Battise runs as write-in candidate

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 29, 2007

Leonard “Pappy” Battise says he’s not running for mayor because he’s looking for a job in politics but because he wants to serve the community he has lived in his whole life.

The write-in candidate said he woke up one day and decided it was something he had to do.

“Instead of complaining, get up there and do something you can be proud of,” he said. “Run for mayor and see what you can do for the people.”

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Battise, who is employed by American Electric Power as a meter reader, said he wants to bring unity.

“It’s everyone getting together for the common good,” he said. “I will be working with the people of Ironton, not against them. I have lived in this town for 55 years and I think we can get it together.”

He said the main thing facing Ironton is the need for jobs.

“We need good paying jobs so we can increase the tax base which will pay for services we need,” Battise said. “We won’t be able to get big plants in but we can get small ones to compensate. We want to keep all the businesses in Ironton, the money we keep here, circulates here.”

Good jobs will also keep people in Ironton.

“All my life, I had to work outside Ironton, there were no good jobs for me in Ironton,” he said. “Same way for my family and friends. Every man needs to take care of himself and his family, that is called survival.”

Another concern is managing municipal debt.

“We need to keep our long-term debt down,” he said, explaining that most governments on all levels overspend money. “Therefore, that bill will be passed on to the next generation which it should not be. All we are going to leave for our children is a bill and that is not correct.”

He said the government needs to conserve on spending but take care of all obligations and keep the credit rating up.

“We are a small town and we can survive,” Battise said. “Ironton has a lot of good people and we need to utilize them.”

Besides Battise, Council members Bob Cleary and Rich Blankenship, Ironton School Board member Bob Vaughn and financial advisor Walt Butler are running for the open mayor’s position. Current Mayor John Elam has decided to not to run for reelection.

Election day is Nov. 6.