Government, The Braxton Democrat

Legislative Update…By Lori Dittman WV House of Delegates 63rd District

Spring continues to provide a number of opportunities to participate in events in our district and state.
I attended the Region VII Planning and Development Council meeting. Region VII serves seven counties including Braxton, Gilmer, Lewis, Upshur, Barbour, Tucker, and Randolph. Their mission is to partner with local communities to achieve growth and progress. I was joined at the meeting by County Commissioner Melvin Gum and Gassaway Mayor Richie Roach along with Gilmer County Commissioner Jacqueline Hashman. The meeting provided a wonderful opportunity to discuss projects and meet other representatives from the region. I look forward to hearing more about plans and will share information as it becomes available.
I had the pleasure to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Minnie Hamilton Health Clinic in Glenville. I appreciated the tour and seeing an expansion of quality health care to our region.
While in Glenville, I also stopped over to visit the Gilmer County Senior Center. Executive Director Sallie Matthes gave me a tour and a bit of the history of the center. The staff provide many wonderful services for seniors in the area. On Friday, May 5th, the center will be hosting a Mother’s Day Surprise Bingo. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. with Early Bird Games beginning at 5:30 p.m. I am sure it will be a fun evening.
I also met with WV Elite Ms. Agriculture USA Susan Kearns at the Braxton County High Schools FFA’s greenhouse. We both would like to encourage your support of FFA programs in both Braxton and Gilmer counties.
Interim meetings are scheduled for the second week of May in Huntington. I am looking forward to working on Education, Health and Human Resources, and Economic Development and Tourism Committees.
Governor Justice announced the beginning of a hospitality and tourism education program to be implemented in all fifty-five counties, as part of the new workforce development initiative, Tourism Works. I have a lot of interest in this program as it is similar to one my mother-in-law, Jane Dittman, was instrumental in developing in the 1990’s. I feel, as she did, that tourism was an underdeveloped resource in West Virginia.
On a personal note, this past Saturday I resumed my quest to run in all 55 counties. Grant County marked number 45. While there, I visited the Spring Mountain Festival and the Grant County Schools Art Show at the Landes Arts Center. I enjoyed hearing how the dreams of a few people coming together created an amazing art center for the community, and I am inspired to dream of what can be in our region. We have a wonderful location in central West Virginia, now is the time to dream, play to our strengths and make some dreams come true.
“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”
(Margaret J. Wheatley)
I look forward to hearing from people in the district and hope to see you out and about enjoying all the great things our area has to offer. The Folk Festival, Gassaway Days, and the Big Foot Festival are just around the corner. I can be contacted at [email protected] or 304-701-8600.