There\u2019s always one in the bunch.\r\nBut five of the six counties in the DOH\u2019s District 4 speaking with one voice is not bad.\r\nOn Monday, county commissioners from Doddridge, Marion, Monongalia, Preston and Taylor counties met in Kingwood on road conditions.\r\nWe\u2019re unsure they reached any consensus, which is how we operate here on our opinions, yet we applaud these county commissions for caucusing on this issue.\r\nThat\u2019s more than the 17 delegates and at least seven state senators who approximately represent the area corresponding to District 4 have ever done about road conditions.\r\nAside from this show of unity, it was encouraging to hear these county commissioners not just asking tough questions, but extending practical solutions, too.\r\nPractical as in expressing common sense about why hundreds of Division of Highways vacancies will never be filled. Or decrying the complete lack of local input on the DOH\u2019s decision-making in some counties.\r\nPractical also as in suggestions to allow counties to hire private contractors to do part of the ditching and canopy removal on roads. Or rallying legislators from across the area to caucus on road conditions, too, and call on them to work together.\r\nPerhaps the most telling observation did come from a legislator who attended the session.\r\nHe noted a long foregone conclusion. \u201cDistrict 4, I\u2019d say is overall, excluding the Eastern Panhandle, without a doubt the economic driver of the state right now.\u201d\r\nAs such, clearly it\u2019s time for the driver to take the wheel and stop being steered in every direction but the right one.\r\nAnother observation, which was wheeled out about a half-dozen years ago, was the need for the state to reconsider how it funds our roads.\r\nIn August 2012, then Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin remarked during the creation of a Blue Ribbon Highway Commission:\r\n\u201cFunding for the state\u2019s highway system has not kept pace with highway needs [and] ... the current mechanisms of funding for highways are antiquated and insufficient.\u201d\r\nOf course, most of that commission\u2019s findings were shelved following its release, in late 2013.\r\nAlthough portions of it, including a massive road bond package, keeping the tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike and increasing DMV fees, all eventually won approval.\r\nHowever, those funds are all dedicated to new road projects, which should free up the DOH\u2019s operating budget to focus on maintenance and repair.\r\nWhich in effect should drastically affect District 4\u2019s budget positively.\r\nWe encourage this caucus of counties in District 4 to keep this engine in gear on improving road conditions.\r\nPark, neutral and reverse are no longer an option, either.\r\nThat leaves just one \u2014 drive.