ELK GARDEN - Congressman David McKinley, of the West Virginia 1st Congressional District, meet with the Elk Garden elected officials on Thursday morning, and asked mayor Marian Droppleman to name the top goals for the community.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
ELK GARDEN - Congressman David McKinley, of the West Virginia 1st Congressional District, meet with the Elk Garden elected officials on Thursday morning, and asked mayor Marian Droppleman to name the top goals for the community.
Droppleman cited that one of the top priorities has been taken care of, and that is having a police officer in Elk Garden.
Jimmy Stewart was named police chief in April. Droppleman said that Stewart came onboard as a volunteer, and, “He is making progress in our town.”
Droppleman also said that two recent happenings have made her happy since being elected as mayor - “The hiring of a policeman and the first ever Christmas parade.”
The second goal is with the youth of the community, as Droppleman said, “We have to have more activities for our kids,” as she named an upcoming movie night in the park for the young people.
She also named the recent Camp Serenity also taking place in the park. It is fashioned after “an old-time Bible school,” where 47 youths were present for the five days of activities, including being served breakfast and lunch.
Michael Droppleman, finance director for Elk Garden, named an additional need in the community by saying one word, and that was “jobs.”
He said that his graduation class from Elk Garden High School was small, but almost all his classmates have moved away to seek employment.
McKinley told the council members he supports the Jennings Randolph Lake Hydropower Project on the North Branch of the Potomac River, where, “jobs, mostly in construction,” will be available.
McKinley said to those gathered at the town hall that when he is not is session, he travels thorough his district to “hear what the citizens has to say.”
He gave some facts concerning the elected representation in Washington and said that there are two senators for each state, however, the house members are determined by population, giving the example that Los Angles county alone has 22 house members.
McKinley inquired of mayor Droppleman about the water and sewerage system services in the mountain top community, and the average fee paid monthly by the citizens.
She said that at one time those services were provided by the town of Elk Garden and that business was “too expensive to maintain, and now water and sewerage comes from Mountain Top Public Service District, located in Grant County, with the average bill just around $65 a month for the both services.
The subject of opioid addiction was discussed, and McKinley said, “West Virginia is opioid center for drug problems.”
He said the amount of $500 million was approved by congress to spend on this drug problem, and at first $5.8 million would be the state’s share, but McKinley said that amount has now risen to $28 million.
He said at meetings in Morgantown it was determined that no one was applying to receive funding to combat the opioid epidemic.
McKinley said during the meetings, an agenda item gave instructions on how to apply for grant to assist with this drug problem.
Stewart told of an incident in Elk Garden, when he was patrolling the community, and two youths stopped him to report several needles they had discovered near the school, and he immediately took are of this situation.
McKinley said one item that needs to be addressed is to limit the number of pills dispensed at one time for a patient.
He added, “It is not just about the money, it is about the rehabilitation, the treatment, law enforcement, and teaching people to stay away from drugs.”
McKinley also spoke about the Second Amendment, and he said, “I am unbending and rock hard about this,” referring to the rights of citizens to own guns.
He said, “It is not the guns away, it is the mental health of people.,” as he said that during the Revolutionary War in the Battle of Lexington and Concord, “The British wanted to take away the weapons from the American Soldiers.”
McKinley also touched on the subject of unborn babies and he is definitely pro-life.
“They have rights, and I want to be their voice,” as he gave an option of adoption.
McKinley said that many small towns in West Virginia should pull together to form a “regional effort,” where five or six communities would share problems, and “make their voice louder.”