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NAME: Billy Jack Dickerson Jr.
CANDIDATE FOR: Logan County Commission
CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: Facebook: Billy Jack Dickerson
HOME CITY: Man
HOME COUNTY: Logan
EDUCATION: BS in Secondary Education.
CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Retired Logan County School Teacher/Athletic Director.
OTHER WORK HISTORY: Certified WV Surface Miner, Commercial and Residential Construction Worker.
FAMILY: wife, Angela Dickerson; daughters, Jaclyn (Weston) Harvey and Elizabeth (Brandon) Bradford; grandchildren, Berklee Harvey and Kohen Bradford.
PERSONAL STATEMENT: My reason for filing as a candidate for Logan County Commission is tied to the way that I have conducted my life to this point. I have always been driven to try to make things better, whether it be in the classroom, as a coach at both Man Jr. High and Man High School, as Man High School Athletic Director, or as a volunteer within my community. Through my efforts, I have achieved success with each of those endeavors. I feel that I am capable of bringing my skill set to the county level to improve Logan County.
1. How could the commission implement better county planning into the next decade?
Logan County Commission must cooperate and coordinate with other county agencies and stakeholders to develop a more effective long-term plan. The plan must be given an appropriate amount of time to develop before changes are made. I have experienced multiple failures of plans within the education system because they are not given time to produce results.
2. How would you encourage economic development in the county?
As a county commission, the agency must do everything possible to ensure the county has appropriate infrastructure (high speed internet, public utilities—water, sewage, reliable power, and adequate means of transportation). Secondly, we need an educated and skilled work force. We must be able to retain our most important resource, our youth.
3. What more needs to be done about dilapidated housing in the county?
Through my discussions with various county officials, I’ve found that as of July 1, that hundreds of dilapidated houses/buildings are set for demolition. The program also includes the disposal of the debris.
4. What are the three most pressing problems the county faces?
Drugs, litter, and apathy are what I believe to be the three most pressing problems Logan County is currently facing.
5. What are your top priorities for moving the county forward?
We have to change the perception of Logan County. Instead of being a place where people want to leave as evidenced by our declining population, turn it into a place that they want to come and stay.
6. Would you be in favor of increasing the size of the sheriff’s enforcement offices?
Yes, I would be in favor of increasing the size of the sheriff’s enforcement offices. Referring back to those who come to stay as noted in question 5, a major requirement is feeling safe. An increase in the size of the sheriff’s department accomplishes that goal.
7. What needs to be done about litter control in the county?
Logan County has to develop a framework for a litter plan that includes all facets of the problem. We have to start in the schools by educating our youth of the problems with litter. We need to give our residents more opportunities to dispose of waste materials. There has to be a penalty mechanism for those who violate litter laws.
8. What will you do to balance the budget in light of the cap on funding for county jails?
The answer is to reevaluate the sentences given to offenders of lesser crimes. A plan of alternative penalties must be developed to reduce the number of inmates currently incarcerated. I’m not sure about the legal aspects of creating an inmate work program. It seems that other counties have implemented such programs with success and therefore, reduce the cost of housing.
9. Are you interested in fitting renewable energy into local planning and development? If so, how?
The entire economic base for Logan County is and has been in fossil fuels. Currently, the coal and gas industries are profiting at an all-time high. Therefore, I am not interested in fitting renewable energy into local planning and development.
Additional questions for the general election
10. If Amendment 2 were to pass, how do you anticipate the county would react to the loss of revenue? Would you reduce services or increase tax revenue from other sources?
I believe there may be some confusion concerning this amendment. The amendment only allows the legislature to look at the possibility of changing the personal property tax code. If passed, the business or individual would see a reduction in the amount of personal property taxes. In one way, this makes Logan County and West Virginia more inviting.
11. What can the County Commission do to attract new businesses to the county?
As I’ve said before, we must provide the requirements to be considered as a business destination. We must provide improved infrastructure. Updated utilities must be in place. We must clean up our county and keep it that way, make it visually appealing. Finally, we must provide an educated, dedicated, and willing work force.