PARKERSBURG — Incumbent Republican Jimmy Colombo will face Democrat Simon Hargus for Wooden County Commissioner within the upcoming election.
The Wooden County Fee, made up of three elected officers, oversees county authorities operations, together with all buying and budgeting, correspondence with state and federal governments and hearings for Wooden County residents, in accordance with the county web site.
Colombo, 78, proprietor of Colombo restaurant, is the titular commissioner. He has deep ties to the neighborhood having raised his household right here.
He served as mayor of Parkersburg, served on the Nationwide Parole Board, and served the neighborhood in different methods. He prided himself on having the ability to work with the opposite two county enchancment commissioners. He thinks his time as mayor, his time on the parole board, and his time as commissioner gave him lots of perception into the county’s points.
“I run as a result of I actually like this job,” he mentioned. “All of the commissioners work fairly properly collectively.
“It is steady work. He makes enterprise choices.
He talked about how the fee refinanced all the things that may be refinanced, they improved the county jail invoice by checking previous payments and discovering credit, however the costs preserve going up. The fee has been working for a number of years to keep up the extent of insurance coverage. It is elevated a bit this 12 months, however the county has had 4 to 5 years the place it is held at about the identical degree, Colombo mentioned.
“It is the trouble of the entire crew” he mentioned.
He talked in regards to the new 34,000 sq. foot Wooden County Resilience Heart being constructed on the grounds of the previous jail. The power will home the county’s upkeep storage and supply house to carry large-scale flu vaccination/vaccination applications, large-scale meals distribution occasions, social distancing court docket proceedings and extra in accordance with wants.
“I believe the middle encompasses flexibility,” Colombo mentioned
The brand new Wooden County 911 Heart, being constructed within the former Suddenlink constructing on the intersection of Interstate 77 and US 50, will probably be a state-of-the-art facility with room for enlargement and storage.
The fee recurrently works with individuals trying to come to the world and to West Virginia.
“West Virginia is for enlargement,” Colombo mentioned. “We’ve individuals on the lookout for house to have the ability to come and create jobs.
“We’ve to do what it takes to make this occur.”
Colombo desires to see a housing evaluation finished to see what is obtainable and probably stimulate additional growth.
A proposed venture to increase water strains to Fort Boreman Hill might open up areas for growth, he mentioned, including that the roads are already there for entry and extra.
“It is a newbie’s dream” he mentioned. “It is a great place to place one thing. As soon as that occurs, it is going to bloom.
Hargus owns and operates First Settlement Bodily Remedy, a neighborhood enterprise with 190 workers. He grew up in Vienna. He graduated from Parkersburg Excessive Faculty in 2002 and earned a grasp’s diploma in enterprise administration and a doctorate in bodily remedy earlier than taking on the household enterprise. He’s married and has a 3 12 months previous lady and a 7 12 months previous boy. He presently resides in Parkersburg.
“I’ve all the time been considering serving to Wooden County in any manner I can,” he mentioned. “I grew up right here, my children and my enterprise are rising right here.”
Hargus thinks he can convey a brand new degree of concepts and vitality to the fee. He feels that being a commissioner is a job the place his information of the area, his management and administration expertise can actually turn out to be useful.
The rapid precedence for Hargus is to assist the varsity and library tax renewal and vote no on the state’s proposed Modification 2, which the committee not too long ago voted towards.
“Failing to cross levy renewal, or cross Modification 2, would blow large holes in class, library, and county budgets,” he mentioned. “After this upcoming election, we have to enhance labor market participation in all potential instructions.”
Hargus feels that being a commissioner can be about serving to numerous county boards and that is an space the place he thinks communication and participation might be objectively categorized as lackluster.
“We should additionally make sure that our airport, rail, highway and river accesses are maintained after which capitalized”, he mentioned. “And I want to see extra of an effort to get grants for the county, particularly for the well being division.”
Hargus seeks to work for the nice of the county.
“I’ve seen the county change for higher and for worse through the years and I am trying ahead to getting concerned and pushing it in the precise path,” he mentioned.
Brett Dunlap might be reached at [email protected]
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