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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
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October 29, 1998     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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October 29, 1998
 

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SPIRIT OF JEFFERSON Farmer's ADVOCATE Thursday October 29 1998 15 L ~vid( ublican re Democrat Senate-16th District is not a stepping I will not abandon 'or of something more my business achieved a level of personal fulfillment c and private work I ability to succeed a combination of our system and hard ~nd the people in our the time I was our stores grossed llion annually. The ~ted provided a good employees and con- to the growth of Panhandle I know to build a business well-paying jobs. .'ep the progress we we must encourage start, expand and of the economic suc- ff the Eastern Pan- opportunities to start the free enterprise so much a part of eroded over time hand of govern- taxes and regula- entrepreneurs need same chance I, and had. I am deter- them that chance by taxes, by cutting regulations, and by government. Gov- to be a partner of t an adversary. Onal philosophy is business on the view that know how to own money better That is why I to bring as many of home as I possibly hundreds of millions Charleston I to seeing a large money spent here, My record in has gained me of the West Vir- of Commerce Public service is properly named. I truly believe that an elected official must always re- member that, in democracy, gov- ernment derives its power through the consent of the gov- erned. That is why I am stressing the constituent service I have fo- cused on during these past four years Whether the issue is a new exit off 1-81 for Martinsburg City Hospital, the planned route of West Virginia Route 9, a request for street repair, help with a state agency, or a person who simply does not know where to turn, I treat each request with the re- spect it deserves and do all in my power to solve the problem. I consider that the letters, tele- phone calls, visits and requests I receive are top priority items. People would not ask for help if they did not need it. When I was in business, there were many times when I had to seek relief from government problems. I have never forgotten how grateful I was to find help when I needed it. I believe public service means that officials serve the public, not the other way around For me to consider this next term to be a success, I would need to see significant results in two ar- eas. The first is education For the first time, we have provided full funding for the new students who have come to our community since school began last Fall. The Eastern Panhandle is one of the few growth areas in the state and this legislation is particularly helpful to us. I am pleased to have a played a major role in securing this funding Governor Under- wood has committed to include funding for the increased enroll- ment in each budget and the Leg- islature will appropriate the money. However, additional spending is required in education due to the need for upgraded facilities Jef- ferson County's schools need at- tention in the area of additional classrooms and other parts of the physical plant The School Build- ing Authority was put in place to meet these needs and I intend to work diligently for funding through this agency The second area is my concern for the needs of our senior citizens Many lack proper health care and access to other needed services We cannot be a community that neglects those who built and worked to give us the life we have today. I am aware of the high price of health insurance and how much it requires of those on a fixed income. These will not be quick fixes, but will require study and consideration. I am commit- ted to doing what I can to ease the condition of our senior citizens. In addition to the endorsement of the Chamber of Commerce, my campaign for reelection has been endorsed by the West Virginia Bankers Association, the National Rifle Association, West Virginians for Life, Bike PAC of West Vir- ginia, the West Virginia Farm Bu- reau and others. In the State Senate, I serve on the Finance Committee, through which all funding passes, and the Rules Committee which controls the flow of legislation. In addition to these powerful committees, I serve on the Agriculture Commit- tee, the Education Committee, the Committee on Energy, Industry and Mining, and the Labor Com- mittee. I also serve on the Work- ers' Compensation Task Force that is exploring ways to make our business climate even more com- petitive by streamlining this agency that is so important to em- ployers and their employees. State Senate-16th District John Unger is the founding president of the West Virginia In- ternational Trade Development Council, an organization made up of the three economic development authorities in the Eastern Pan- handle (Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan Counties) that strengthen economic ties between the tri- county region and other countries. John Unger is very active in com- munity and economic develop- ment throughout West Virginia. He is the founder of the Employ- ment and Training Search Pro- gram, the Office of Service Learn- ing at West Virginia University, the West Virginia Campus Com- pact and a Founding Trustee to the Mountain Milestone Summer Day Camp for Mentally and Physically Disabled Youth in West Virginia. John Unger was born and grew up in Martinsburg He was very active as a youth leader in his church by raising money and orga- nizing charity events. Most im- portantly, he learned about work- ing with people and being a good citizen. While in high school, he worked at a McDonald's Restau- rant and a 7-11 Store to try to save enough money to attend college A product of our local public schools, John Unger was awarded a local community scholarship from the former Old National Bank for his academic accomplishments and hard work This scholarship gave him the financial support needed to study at West Virginia Univer- sity (WVU) He graduated from WVU as a University Honors Scholar Awarded a Rhodes Schol- economic development at Oxford University. In honor of his public service, John Unger