City commission to welcome new faces

By Morgan McKinniss -

GALLIPOLIS — The Gallipolis City Commission will have two new members starting January 1, 2018.

Cody Caldwell and Beau Sang will be joining Mike Fulks, Tony Gallagher, and Steven Wallis to help govern the city as Roger Brandeberry and Matt Johnson’s terms have expired.

Sang is a native of the area and currently works for Rocket VII interactive, although he worked for Holzer Health Systems as an administrator since 2008. He graduated from Marshall University with a Masters in Health Care Administration in 2008.

Caldwell is a native of Gallipolis, having grown up in Rio Grande. He and his family currently reside in the city and own the French City Academy on Third Avenue. He currently works for Holzer as an x-ray technician where he has been for 10 years. He is a 2004 graduate of Gallia Academy High School.

“This is where we live, this is where we want to raise our kids, we want to make it the best that we can,” said Caldwell.

Sang also has high hopes for his time as a commissioner. Knowing that there are challenges the city is currently facing, he hopes that his experience and knowledge will help resolve some of those challenges and move the community forward. Many of the issues hang around the division that Gallipolis currently faces.

“I think there is some division among the generations in the community,” said Sang. “I think that bringing everyone together is going to be critical in the success of turning things around in the community.”

Caldwell also sees the need to bridge the gap between generations.

“Seeing the way our town is headed, I feel that we are almost at a crossroads,” said Caldwell. “We have lifelong residents who have one point of view, and we also have a younger generation who want to revitalize our town.”

In order to help deal with the divide in Gallipolis and Gallia County at large, Caldwell hopes to bridge that gap between generations for the sake of the town.

“People have the same end goals, they want this to be a thriving place,” said Caldwell. “For one generation it’s from their memories and for the other it’s from what they’ve seen the greener pastures, they’ve seen how other places work and operate and they want to bring that here.”

Understanding that everyone in Gallipolis wants Gallipolis to be successful, Caldwell hopes to find the common ground and build the community by both sides making compromises for the sake of everyone.

“We can’t have each side being so rigid and stuck in their side. Everybody wants their way or no way some of the times,” said Caldwell. “I don’t want anyone to think I’m staunchly on one side. I’ve heard comments people have made in the community that me and Beau Sang ran strictly based on the splash pad. That has nothing to do with my decision.”

One of the major challenges facing the new commissioners is the budget. In recent years there has been increasing concern over the financial status of the city.

“I want to make sure all of our resources are allocated to the right places at the right times,” said Caldwell. “With what we have we want to make sure resources are going to the right places and we can build from there.”

Sang understands that in light of some recent conflict associated with the city government, there has been a lot to say on social media form the general public. He would offer this advice to those concerned with the City of Gallipolis.

“Attend the meetings, voice your concerns, don’t just get on social media and complain and bash things,” said Sang. “Step up and come out and explain to the commissioners what your concerns are, and maybe on top of complaining help create solutions.”

“I’m here for everybody, I’m here for the long term. I don’t want quick fixes,” said Caldwell. “I want people to enjoy the things that we can provide for them.”

“I’m excited to get in there and get my hands dirty and turn things around,” said Sang.

By Morgan McKinniss

Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342.

Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342.