Cumberland Times-News

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March 25, 2014

Mineral commission candidate talks jobs

Costly jail bill also tops priorities

KEYSER, W.Va. — Donald Ashby Jr., a Republican candidate for the lone seat on the Mineral County Commission, discusses what he feels are the biggest issues facing the county — a costly Potomac Highlands Regional Jail bill and the need for more jobs.

For quite some time, the Mineral County commissioners have been battling a costly jail bill. The bill for February was $57,610.50.

If elected, Ashby plans on speaking with state representatives about drafting legislation that will hold the inmates responsible for a portion of the cost for their incarceration.

The county needs to work with neighboring counties on “selling” everything Mineral County has to offer in order to bring jobs to the area, said Ashby.

“If there were more industries, they would produce more tax dollars and would help to alleviate some of the pressure,” said Ashby.

Ashby noted that he was frustrated with the NewPage situation and that the elected officials and the commission need to speak with NewPage to see if they could help in any way. NewPage and Versa are wrangling over a possible merger but have both posted net losses and lower sales last year, according to previous Times-News articles. However, both companies said the net losses don’t tell the whole financial story because of improved adjusted earnings after taxes and other expenses.

Ashby noted that he hopes NewPage can experience the growth that Automated Packaging is experiencing. Ashby, who has been working for Automated Packaging for 15 years, indicated that the company is moving to longer shifts and planning on hiring more employees in the future.

“I hope people vote for me because I’m honest and would try to help the county any way I can,” said Ashby. “I want to work for the people just like I did when I served on the board of education.”

Ashby served on the Mineral County Board of Education from 1997 to 2002.

Ashby will face off against Roger D. Leatherman, Republican, and David Webb, Democrat, during the May 13 primary election.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.

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