has received the United States Presidential Award for National Service (1991), Community Star Award for Out- standing Citizens (1992) and the American Institute of Public Service's Jefferson Award (1993) John Unger worked for the United States Refugee Program as the Special Assistant to the Direc- tor from 1988 to 1990 in Hong Kong where he helped establish a group home that enabled unac- companied refugee children to live in a secure and nurturing environ- ment instead of the harsh condi- tions of the refugee camps He worked with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity coor- dinating relief efforts in a slum in Calcutta, India, during the mon- soons and riots in 1990. Immedi- ately following the Gulf War, he served with Operation Provide Comfort in Northern Iraq, where he provided humanitarian relief to the Kurdish refugees fleeing the Iraqi Republican Guard John Unger returned to Hong Kong from 1994 to 1995 as Politi- cal Advisor to the Hong Kong Leg- islative Council, where he advised and assisted Legislative Council- ors on local and international is- sues and governmental policies. He was extensively involved with the legislation that established Hong Kong's highest court, the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (CFA). Locally, John Unger has worked as a vice president for a arship, he studied economics and local developer and now works as Republican House of Delegates (55th District) of Delegates District) in County, degree from (Political Sci- I was an infantry :he U.S. Army, and as a rifle pla- t six year I have rep- Jefferson County of Delegates. I've of the Finance the entire time, and Chair the last two the St and Public has budgeting and authority over all We also passed a Safe Schools Act which, while not perfect, is a good first step. For the next two years, I want to significantly improve the avail- ability of a college education. West Virginia has one of the lowest college-going rates in the nation, among graduating high school seniors, and that hurts our economic development efforts Berkeley County has the LOW- EST college-going rate, and Jeffer- son the sixth lowest This is unac- ceptable. Part of the problem is the atti- tude of some (but by no means all) and universi- of our school counselors. Cer- g, the state ry system, arts pro- State Police, correc- Guard and ~Y years Jefferson not receive its fair ate funding. I have to redress that a great degree. We 5.5 million to the size of the ollege library, many re the money would through the formula. The new at Bardane is on And we've any other smaller the South Jefferson of the Peter Se, and the Summit )f the job is making the state gets its attention. The other iUencing statewide ng the last six years our economic de- helped tourism raised the salaries of improved public kindergarten ege) and created a and (with half each us mandated to be de- One all this with NO ~ncreases. In fact, taxes (the business and the income tax) one (the hated tainly, college is not for everyone. But our rates should not be sig- nificantly different from the na- tional average Another problem is that we have not provided enough community college type workforce preparatory courses. Interestingly, our college-going rate for four-year programs is right at the national average - it is attendance at two-year programs that is well below the nation. Our state suffers from a lack of some of the high demand type of graduate programs. Most states now make every one of their four year institutions offer graduation programs in such areas as busi- ness, police science, social work or education. In West Virginia, only two institutions do so. This makes access difficult. Plus, the lack of availability of an MBA, offered on- site, locally at in-state tuition rates, makes us less attractive to industries that would bring us high-paying jobs ' We need better land use laws in our state. West Virginia is the only state that gives a blanket ex- emption from local zoning to min- ing and manufacturing, and one of the few states to prohibit resi- dents from municipalities from voting in local zoning referenda The playing field is tilted against good land use, and it must be lev- eled. A major issue in the next year will be the Governor's plan to drastically overhaul our entire tax structure While there ave ele- ments of that plan that I think make sense, I am very skeptical about other aspects All of our business taxes would be replaced by a value added tax. This tax, though it has been touted by academicians in busi- ness schools for many years, is the principal business tax in only one state (Michigan), and is a second- ary business tax in only one other (New Hampshire) Why? This tax penalized small busi- ness, and favors big business, be- cause it taxes a business based on its impact on the economy (the "value added" to the economy), rather than its profit. Small busi- nesses have (generally) lower profit margins than big busi- nesses. I believe this to be the rea- son for the unpopularity of this tax around the country. And, we need to pass an even more effective safe schools law, to combat school violence. Locally, we need to move as quickly as possible to build a sec- ond high school This means we must persuade the School Build- ing Authority to give us back the $10 million our school board wisely and courageously returned, so that we can build a ninth grade building that can be easily and quickly converted to a middle school. And we must then per- suade them to give us several mil- lion more to help us build the sec- ond high school. This is rare, but the SBA did give Berkeley County two large amounts in a short time. I pledge to use every bit of influence I will have to persuade the SBA to do the right thing. The next years will be critical for West Virginia and Jefferson County In a short race, a lion (50 mph) would be faster than a quarter horse (47.5 mph). The role of state delegate should begin with the people of the district and end with the state legislature. Unlike my incumbent opponent - I do not seek to "gov- ern", to direct Shepherd College planning, nor turn it into a gradu- ate university. Also I will not seek support for either public school buildings or programs before the proper authorities have an- nounced them, and I will not