Commissioner Walt Helmick’s Vision as a New Pocahontas County Commissioner
In Part one of this story, we learned from new Pocahontas County Commissioner Walt Helmick about his experience in both State and Local government that he brings to the Commission. In this final segment, Commissioner Helmick lets us know about his ideas for applying that experience to his new position on the County Commission to help the citizens of the County.
“Well over the years, I have been blessed to have the different positions through the election through the people of Pocahontas County as well as all Eastern West Virginia and indeed the entire State of West Virginia, where I’ve been a statewide candidate and have been successful” said Commissioner Helmick. “So you see a lot of things that might be able to be implemented in the County. I’ve always felt that the County Commission was the second-best position that I’ve ever occupied, and that would also include being Chair of Finance, which is a significant position in the West Virginia Legislature. The reason I say that is you can do about anything. The State Code gives County Commissioners the ability to do economic development; to do water and sewerage infrastructure; and even be involved in education at certain levels. And so I bring some of that experience -or a lot of that experience back to the table for Pocahontas County. And I am a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute down in Norman, Oklahoma.”
“I strongly believe that West Virginia lags behind. You can see with all the statistics that West Virginia has a problem creating solid, good (and) well-paying jobs in our state. Se we have to diversify our economy, and there I will apply a lot of my experience and a lot of my time -I certainly intend on being a full-time County Commissioner, I’ll work it every day. And I’ve got good colleagues to work with, and I’m sure we will accomplish somethings there. The big thing is infrastructure and economic development. They all tie together, they are all one and the same. So, we have to look to the future. The Good Lord put eyes in the front of our head so we don’t look backwards. So, we need to look forward and lay out a plan for Pocahontas County that includes those things that I just mentioned, But primarily a good education system -and I will be involved in some level in education. Not as an elected official, but certainly talking to those people that are in those positions in education in Pocahontas County that we can work together in a meaningful and progressive way.’
“I ran unopposed, and I feel very good about that. People over the years have supported me. I’ve tried diligently to give back through the political offices that I’ve held, and I’ve held five different offices in five different decades. I was elected to the Board of Education, the County Commission, the West Virginia House of Delegates, West Virginia Senate and West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture. That was in the 70’s, the 80s, the 90s, the 2000s, and the 2010s. Not that it means a great deal, but very few people can be able to say that. It does give you a lot of experience. If I have the health and the ability to move forward with it, I intend to use every bit of it to the benefit of the good folks of Pocahontas County.”
We wish Commissioner Helmick the best in his new position.