Commissioners Candidates Answered The Following Questions
1. What are your qualifications for County Commissioner?
Carla McBee: I have experience in many different areas of employments. I understand how county government works. As director of EMS, overseen by the Commissioners, I met with the commissioners on numerous occasions to discuss county obligations to its citizens. As Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, I participated in discussion and meetings concerning the grant which will start the process of the new internet in our county. I have knowledge of the way government works from my past experience of being the Public Information Officer for the Office of Emergency Services for six years. I believe my experience in different employment, both career and volunteer, has given me the awareness that I need to work well with other county entities and citizens. My degree in Leadership and Management from West Liberty has given me the knowledge to bring along with the experience I have obtained. Some candidates may have business experience but their lack of being able to work well with others is not a good mix for the position of a County Commissioner.
Cindy Glasscock: I’m Honest, Reliable, and have Integrity. I’m a Business Owner, Community Leader and Volunteer, and experienced in bookkeeping including accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll and payroll taxes.
Eric Yost: I have an education and 30 years of experience in Finance, Budgeting, and Administration. I have owned, operated, and managed natural gas utilities and water and sewer utilities my entire life, as well as designed and managed construction of over $4,000,000 in waterline infrastructure in Wetzel County. I also have considerable knowledge of the Oil & Gas and Coal industry and experience negotiating with both industries. This brings great value to the position, since they are the two major industries in the county.
2. How much time can you dedicate to the position of County Commissioner?
Carla McBee: I can dedicate as much time as the job requires of me. I plan on resigning as the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce if I’m blessed enough to be elected to the position. I will be available as much as the tasks, and the citizens of Wetzel County need me.
Cindy Glasscock: I plan to be a fulltime commissioner. I will be available by phone if I am not in the office. However, I plan to be in the office Monday through Friday 8:00-4:30.
Eric Yost: As much time as is required!
3. Why do you want to be a County Commissioner?
Carla McBee: During the many years that I have worked with, and communicated with Commissioner’s, I have gained great respect for the job they do. I see the difference they can make with their decisions for many organizations and agencies. I know some decisions are difficult because there are so many in need, but being fair and wise in decision making is always the best way to go. As the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, I see the needs for small business, for non-profit organizations, and for other areas of government under the commission’s umbrella. I believe I can make wise decisions for all. I had a conversation with a past Commissioner of Tyler County and he said, “It was one of the most daunting tasks I’ve ever done, but I believe you are up for the job.” That’s when I made my final decision. I know at this point in my life, I’m up for the task and I am ready to serve the county well.
Cindy Glasscock: I want to serve all Wetzel County Citizens, businesses, municipalities, and organizations. I want to serve for the betterment of Wetzel County by helping to bring infrastructure to the county. I want to be a commissioner that the citizens know that they can trust and can rely on when they have a problem.
Eric Yost: I have been blessed with the education, experience, and ability to solve problems and have acquired the knowledge needed to provide objective and unbiased leadership for the county. My contribution will be needed to endure the tough economic future that we are about to witness. I have used my talents to benefit my community and would like to help the entire county as well.
4. What do you see as the most pressing needs for infrastructure or capital projects in our county?
Carla McBee: I believe from my perspective from the position I’m in now, that its communication. Communication is always the downfall in most organizations and businesses. If our first responders can’t communicate with one another, this could be devastating to life and property. If businesses can’t obtain internet or cell communications how can they operate their business to the best of their ability. We welcome business into our county, but they don’t want to settle here because of our internet communications and our poor roads conditions. If we expect to have more business opportunities and more jobs, we have to make communications a top priority as well as improving the condition of our roads.
Cindy Glasscock: Wetzel County needs reliable internet service especially with Frontier recently filing Chapter 11. During this pandemic, students are being faced with having to complete their schoolwork via computer. Several students in our areas do not have internet service, therefore they have to travel to the school parking lots, connect to the school’s wifi in order to complete their lessons that are to be completed online. This puts extra expense on the parents by having to buy the gasoline to get the students to the school. Wetzel County also needs improved cell phone coverage. At best only about 30 to 40 percent of Wetzel County presently have cell phone service. This is an issue if someone is traveling throughout our county and suddenly encounters an emergency and needs to call 911 but has no phone service. This presents a problem and could possible be a matter of life or death should it be a medical emergency. Improvement of water and sewage issues in our outlying areas of the county.
Eric Yost: Water and sewer infrastructure is essential and there are several communities that are struggling to acquire adequate service at this time. Outlying areas of the county are in desperate need of broadband internet and cellular phone service as well.
The primary duty of a county commissioner is to create and implement policy. The following questions identify a commissioner’s priorities and the methods by which they hope to accomplish those goals.
5. With what caution will you handle the money of Wetzel County?
Carla McBee: Right now in our county we are in a good place with our tax base. There possibly will be a time that our energy tax will decline and that’s the issue in which we have to be prepared to face in challenging times. Working as the Manager at CAM Safety in New Martinsville, I have had experience in retail and energy services and I experienced what the decline would do to a business budget. Adjusting employees, schedules, restocking supplies, customer serivce, and budgets in each area is not something I enjoyed but was very necessary. I would be very astute in accurately assessing situations and making decisions currently, so when that time comes, we will have funds to continue projects and duties. Over spending in the best of times is never a wise decision.
Cindy Glasscock: I will handle the county’s money with the upmost honesty. I am the treasurer for the Folsom Volunteer Fire Department. I require explicit documentation for every invoice presented for payment as well as for every receipt. I will require none the less as commissioner.
