Butler: City needs job creation

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 3, 2007

Ironton mayoral candidate Walt Butler, owner of the Ironton-based Butler Insurance and Financial Services, says that his main focus would be job creation, the Ironton-Russell Bridge and getting Ironton back to what it once was.

Butler graduated from Ironton High School and after graduationserved in the military.

The Vietnam veteran returned and attended Ashland Business College. He worked for Western Southern Life Insurance for 10 years. In 1983, he started the medical supply company Oxy Flow and then started his insurance and financial company in 1990.

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He said a focus of the mayor needs to be going after all types of businesses.

“We need to try to attract larger and smaller businesses, we need to go after both,” said Butler, who will compete against three other candidates on the ballot and a write-in in the November election. “We need to go after all of them. We shouldn’t limit ourselves, we should go after all of them.”

He added that all the available land in town should be filled with industry and business. To find businesses, there should be brochures and a Web site promoting Ironton’s positives like having access to rail, the Ohio River and many highways.

As for the bridge, he said he, like everyone else, is concerned about the safety of it and that it has to be addressed.

“I would take action and bring it before council,” Butler said. “They do need to talk to the Ohio Department of Transportation but council needs to take action.”

He suggests an ordinance to limit the weight of trucks using the bridge.

He would also like to speed up the process to get rid of houses that have been burned but are still standing.

“It’s unfortunate for the people that live there and are displaced, but we do have to look at our city,” Butler said.

He said if the owners have the resources they need to raze the buildings and if they don’t have the money, the city needs to help.

“They get grants for all types of things. Let’s look and see if we can get a grant to help these people out,” he said. “After all, they are our citizens too.”

He said there are many other issues that concern him such as youth and the illegal drugs in the area.

“We need to do things for our youth,” he said. “We need to come up with recreation for all our people, especially the young ones.”

He said there are many other issues that he will be addressing during his campaign.

As for managing the city, he said he would talk to the department heads and see what they need and what can be cut.

“There may be things that can be eliminated,” he said. “Off the top of my head, one thing I think we can do without is the parking meters. They are just sitting there not being used. Can’t we sell them to another city?

“There are a lot of different ways, we can create income for the city.”

Butler is married to Patricia Eaches and they have two children, Tiffany and Andrew.

Other candidates running for mayor include Councilman Bob Cleary, Councilman Rich Blankenship, and Ironton Schools Board of Education member Bob Vaughn. Leonard Battise is running as a write-in candidate.