The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

January 28, 2013

Challenging times

Governor, legislature can lead state through period of changes

— The pomp and circumstance of another inauguration ceremony is now behind us and West Virginia’s elected leaders can get back to the many tasks before them, and the times are challenging.

Gone are the days of counting on steady budget surpluses, as has been the case during the last half dozen years, and present are the pressing issues of changes to Medicaid funding, education reform, regulatory matters for coal and natural gas, drug abuse, prison and jail overcrowding, and infrastructure development and maintenance.

That’s just the start. With budgets becoming tighter some difficult decisions will be forthcoming on various programs.

We don’t expect the issues to overwhelm Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. He’s always demonstrated the ability to bring as many people that are willing to work together, regardless of political affiliation, to the table to develop working solutions.

For more than three decades he has been serving our state and his legacy will now be solidified during the next four years.

While never one to be rushing to get in front of reporters and the bright lights, Tomblin has always had West Virginia’s best interests at heart in his work. We expect it to continue.

Tomblin is well respected by the leaders of our Legislature, being a member of that branch for 30-plus years, and his style of leadership is no stranger to them. Together, we are confident the executive and legislative branches will lead the Mountain State through this period of change.

Everyone will never be completely satisfied with what gets decided in Charleston, but the air of cooperation amongst our state leaders has been steadily improving for nearly a decade. Working to keep those communication avenues open and to promote effective dialogue and timely action is the key for a better West Virginia.