Fayette County Delegate Margaret Anne Staggers has been appointed chair of the House of Delegates Roads and Transportation Committee.

In her sixth year serving as a delegate, Staggers says she is excited about her new position.

She previously served as vice-chairperson to Putnam County Dale Martin who passed away over the summer.

Staggers’ new duties include deciding which bills to run through the committee. Any issues dealing with roads or transportation must first go through Roads and Transportation before being sent other committees or to the House floor for voting.

Staggers’ father, the late 2nd District  Congressman Harley O. Staggers, served as chairman of the House Committee of Interstate and Foreign Commerce.

While she says her father’s position was “a lot more powerful than state roads and transportation,” she said she thinks he would be very proud of her for getting the position.

As for the 2012 agenda, Staggers says the committee will take another look at the ongoing issue of texting and driving. They will also look at the advent of new smart cars and trucks.

She says they will also assure that the infrastructure of the roadways are maintained.

“As a state, we can’t grow unless we have roads and ways to get tourists in and our products out. We should be known for the best roads in the country.”

While Staggers isn’t serving in the legislature, she works as an emergency room doctor, a paramedic, as the director of several ambulance services and as a teacher.

She says her work in the medical field has made her strive to “make sure the paramedic system in the state is the best in the country.”

One of her goals is to change people’s attitudes on mind-altering drugs, a huge problem in southern West Virginia.

Staggers teaches courses on health care at Mountain State University and is a clinical instructor at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg.

She has also taught at Marshall University and West Virginia University.

Staggers that while she has a lot on her plate, she manages to stay balanced. She says she loves to teach and she has a “vigorous appetite” for life.

“I’ll be 67 in a couple of weeks and I’ve studied all my life. I think that’s the whole point of life is to continue to learn and expand.”

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com

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