WELLSBURG - Roy Givens 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 and that will be decided by all Brooke County voters.
A Democrat, Givens represented Brooke County in the state House of Delegates for 13 two-year terms and served on the Brooke County Board of Education for nine years prior to that.
While in the state Legislature, he was chairman of committees on veterans affairs, government organization and health and human resources; of a task force on juvenile foster care, detention and placement and of a 2010 House select committee on coal mining permits.
He also served on the House of Delegates' rules, judiciary, constitutional revisions, roads and transportation, education and political subdivision committees.
Between two terms he served as a volunteer project coordinator for the Brooke County Commission, through which he secured state grants for a new roof and other improvements to the Brooke County Courthouse and the establishment of the county's new animal shelter.
A graduate of Wellsburg High School and a Korean War veteran, he was employed for 41 years as a sales representative for the Standard Slag Co.
He is past chairman of the Brooke County Committee on Aging and past president of the Brooke County 4-H Foundation and has been a member of the Korean War Veterans Association, West Virginia Committee on Employers Support of the West Virginia Guard and Reserve, Brooke County West Virginia University Extension Service Committee, Greater Weirton Junior Achievement board and many civic groups.
His efforts to serve the community and assist various causes have been recognized through such honors as the Brooke-Hancock-Ohio Victims Assistance Program's Legislator of the Year Award, the James R. Lee Humanitarian Award, Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission's Public Service Award, West Virginia Veterans Affairs Veterans Council Award, Brooke County Adult Literacy Volunteer of the Year Award and the West Virginia Committee on Employers Support of the Guard and Reserve Meritorious Award.
Givens said if elected, he'd "work with the regional economic development authority and West Virginia Development Office to encourage new businesses to come to Brooke County and existing ones to grow."
He added he'd take advantage of the Marcellus shale natural gas boom by encouraging natural gas companies to employ local workers.
"The commission needs to maintain a balanced budget, especially in light of rising insurance costs, so the county is not spending more money than it has," Givens said.
He said as commissioner, he'd work to maintain the quality of services provided to residents without raising taxes. Givens said his experience in securing grants and contacts with state officials will help the county to make improvements and provide services without creating a heavy burden on taxpayers.