WELLSBURG - Steve Tennant of Wellsburg has declared his candidacy for a seat on the Brooke County Commission.
The seat, which must be filled by a resident of the Follansbee Magisterial District, is one of two that are up in the May 8 primary election.
A Democrat, Tennant is a lifelong Brooke County resident and has been involved over the years in the Wellsburg Fire Department, of which he is a retired member; Wellsburg 4th of July Committee, of which he was chairman for a number of years; and Animal Advocates Brooke County, a local animal humane organization.
He was a member of the Independent Steelworkers Union while working in various departments at Weirton Steel for 17 years. He said that seeing the future of steel was bleak, he moved on to sales and management positions with several of the nation's largest outdoor advertising companies and he continues to work part-time in the field while co-owning J.T.'s Barber Shop in Wellsburg with his wife.
Tennant said if elected, he will give up all other endeavors to serve as a full-time commissioner.
He said, "These are pivotal times for Brooke County. I have attended commission meetings regularly for the past eight years. I am the only non-incumbent who can say that, and I am always amazed at the casual way taxpayer dollars are handled."
Tennant said, "There seems to be special people with their own little projects that always have their hand in the public till. Money is asked for and money is given and little or no accountability of any taxpayer dollars is given to any project, organization or other entity. If there is no or little benefit to the taxpayers of Brooke County, I will vote against these special projects."
He said, "The future of Brooke County belongs to a younger generation. To that end, I will start a roundtable of younger men and women who have decided to stay here or moved back. These young people have to be empowered to get involved and become active in laying the foundation for Brooke County's future."
"We are failing here in Brooke County. Yet we continue to elect the same people to office and appoint the same people to important county committees. As the county's population continues to age, and this was well chronicled by the New York Times, deaths way out-pace births, we theoretically could become a ghost town," Tennant said.
He continued, "This is why it is imperative that the younger people have got to be asked to step up and why county leaders have got to work with them. We can only have economic development and a turn in the right direction if we get the future of this county on board right now. New investment, business opportunities and growth can come from bringing our young people and their ideas to the forefront."
Tennant said, "If elected this will be a priority for me. I honestly believe Brooke County cannot move forward with the same tired ideas, the same elected officials and the same people on important committees. The culture of entitlement in Brooke County must stop and the taxpayer must be put first."
"If we get our house in order, we can make our county attractive to those who want to come back and those who will want to be part of a new and better time for Brooke County. The investments, opportunities and growth will allow our families to come together again," he said.
"If elected, I promise I will be a full-time county commissioner, my door will be open, my cell phone number will be public and I will be accessible and accountable. I will be a good steward of taxpayer dollars and I will have only one job, county commissioner," Tennant said.