AirEvac Medical, Pro Second Amendment, Pro Life, member of the Moose Lodge, lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign War and American Legion; he is also a member of the National Rifle Association.
Dave Pethtel is a graduate of Hundred High School, 1969. He went on to earn his BA at Glenville State College, MA at West Virginia University, and MA plus 45 hours at West Virginia University. Pethtel is retired from the Wetzel County School System with 40 years of experience. His wife is Mary Ann, and he has two sons, Eric and Kevin.
Besides being a member of the House of Delegates, Pethtel substitute teaches in the Wetzel County School System.
He is a member of various organizations which include the following: West Virginia Education Association Retired, Wetzel County Farm Bureau, Littleton Lodge #131 AF and AM, New Martinsville Moose Lodge, West Virginia Democratic Legislative Council, National Rifle Association, and Clay-Battelle Health Services Association – Board Member.
Pethtel attends and is a member of the Rush Run United Methodist Church. He serves as PPR Chair for the Hundred-Rush Run Charge.
Pethtel was first elected to the House of Delegates in 1988 and served continuously until 1994. He was elected once again in 1998 and has served continuously until the present time. He presently serves as Assistant Minority Whip, Minority Chairman of Pensions and Retirement, Minority Chairman of Committee on Energy, Senior Citizens Issues and Finance.
* * What do you see as the biggest challenge facing your region?
* Phillip Wiley: The biggest challenge is road conditions due to oversized loads and the state road not having resources to repair; the effects of gas wells and pipelines on area farm land; and the drug problem.
* Dave Pethtel: The biggest challenge facing our area and West Virginia is the growth of our economy and the creation of good jobs for those who are qualified. While the last three years have been fiscally difficult, we have a balanced General Revenue Budget and have worked hard to create fiscal stability in our state – an essential for businesses wishing to locate or expand in West Virginia. We have a reduced corporate net tax rate and the elimination of the business franchise tax. We have paid down debt in our State Pensions and old Workers Compensation system as every major liability in the state budget is now under a pay-off plan. However, industry needs qualified employees who are properly educated or trained and drug free. We must work within the solid foundation of our education system to provide training for jobs related to the development of the Marcellus Shale, healthcare services, technology and various manufacturing jobs derived from the natural gas industry, careers in innovation and research based in science and engineering, and health care services to address an aging population.
There are no easy answers to the opioid addiction problem. The legislature has passed laws the last few years increasing penalties for people who use drugs illegally. This year we passed bills relating to reducing the use of certain prescription drugs, SB 273. HB 4590 relates to the establishment of substance abuse treatment facilities. Personally, I believe the treatment facilities are very important.
* * What do you see as the future of our region?
* Wiley: The future will be more people coming into the area to fill jobs, because the local people cannot past drug tests to get employed.
* Pethtel: The future is difficult to predict, but I see the natural gas industry continuing to grow in the northern panhandle counties along with north central West Virginia. The natural gas industry will face competition from both Ohio and Pennsylvania.
White Thailand-based PTT Global has yet to make a final decision on building a petrochemical plant in Belmont County, Ohio, across from Moundsville, the prospects look better as they have enlisted the help of Daelim Industrial Co. of South Korea on a feasibility study of the site of a former FirstEnergy Corp. coal-fired power generation plant. Our area could provide construction jobs, and be in line for many downstream jobs if we have the proper infrastructure of roads, utilities, and broadband services in place.
Tourism is also an area where we have a potential for growth. I see the legislature advocating for more money for the Division of Commerce and the Department of Tourism. More sites are needed with utilities and broadband in place as we compete for jobs in our area and throughout West Virginia. Our universities and colleges, especially community and technical, will play an even more important role of educating our youth than they do today. Workers will have to be able to work in groups, problem solve, and have innovative skills to perform in the workplace.
Our area relies on small businesses. The legislature passed a bill relating to the Young Entrepreneur Reinvestment Act which helps a person who is under the age of 30 and resides within West Virginia to be exempt from paying certain fees in starting a small business.
Roads and infrastructure are very important to our area. With the passage of the Roads to Prosperity road bond referendum, better roads will mean more jobs and greater opportunities.
Every county across the state will benefit from more than $3.3 billion in construction spending. The first set of Obligation Bonds in the amount of $800 million are to be sold in May.
I understand some people are frustrated with the poor condition of some primary and secondary roads in the district. I share your frustration! The passage of the road bond will free up money for work on existing primary and secondary roads. I am working with the Division of Highways to get money for these projects.
I respectfully ask for your support in the Democratic Primary May 8.