Eric Yost: Extreme caution! With the present state of the local and national economy, we must be very stringent spending tax dollars for only maximum benefit!
6. How would you prioritize spending needs and where would you look for cuts if needed?
Carla McBee: After prayer and discussion with heads of agencies and government officials, I would hope that the best decision would be obvious. I have a soft spot for the agencies who care for the children and the elderly of our communities. I would try to leave those cuts for last, and after a great deal of discussion, looking at numbers, and a great deal of communication, I think I would be equipped with the knowledge that I would need to make the cuts if needed.
Cindy Glasscock: Of course, prioritizing expenses start with the expenses that are of most importance and working your way down the list. However, with the current pandemic I think one of the first priorities should be allotting funds to be utilized with quick access in events such as a natural disaster , pandemic, and other emergencies. The expense for Covid 19 alone has been enormous. It often takes several days before counties receive funds from the federal government to cover these expenses. We need to money readily available. Having an emergency fund readily available would be of a great advantage for the citizens, businesses, and organizations throughout the county. I would rather look toward the future for ways to bring revenue into the county so cuts would not be necessary.
Eric Yost: Fund the programs and services that are a necessity and then prioritize any balance of funds for the benefit of the common good.
7. What element of the county’s government is most effective, and why?
Carla McBee: I believe that all elements of the county government are necessary and must communicate and work together to make each one effective. Each of those elements of government were put in place to work along with others to have the best results as a governing body. My Bachelor’s degree from West Liberty is in Leadership and Management, and I have learned there are key elements that allow each section, group, or department to function to its maximum. Communicating and working as a group toward a common goal will result in success.
Cindy Glasscock: All elements of the county government have a vital role to maintain in order to keep proper structure. However, the most vital departments would be the sheriff’s department and the prosecuting attorney’s office. These two offices have the responsibility of protecting the citizens of Wetzel County 24 hours day/7 days week/365 days year.
Eric Yost: I would have to say the County Commission. They appropriate funding and set policy for all other county offices.
8. Are county taxes too high, about right or pleasantly low?
Carla McBee: I’ve seen taxes much higher and there are some lower, but over-all I think our taxes are where they need to be for our county to function at the level it is now. I know that most of us can say that paying taxes is not a pleasant experience, but we also know they are necessary for the standard of living that we expect here in our county. If elected as County Commissioner and I gained more knowledge and saw that things needed changed, I would work toward fixing it.
Cindy Glasscock: Compared to the taxes in other counties in V’N our taxes are pleasantly low. I have found this through research and with the majority of Wetzel County citizens being on fixed incomes we need to keep our taxes as low as possible.
Eric Yost: All taxes are too high! The commission must evaluate the tax base and what it can afford, then make an accurate judgement!
9. Why would you be a better County Commissioner than the other three candidates?
Carla McBee: I believe my experience shows that I would be the better leader to work along beside the other commissioners as well as my education in those areas. I was born and raised in this county and have raised my children here. I have stayed devoted to its citizens as well as organizations. I have worked in roles that allowed me help others during times of snow storms, floods, disaster incidents, as well as participate in training others in this wonderful county. I have been the first non-physician Medical Examiner in this county for 20 years. I saw a void and called Charleston’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and stepped in with training to fix that problem and fill that void. I have had a working relationship with EMS and Fire Departments, hospital personnel, offices of dispatch, and police officers. I have a goal to continue working in this county, to be a strong leader, to care for our communities, and continue to help in making Wetzel County a wonderful place to live and work. I have always been devoted and will continue to be devoted to a county I call home.
Cindy Glasscock: I plan to be a fulltime commissioner. I will be resigning my position with UHC when elected. I will always work for the betterment of Wetzel County and its citizens. I not only have my business experience to offer, but I also have my volunteer experience as an EMT, paramedic, and treasurer. I have seen the rural areas of Wetzel County at its finest moments as well as its weakest. In turn I can take the knowledge and experience that I have gained and use it to help improve its vital services.
Eric Yost: I have the education and business experience to manage a business the size of Wetzel County!
10. What is the most pressing issue in Wetzel County government and how would you address it if you’re elected to the board of commissioners?
Carla McBee: I believe that our drug epidemic affects most families to some extent in our county. The trickle down of this crisis affects our children and the grandparents who have to take over the role of parent to raise them. It affects grandparents on fixed income and puts some into poverty as they dwindle through their life savings. It affects our foster home availability with 7,000 children needing homes in our state. It affects volunteerism, like organizations raising funds for good causes, it affects EMS and Fire Department volunteerism as well as hospitals and other organizations that depend heavily on volunteerism to survive. It increases crime and that affects each one of us and puts an extraordinary burden on our police departments who struggle to keep up. Our county struggles to keep qualified police officers due to lower wages and better benefits, and the job just keeps getting more difficult and dangerous. Our churches have less members, but continue to struggle to keep the food pantries and clothing closets full to meet the needs of so many during this drug epidemic. Again, we are all affected, and it is necessary to continue to fight this fight of drug abuse and support those agencies tackling it every day. As the county Medical Examiner, I see the results of drug abuse by investigating death from it’s results way too often.
Cindy Glasscock: Working with the municipalities in efforts to improve the issues with water and sewage in the outlying areas of Wetzel County.
Eric Yost: The potential deficit that is going to occur in two years from the steep decline in gas and oil prices this past year. It will affect the tax revenue in this county dramatically. In order to combat this significant decline in tax revenue, which will be directly proportionate to the decline in the price of gas and oil, we must adjust our spending today. We must let our eyes be our market and our pocket book be our guide!