Mark Caserta: Huntington, WV.: Is our great city dying a slow death?

Updated 11 weeks ago Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
Mark Caserta: Huntington, WV.: Is our great city dying a slow death?

By Mark Caserta

An opioid drug crisis, a decaying city infrastructure, fomenting liberal policies, a withering level of pride for the city of Huntington, and a “less than prominent” presence on the national stage for its inadequacies – Welcome to Huntington, WV.

Is this a city in which a family would want to raise their children? If not, what are we doing to correct it?

I’ve lived in, or around Huntington, WV. for nearly 60 years. I remember when Huntington was a city admired and envied by others desiring to achieve the wholesome radiance and charming gravitas we once possessed.

Of course, we’ve always had our problems. Every city has them, the larger, the more of them.

But in the past, we’ve always found a way to overcome them. We’ve always risen to the occasion and come together as a community for the common good of our people.

In November, 1970, Huntington showed the world we could rise from the ashes in solidarity. I remember, just like it was yesterday. Every school, every business, every single person was united as we grieved over the loss of 75 innocent lives. I remember gathering in the gymnasium of Davis Creek Elementary, holding hands and honoring players, coaches, boosters and members of the press lost on the hillside of Tri-State Airport, as Southern Airways Flight 932 made its final approach.

Mark Caserta: Huntington, WV.: Is our great city dying a slow death?

The field of tears are forever etched into my memory, but, also, the resilience of the citizens of Huntington and their determination to not fade quietly into the night. This resolve laid a foundation on which our grand city would flourish over the next 40 years.

Yes, some “ups” and “downs”, but always forward. But now, Huntington, WV. is in a crisis. For many who have spent their lives living in this city by the great Ohio River, it feels like Huntington, WV. is dying a slow, painful, agonizing death.

We’ve conceived a generation, void of hope, and dying of drug overdoses. And how do we address it? We provide them needles. And as larger, progressive cities, such as San Francisco, contemplate “safe injection sites” for intravenous drug users, per The San Francisco Chronicle, one must wonder how far behind Huntington city leaders are in proposing similar “enablement” facilities in our area.

Mark Caserta: Huntington, WV.: Is our great city dying a slow death?

We even have a news media, both print and television, that appear to be adopting leftist’s policies and filtering information to our citizens, in other words, “fake news” or news designed to disingenuously influence people.

Who are they trying to protect?

A July 2018 story by Monique Laborde, of WV Public Broadcasting, entitled, “Huntington Mayor Champions LGBT Inclusion”, describes our city’s mayor, Stephen Williams’ endeavors to

improve conditions in Huntington for the LGBT community. This year, Huntington recognized the month of LGBT awareness by hosting its second annual Pride Picnic.

Of course, the event was family-friendly, per the report, while kids played in a sprinkler nearby.

How sweet. Our city could sure use some new folks.

Per the most recent information from Data USA, Huntington, WV. has a population of around 48, 735 people with a median age of 34.6 and a median household income of $29, 834. Between 2015 and 2016, the population of Huntington declined nearly half a percent, while the median household income declined .13%.

I’m confident, given the apparent, continued decline, these numbers have gotten worse.

But as people continue to vacate our city for greener, safer pastures, what sort of people are we attracting? Entrepreneurs? Business? Purpose-driven individuals seeking an environment fertile for growth?

Not a chance. Huntington is being avoided like the plague by anyone hopeful for the future!

Consider the foundation on which we are building our city’s future? Our city leadership appear determined to follow the same progressive path that’s brought ruin to larger, more successful cities. These are the exact same liberal, socialist policies embraced by Barack Hussein Obama, which sent our nation on a downhill spiral unparalleled in my lifetime.

Oh, and the exact same liberal policies that helped elect Donald J. Trump, much to the chagrin of liberals like we have at Huntington’s helm.

Just who are these people? Of course, we see the elected officials, those running point for the elite, but who makes up the deep state in Huntington? Who are these progressive “puppeteers” who never seem to make print or video, but are in the shadows, weaving their webs of deceit and tilting our city to the far left?

In this humble columnist’s opinion, our city’s priorities are completely upside down, as are most progressive policies. Our city leaders have no sustainable vision for the advancement of our community or the protection of our people.

Their intent? Just follow the money.

At the current rate of decline, what will the condition of our city be in 5 years, 10 years? It’s not a welcome proposition.

It’s time for the citizens of Huntington to take back their city. It’s time to elect leaders with the ability to attract business and make our city safe for its occupants. It’s time to hire city leaders who have a vision and the aptitude to get us back on the right track, before it’s too late!

It’s time to make Huntington great again!

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