Carter Turner challenging "Butch" Church for Board of Supervisors seat.
Carter Turner, 41 filed as an Independent to run for the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Catawba District. He walked out of the administration building promptly at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday and explained his reasons for running.
“At the local level party affiliation gets is in the way,” said Carter. It’s all about building trust and working together. “It is not to work for party – it is to work for people,” he said. His incumbent opponent Chairman “Butch” Church is also an Independent though he was elected as a Republican.
Even before Turner ran against and lost to then Delegate Morgan Griffith in 2009 Turner became interested in public service. He was successful in stopping the asphalt plant planned near a school. “The seed was planted then,” said Turner. Industry in that area should be kept to the south side of 460.
He will focus his campaign on efficiency, effectiveness and streamlining spending. “I really am fiscally conservative,” said Turner. Decisions in recent years have “raised a red flag” and “spending taxpayers money is a sacred trust,” he said. As an example he cited the Green Ridge Recreation Center which he believes does not serve all the people of Roanoke County and saying “that kind of thing should have been a referendum.”
The problem Turner has with Slate Hill (now named South Peak) is the period of time the developer has before he starts paying taxes. Typically in the past it has been three to five years but this is twenty years. He worries about the precedent it sets. It could work out to be “a real windfall” but he sees it as risky though he said he favors public/private partnerships.
He would contrast with Church and be more cautious in spending. Even as a teacher himself “being overworked and under paid” he would not have given the $500 bonuses to teachers in the middle of a recession. “There is too much economic uncertainty,” said Turner.
Turner said that Church voted against moving the asphalt plant to its current location that he considers better suited though it came closer to his own home. “I don’t know what [Church’s] vision for the county is,” said Turner. He questioned Church’s thinking on the “smart” placement of industry in the county – his only concern is what will get him votes.
Turner placed a high emphasis on being accessible to constituents. He sees frustration in the community in getting phone calls returned and communicating with constituents. Twelve years is a long time to serve and a representative can become complacent.
Turner explained that effective representation is especially needed in the Glenvar area. “Glenvar has historically been the industrial waste zone of the county … that just does not make financial sense,” he said. It is the closest part of the county to Virginia Tech and Glenvar can be made an extension of the corridor and not just a place to dump industry. “That is the most prudent financial way to use the land,” said Turner.
He is prepared to work with every board member to make things happen. His website will be up and running soon (TurnerForSupervisor.com) and he will put information about his campaign on a new facebook page.
Turner is an Assistant Professor of the Philosophy of Religious Studies at Radford University.
He is a native Virginian and grew-up in Salem, VA and lives in Campbell Hills in Roanoke County with his wife, Karen, and daughter, Callaway 12.
Turner is a 1987 Graduate of Salem High School, and he was a member of the 1986 Regional Championship football team and the tennis team. He graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.A. in History and earned an M.A. from the Iliff School of Theology, and a Ph.D. in Religious and Theological Studies from the University of Denver.
Roanoke County, Virginia — May 4, 2011 — With a commitment to effectiveness and efficiency, and the belief that it is time to go beyond politics and partisan bickering, and because Roanoke County is not Washington and cannot be run like it, I am today announcing my independent candidacy for the Catawba District’s seat on the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors.
Leadership today is not about tenure – how long one has served – but about how well. Leadership today is about working for the common public good with common sense. It’s about making a difference instead of another speech…it’s about cutting red tape instead of cutting a ribbon…it’s about listening to people who pay so much for gasoline, electric power and the burdens of taxation that their American dream is only a dream of yesterday. This generation of leaders has to answer to the realities of a new day.
I favor zero-based budgeting to ensure that County expenses are justified for every budget cycle…we cannot pay tomorrow just because of history and precedent. I favor purchasing strategies that reflect inter-department cooperation, producing savings from across-the-board cooperation and scale. I strongly oppose a real estate tax increase, and will fight to ensure assessments are fair and consistent.
I favor an educational system that is vital—including one that uses the direct experience of retired leaders in the classroom. Business experience, military leadership, and civic leadership all represent lessons to be taught. There is no greater priority in our community than the education of our children, and I am fully committed to supplying the resources our teachers need to do the job effectively.
My own experience includes the inspiration received from effective teamwork in opposition to a proposed asphalt plant. The right to breathe quality air cannot be for sale. We cannot compromise air, water, safe roads, and green spaces for eternal “development.”
The West Main St. corridor should be a source of pride. It stands in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Parkway and represents a natural doorway to the Valley. Designating Glenvar as the County’s primary industrial zone is not the best use of land, and makes little financial sense for the County. We must have clarity to envision a smart, well designed district, and resolve to bring it to fruition.
The home place of the Valley should be safety…from highway safety to security against vandals and crime. We need to protect and preserve the qualities that really mean “life and liberty” to Americans. Leadership should make this very clear—crime does not pay in Roanoke County. Those who break into homes steal far more than material things—they take peace of mind and belief in the integrity of a community.
We can become an All-American model…for “America” is not some far-distant place of marble and marvels; it is here in the daily life, challenges, and opportunities of a region guarded by mountains and by values.
I will bring the value of active listening; I will be personally available throughout the district; I will hold forums to receive public perspectives; I will work as hard as any supervisor in Virginia. As a university teacher and as a parent, I recognize that biography is the best lesson of all; we have a chance to leave a legacy of respect and of results; that’s why I am standing for this office… and working now for a new day in Virginia’s Roanoke County.
Posted By Valerie Garner
Categories: Election 2011, Elections, Politics, Roanoke County Politics
Tags: board_of_supervisors, Election 2011, Elections