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Doyle shares garage hopes

By Staff | Jan 6, 2012

Del. John Doyle speaks during a town hall meeting Tuesday, Jan. 3 at the Byrd Center for Legislative Studies. Doyle discussed plans and goals for his final session in the state legislature.

Del. John Doyle held his traditional Town Hall meeting on Tuesday night to discuss his goals for the upcoming legislative session.

Likely his final legislative session, Doyle, who recently announced that he will not run again, talked about goals he would like to help accomplish before he leaves office.

After the recent special session on Marcellus Shale drilling to determine rules and regulations for the new form of extraction, many in attendance want to know what changes to the rules Doyle foresees.

“I’m not optimistic we can pass something this year,” he said.

Though Doyle said he supports strengthening the rules decided upon, especially with concern to ‘forced pooling,’ “that is a question that we did not settle,” he said.

According to Doyle, issues like locality pay for teachers and property tax disparities remain issues that will face a hard sell down state though they are among the biggest concerns for residents of the Eastern Panhandle.

“I am not optimistic of either of these things happening,” he said.

Doyle pointed to party politics as the major reason those concerns have yet to be considered and acted upon.

“It’s bumping our heads up against a stone wall,” he said

Another concern for the Eastern Panhandle that Doyle wants to see addressed in this session is the Marc train subsidy.

Though President Obama’s economic stimulus temporarily helped alleviate the increased cost of fares for federal employees who commute via train, Doyle thinks the state needs to address the issue.

Doyle said he thinks the governor will work to find a way to help subsidize train use, a departure from the previous administration.

“Governor Tomblin is more amenable to this issue,” he said.

Doyle also discussed Shepherdstown’s push to construct a long sought after parking garage. On that topic Doyle was more positive.

“I am optimistic that we can finally get it this year,” he said.

One change that Doyle will make personally is a reassignment from financial to judiciary committee, an unpopular switch Doyle volunteered for since its his last legislative session.

Doyle said the move may actually put him in a better position to influence decisions regarding his district.

“I’m taking one for the team and in my mind the team is Jefferson County,” he said.

When asked if he’s decided on his next occupation after his term ends, Doyle simply chuckled, ” No.”