Our last three governors, including our current one, have paved the way for West Virginia’s road repair crisis. They did this by neglecting their duties to our state’s citizens who need safe and secure roads to get to work. This crisis wasn’t created overnight. Mismanagement and neglect over several administrations got us here.
Governor Manchin oversaw the fire-sale disposal of a huge chunk of our state-owned road equipment. This made it necessary to hire outside contractors to maintain roads. This ‘privatization’ of our highways department is another failed experiment. It’s always more expensive when profit margins are added to the actual cost. This approach led to the loss of WV jobs to out-of-state contractors and made the roads run with more red ink than ever.
Governor Tomblin was pretty much asleep at the wheel, so he didn’t mind the potholes.
Our current governor is like PT Barnum. He makes a big announcement that he’s going to fix the roads, but it’s all hype and the legislature doesn’t pass a bill. Then rolls into town from Summers County, make a big show of holding press conferences and hauls all his county highway managers into Charleston to give them a pep talk! really nothing new to say.
This lack of leadership in Charleston on roads is costing us all. Everyone knows someone who has had to replace a brand new tire or fallen victim to a rather nasty pothole!
Roads are not a red or blue issue, they’re a bread and butter issue. We need WV workers fixing WV roads so more WVians can get to work!
Hot air from the governor will not get the roads fixed. Proper equipment operated by our own experienced DOH workers, hot tar and proper funding will. The leadership to make it happen is what’s needed now. If it doesn’t, then we should elect a governor in 2020 who will take charge by living in Charleston, working with the legislature to find the funding, and finally repairing the roads.