ask our County Commissioners to grant financial favors to citizens living within county townships. While the office of state del- egates remains a "bully pulpit", as Teddy Roosevelt once termed the presidency - my incumbent oppo- nent sounds like Chicken Little crying: "Elect me, or the sky will fall!" I do not believe, however, any state delegate should remain a doormat. If local, regional, state, or even national authorities make decisions that impact unfa- vorably upon the residents of the 55th District, I shall speak out against them. Meanwhile, I recognize the lim- its of the office of state delegate The many social, economic, and political questions facing our world can be solved most effec- tively if those charged with spe- cific responsibilities carry out these responsibilities. If advice or help from the local delegate is needed, I'll be ready. But I prefer to let them do their jobs, just as I expect them to let me do mine! After six years highly "selec- tive" service from our current in- cumbent, there is no shortage of legislative issues needing resolu- tion. I've grouped at least 59 into five categories - 9 are procedural, 11 on people, 16 on the economy, 8 about education, and 15 on land use, transportation, the environ- ment and open spaces. On al- most every single issue, Delegate Doyle and I disagree. Procedures - I oppose "tax and spend", delegate governing, lawsuit abuse, and lawyers con- tributing to judges' campaigns. I support delegate accountability, tort reform, a better Law Master system, an appellate court, and term limits. I I II Illlll I II Ill People - As husband, parent, senior, and veteran, I support better health care, both health in- surance and Medicare for low in- come citizens, and more consider- ation of seniors, veterans, and our growing number of homeless I favor a limited death penalty and laws preventing Internet crime. I oppose a State Trooper Civilian Review Board. Economy - I oppose tax in- creases without corresponding cuts, town residents receiving more state money than county residents, and legalizing "grey" machine gambling. I support the Fair Taxation concept, the pro- posed county ambulance levy, al- lowing towns & counties to sell bonds, better jobs for all, better pay for working women, residents gaining access to national real es- tate loans, and Federal tax cuts for two-income couples, working farmers, working senior citizens, small businesses, people with modest savings, students saving for college, and school districts trying to build schools. I would lead efforts to add new jobs by attracting association support units, elder care facilities, and in- cubators for small art and craft operations Education - On Shepherd Col- lege, I support test tubes over rest rooms, see no rush for a uni- versity nor graduate programs, but believe it is time for a parking solution! I claim competence to assist needed funding for all of the $50M in county public schools our School Board says we'll need in the next decade. I also support the Summit Point Library, believe state college and university boards should stay as is, and oppose any new state board for community colleges. Land Use - Unlike my oppo- nent, I do not believe a "poor state must be a dirty state", nor that repairing bridges and clean- ing rivers costs too much (particu- larly since neglecting Rt. 480's Po- tomac bridge so long - NOW re- quires a new $20M bridge!) I seek plans for long-neglected, dangerous Route 51, and ask how 1-81's newly-proposed exit 14 got II I I I IIII $ II Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens, we have to keep going back and beginning all over again. --Andre Gide VlNCE MARINO, Proprietor EMERGENCY PLUMBING REPAIRS CARPENTRY ELECTRICAL PAINTING DECKS FENCING GUTTER CLEANING Licensed & Insured For All Your Home Care Needsi Fast, Professional Service Phone/Fax: (304) 725-1099 02, I I lllll the Commercial Investment Con- sultant to Century 21. He is run- ning for State Senate because he wants to give something back to this community that has given him and his family so much over the years. John Unger has great pride in the Eastern Panhandle, and he would like to help realize its fullest potential in all areas. He believes that as a community and as a region, we can become leaders of this State - in the way we educate our children, in the way we attract quality jobs for our people, in the way we provide quality health care for our sick, and in the way we provide services for our seniors From the beginning, John Unger's campaign has been about people, not big money. It has been made up of dedicated, hard work- ing volunteers, not high-paid Washington, D.C. professional po- litical consultants. This grassroots campaign is the People's Campaign. Using his local and interna- tional experience, education and training, John Unger will con- tinue to work hard for the quality of life for our children, for our families, and for our future. III to the head of the highway line? I ask n~y opponent if it's true "He never met a road proposal he didn't like", and how he sees no problems with Route 9 nor the "so- called" "Shepherdstown by-pass - not to mention a crossing over Rt. 480 for Shepherd students? I fa- vor "Smart Growth," "Future Ru- ral Legacy Zones," land trusts, "Opportunity Zones," and any other means to preserve what we love at the same time we help our economy. If elected, I'll do the job well For starters, I promise you - (1) A full-time delegate pro. viding constituent services and legislation affecting re- gion, state, and nation. (2) A delegate representing the ENTIRE 55th District - not just Shepherdstown and Shep- herd College. (3) A more conservative rep- resentative, offering both fis- cal integrity and social re- sponsibility while seeking changes for the good of all of us! One final thought from Chucl~ Mason, longtime WV newsman now based in NC (from his monthly "Letter from North Caro- lina" in The State Journal of Octo- ber 12, 1998, pp. 43 & 47): "Part-time legislatures should remain part-time legis- latures. If not, they become filled with full-time, profes- sional politicians who spend more time getting re-elected than helping serve the people whom they serve." Remember, "In a democracy, you get the kind of government you deserve." Vote on November 3rd!