March 31, 2011
First, I want to thank the voters of the Russell District for the trust and confidence they have placed in me for the last 12 years. I have enjoyed immensely the opportunity to represent their interests and serve as their Supervisor.
After much consideration, I have decided to run for re-election for Supervisor of the Russell District as an Independent.
During this next term I will be focusing my attention on four areas that are of great interest to me.
- Controlled Spending–The next four years will be challenging ones for both the Commonwealth and Clarke County, and like families and businesses, we must hold the line on spending. I will work hard to make sure that we look for ways to cut waste and better consolidate cost.
- Economic Development–There are individuals and groups actively working to make Clarke County and Berryville, Boyce, Millwood, White Post and Pine Grove tourist destinations. One such person was the late Billy Thompson, who set an example to follow with his innovative ideas and programs. I want to encourage the use of vacant shops and spaces for new businesses and also maximize the capacity of our business park. Doing both of these things will bring more jobs to our community, help with keeping our youth locally employed and ensure more revenue to the county without increasing the financial burden currently weighing heavily on our families. Additionally, I would like to see Clarke County fully explore niche agriculture, an emerging form of economic development that helps keep our county green and brings in additional revenue. Having grown up on a farm, I truly understand and appreciate our agriculture base and deeply value its importance in feeding our country.
- Youth Activities–As a former teacher and a mother of four, I will continue to encourage local organizations that work towards making our young peoples’ lives more structured and goal oriented. Organizations like the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts, 4-H, FFA, the extension service plus CLEAN–all do a wonderful job teaching our young people to spend their time in positive and productive activities. If we want these young people to become a part of our community and stay in this community, then we need to do what we can to support these groups so that will happen.
- Elder Care–Having joined the ranks of those who have taken care of or who are taking care of their elderly parents, I have become increasingly aware of the needs of our seniors and our elderly residents. With this knowledge, I want to explore opportunities to enrich the quality of life of these deserving citizens. And, in that vein, I applaud the excellent work of Bonnie Dobson, her staff and her dedicated group of volunteers at our Senior Center.
With the recent redistricting, the Russell District will now include a portion of Battlefield Estates, which I represented during my first term as Supervisor. It will be great to have that portion of the district back and I look forward to meeting with those citizens and learning about the issues that are important to them while I continue to meet with existing members of the district.
We are truly fortunate to have many concerned and talented individuals in our community and I welcome the opportunity to hear ideas, concerns and suggestions from our citizens regarding how we can make Clarke County a better place.
Barbara J. Byrd