Hoagland to continue focusing on roads, broadband, veterans
MARTINS FERRY — Newly re-elected Sen. Frank Hoagland, R-Mingo Junction, plans to maintain his focus on helping people in the communities he represents in the Ohio Senate.
Hoagland was recently sworn into office for his second and final term in the legislative body. State law mandates that senators can serve two consecutive four-year terms, so Hoagland will not be eligible for re-election again.
This year Hoagland said he wants to continue working on issues related to roads. He especially would like to find a way to help townships and villages better maintain their roadways.
He said the recent increase in the fuel tax has helped, but more could be done to help municipalities.
“I’m getting some resistance with the township association over it, but maybe we can come up with a happy solution and get those roads fixed,” he said.
Hoagland also plans to continue to tackle issues related to the expansion of broadband internet service into rural communities. He noted there is a potential pilot program based in Monroe County that involves using “dark wire,” which he said is leftover fiber optics that could be used.
Access not only to the internet, but faster internet service, is necessary for many aspects of life including telemedicine and downloading materials related to school work, he said.
Hoagland said the education system also needs to be retrofitted or modified to encourage students to look into a variety of fields of employment, such as the natural gas and oil industry. Students need to be taught the basics of being a good employee, such as the importance of showing up for work on time, he added.
Water infrastructure issues and expansion of service areas also are on Hoagland’s to-do list. And Hoagland, a retired Navy SEAL, said he continues to work on issues related to veterans.
And there are the everyday phone calls he takes that sometimes lead to helping individuals directly.
For example, an elderly woman called him and said she could not get propane delivered to her home. After speaking with her and the propane company, he was able resolve the situation.
In another instance, a resident’s home was smashed by a boulder that fell off the back of a company’s truck. He was able to speak to both parties and start the dialogue to get that resolved as well, he said.
Hoagland said he does not plan on running for any other public offices after completing his second Senate term. He does, however, plan to continue to enjoy his life while helping others along the way.
“Whatever God wants to do and what the people need,” he said of his public work. “You have to be as proactive as you can and get ahead of things. There is a reaction side of it; you still have to be prepared. I try to be as engaged as I possibly can.”
Hoagland and his wife Darla live in the Piney Fork area. They have two adult children together.