BECKLEY - Residents of Beckley gathered on Tuesday to hear what each candidate running for Mayor aimed to improve if elected.
Ann Worley, Cedric Robertson, Bill O'Brien and Tony Martin are all running for the interim Mayor position hoping to finish out Mayor Pugh's term. Each speaker focused on one specific topic, but said they know there is much more to be done. Ann Worley wants to keep improving what the city already has, but plan for what the city needs.
Worley said, "my idea was to take care of what we've got in our city. That means keeping our city solvent, in the black... using creative and ingenious ideas to move the city forward and utilizing our work in progress: The Comprehensive Plan."
Cedric Robertson based his improvements around consolidating services and cutting costs.
"I think we need to evaluate those departments and see whether we can either consolidate or cut our costs by addressing those issues," said Robertson.
Bill O'Brien focused on a very specific issue; the homeless problem in Beckley.
O'Brien said he wants to do here, what he has seen done elsewhere; "to develop a program to get those homeless families off the streets. For six months they have rent free, the churches sponsor them to get jobs and the majority of those cases have worked out making these people productive again and getting those people off the streets."
Tony Martin said he knows there is a disconnect between the people and the elected officials. He hopes to fix that problem to ensure his children, and our future generation, can be successful and grow with Beckley.
"I hope that they can build their future right here. I know our city has the assets and the resources to make that happen, but right now we're just not accomplishing that. Our city is just not growing and I feel we're stagnant; again, because of that disconnect," Martin said.
At today's event each individual was able to say how they will better the city of Beckley, but the decision is ultimately up to the council.
"Hopefully their decision is not based on what they want for their individual careers, but what's best for our city," said Martin.
O'Brien said, "I know all of the council members; they're all good people and I know they wanna do what's right for the City of Beckley and we're leaving it in their hands."
The City Council will vote for interim Mayor on January 2nd.