1) What do you feel are the best strategies for addressing the homelessness/unsheltered population issue in Charleston?
Homelessness, vagrancy and criminality are growing, creating poor conditions for children to attend school and businesses to survive much less thrive. The concern merits a multi-faceted approach of the city of Charleston: (1) enforce existing laws against minor, (2) aggregate and re-locate food, shelter and other life services well outside of downtown Charleston under public-private collaborations, and (3) require treatment of drug and alcohol addictions.
What is your position on economic development incentives and how can the City work with economic development partners to incentivize business relocation and expansion?
Ask private companies and investors how to draw investment. Then act on their answers, quickly and efficiently. Reduce regulatory barriers. Create opportunities for private leverage of public resources. Collaborate with other jurisdictions. Become the center of commerce, finance and entrepreneurial of West Virginia as it once was through improved services. Improve public and private school opportunities. Clean up the streets and neighborhoods. Incentivize home-building. Emphasize historic preservation. Create new and better parks and integrate city parks with county and state parks. Create one or more community development corporations to target areas for public-private investment. Reduce the city user fee.
Charleston City Council has 26 council members. Do you believe that this number is too large to be effective or it adequate? Please explain your answer.
No. A smaller council size will likely concentrate power into the hands of fringe factions, especially progressive actors whose policies will accelerate and not reverse Charleston’s decline. Charleston can afford 26 council members given that the alternative, giving progressives heavy-handed spending powers, would be far, far costlier. Charleston already is at risk of electing majorities of candidates whose progressive values do not square with the views, welfare and needs of a the great majority. City government is effective if the executive adopts pro-growth policies and strategies. It is my experience that the city’s executive essentially charts the course of governance.