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Siobhan Gerhart (R)

Charleston

Education: West Virginia State University

Occupation: Application project manager

Gazette Opinion:

Q: Do you support evidence-based programs to protect public health during the drug abuse crisis?

A: I support evidence-based programs but government funds prove most effective when used for preventive measures rather than rehabilitation. The statistics that are used for programs should be researched and tailored to our region. Statistics are only as good as their sample group, so we must reference statistics who’s sample groups resemble our community.

Q: Would you support expanding the bike pathway along Kanawha Boulevard?

A: Yes, Charleston is a perfect city to attract millennials. The younger generation is drawn to more activity-based options, as well as greener initiatives. Jobs follow people. By ensuring that young, intelligent people want to live here, more companies will follow. It also bears mentioning the pathway provides an affordable transportation alternative, while promoting healthier living.

Daily Mail Opinion:

Q: How should the city address the issue of criminal transient individuals?

A: If our city is attracting true criminals, we need to address the reasons they are comfortable living in our city and make it uncomfortable for them. Grants should be offered to organizations that provide shelter, services and other resources to homeless. Homelessness can only be ended when organizations help individuals get to the appropriate resources.

Q: Has the city of Charleston become a better or worse place to live in the past five years? How so?

A: Both. In the past five years, Charleston has become a better place to live in large part due to the city-wide renewal projects coupled with an increased number of activities offered. However, a growing homeless population and a rise in drug usage have taken away from the overall sense of safety and security.