Bob Henry Baber

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Bob Henry Baber (born December 15, 1950) is an American writer and politician. He is an Appalachian poet who was the first member of the Mountain Party to be elected to office when he became mayor of Richwood, West Virginia in 2004.[1] In 2011, Baber was unanimously nominated to be the Mountain Party's candidate for the special gubernatorial election in October 2011.[2] In the gubernatorial election he placed third out of the five candidates with 6,083 votes making up for 2.02% of the votes cast.[3] In 2012, Baber ran for the position of US Senator in West Virginia under the Mountain Party label against the Democratic incumbent in a three-way race.[4] He was included in the only Senate debate in 2012 [5] and he received 16,951 or 3.02% of the total vote.[6] Baber ran for U.S. Senate once more in 2014.[7]

Career in politics[edit]

During his first tenure as mayor, Baber repaired sidewalks, remodeled the Richwood Depot, gave pay raises to city employees, repaired streets, purchased new computers for city workers, secured grants for two new police vehicles, and helped double the size of the nearby Cranberry Wilderness. His efforts to double the wilderness were universally voted against by both the City Council and the Chamber of Commerce. Baber's most significant contribution was securing a 3 million dollar grant from the State of West Virginia and the Federal government to clean up the Cherry River. At the time Baber took office, 90% of the City's sewage was going directly into the river. Subsequent to the initially secured 4 million (the citizens voted to assess 1 million to be paid at 0% interest over 30 years), the city received nearly 2 million more from the Obama Administration as a "shovel ready' project. Now built, the new system has reduced the pollution of the Cherry by approximately 75%.

In May 2007, he and the mayor of Lewisburg, West Virginia, John Manchester, received the 2007 Environmental Hero Award of The Wilderness Society.[8][9]

During his mayoral tenure, a small group of individuals (including City Recorder, Myles Caldwell) began an investigation on ethics charges and election fraud. As part of the investigation, the WV State Police explored 1971 charges (where a Los Angeles "Love In" was categorized by LAPD as a "riot"). After extensive investigations, all charges were dropped. Caldwell and others pushed for impeachment but in August 2007, one week before these allegations was to be tried before a Nicholas County Court, Baber resigned. He identified the financial need to support two children in college in his decision to accept a position at Glenville State College where he served as grant-writer and developer.[10][11][12]

Publications[edit]

His publications include "A Bedtime Rhyme" for children.[12] His work has appeared in many anthologies, including Pierced by a Ray of Sun: Poems About the Times We Feel Alone.[13] He co-edited an anthology. Old wounds, New words : poems from the Appalachian poetry project[14] and is the author of Swamper File.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gannon, George (May 27, 2005). "From the mouth of Baber". The Daily Mail. Charleston, West Virginia - reproduced at West Virginia Mountain Party website. 
  2. ^ Mountain Party selects gubernatorial candidate DailyMail.com, May 3, 2011
  3. ^ http://apps.sos.wv.gov/elections/results/results.aspx?year=2011&eid=10&county=Statewide
  4. ^ http://wvgazette.com/News/politics/201210010104
  5. ^ http://wvgazette.com/News/201210010104
  6. ^ http://apps.sos.wv.gov/elections/results/results.aspx?year=2012&eid=13&county=Statewide
  7. ^ "Mountain Party candidate makes 4 in Senate race". The Charleston Gazette. July 31, 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2014. 
  8. ^ Giggenbach, Christian (May 19, 2007). "Mayors of Richwood, Lewisburg honored". Register-Herald. Retrieved 31 December 2009. 
  9. ^ Mountain Messenger (26 May 2007). "http://news.google.ca/newspapers?id=eTskAAAAIBAJ&sjid=qvcFAAAAIBAJ&pg=668,4021390&dq=bob-henry-baber+mayor&hl=en". Lewisburg, West Virginia. Retrieved 31 December 2009.  External link in |title= (help)
  10. ^ Hanna, Pat (August 24, 2007). "Mayor won't leave early; locks ordered changed". Register-Herald. Beckley, West Virginia. Retrieved 31 December 2009. 
  11. ^ "Richwood Mayor Resigns A Week Before Impeachment Allegations". WSAZ NewsChannel 3. August 27, 2007. Retrieved 31 December 2009. 
  12. ^ a b "Part 4: The Folk Festival's Belles know how and what to read". Glenville Democrat and Pathfinder. 23 July 2009. Retrieved 31 December 2009. [dead link]
  13. ^ Vasilakis, Nancy (September 1, 1995). "Pierced by a Ray of Sun: Poems About the Times We Feel Alone.(Young Adult Review)(Brief Article)". The Horn Book Magazine. Retrieved 31 December 2009. 
  14. ^ Bob Henry Baber; George Ella Lyon; Gurney Norman, eds. (1994). Old wounds, new words : poems from the Appalachian poetry project (1st ed.). Ashland, Ky.: Jesse Stuart Foundation. p. 203. ISBN 0-945084-44-7. 
  15. ^ Baber, Bob Henry (2006). Swamper File. Huntington, WV: Mid-Atlantic Highlands. ISBN 0-9744785-4-7.