Casteel Hopes to Bring Positive Change to Paden City
In a recent interview with the Wetzel Chronicle and Tyler Star News, Paden City Mayor candidate Rick Casteel spoke about his decision to join the race for the city’s top position. Casteel said he put a lot of thought into it, and after sitting on council the past few years he came to the conclusion that the only way to turn the community back around would be to make a change at the top.
“As a councilman, I have tried my best to make suggestions that would benefit the people I serve, and I have had opposition every time. It is time to address issues that have been ignored for way to long,” said Casteel.
He said he is a life-long resident of Paden City and has always been proud to call it home. However, in the past few years he has been embarrassed by the way the community has been treated and misinformed. Casteel graduated from Paden City High School in 1977. He is a four year veteran of the United States Navy as a rescue swimmer. He worked 28 years at the former Ormet Corporation where he held a position on the grievance committee working to handle problems between employees and management, which he believes will benefit him and the citizens if elected Mayor.
“What I see now is the need to have a full time Mayor. Someone who is available to the people and will answer their calls. Someone who is dedicated to working not only for himself, but for the good of the community and the citizens who he represents. That will be my campaign pledge,” Casteel added. “I will work for you.”
When asked what specific challenges lie ahead for Paden City, he cited several things, including enhancing the use of Paden City Park and promoting it for the benefit of community growth.
“We have by far the best tract of land of any community in the Valley. Paden City Park is the showcase of the area. When people come to town and look at our facilities they always comment on how beautiful our park is,” Casteel said. “We have so much more we could be doing to make it even better. We need to invest in it and make it a place where our families and children can enjoy year round. I think with cooperation and proper planning we can do that.”
Casteel said there is a lot of space unused and he has his own ideas, but is open to others with suggestions to use these spaces for more activity.
He said another area where Paden City needs to be proactive is with it’s elderly and disabled. He mentioned a time when the city had compassion on these two groups and they received a discount on their utility bills.
“It was a good thing and it made life easier on many of our residents. Without cutting any benefits or employees, I would like to tighten up our spending and see if we could return to helping people in ways like that.”
Other things on his mind included less talk and more action when it comes to repairing and paving our streets. Casteel said he believes we can all work together to accomplish certain things like cleaning up the town or we can keep the status quo and accomplish nothing.
“We need to work within our budget, I know we can do better,” he said. Getting back to the park, Casteel said he wants to re-establish and improve the campground, while promoting it to bring in more revenue for the Park and Pool.
“We can’t afford to lose Paden City Pool. It’s to important to the community. We have great ball fields, our little league does a terrific job keeping them in great shape, and our high school fields are maintained by mostly volunteers year round, while always making improvements. That’s working together and getting things done. The same goes for those who help with the swimming pool. But we can do more and it will be a top priority if I get elected.”
He said Paden City Pool was built for a reason back in the late sixties, at that time children from Paden City had to go to adjourning towns to enjoy a day at the pool. “Times have changed, but the pool is still an important part of our park and I want to see it stay that way.”
“We need to keep our police force, but we need to go back to having one we can afford, and quit running them off by under-training and underpaying them. There was a time when we had more people and less staff. But we hired people who were qualified and willing to make it their career. They made a living and raised their families and were dedicated to making Paden City safe and secure. We can do that again,” he added.
Casteel said by working together we have made progress in getting clean water for our residents, but there is still a lot of work to do. He mentioned the testing of the soil that is taking place and the work the EPA and others are doing to find out where the problems are so we can get it under control. He also said the community can rest assured that if he is elected he will have an open door policy and he will keep the people informed if any dangers arise. “I believe the Paden City water crisis group has been and will continue to be a huge part of our recent and future success.”
He added he wants to work closely with Paden City High School to ensure that the students get proper recognition when they perform well. He would like to see students recognized on a monthly basis at the council meetings.
He said he wants to see the Paden City Library and Senior Center continue to be active parts of the community and he is proud of the Paden City Fire Department. With all of that being said, he added one of his goals will be to work with the Paden City Development Authority to promote new business. He would like to see a nice family restaurant in town, and maybe work to bring in some professional people.
“We don’t have a lawyer, a doctor, a dentist, no insurance company, or any other professional other than an accountant. I believe we need to concentrate our efforts on attracting some of these people here.”
“I think with the proper planning we can get the ship back in the water and stay afloat,” Casteel stated.
Last but not least he said along with his open door policy and being a full time Mayor, he will hide nothing from the residents, everything will be upfront. There will be no closed door meetings unless they are absolutely necessary. Nothing will take place behind closed doors. “I’ve had too much of that.”
“If you come to me with a problem you can rest assured we will do the best we can to rectify the issue. That’s what I made a living doing at Ormet. If you elect me Mayor, I promise to be a full time Mayor who will take the job serious.”