June 14, 2017 by mtairynews Hayden announces re-election bidNews, Top Stories
By Tom Joyce - email@example.com
It’s campaign season in Virginia, which includes plans by a member of the Patrick County Board of Supervisors to seek re-election as its representative for Ararat, Claudville, Willis Gap and surrounding areas.
Roger T. Hayden, 69, has filed to run for a third four-year term as supervisor for the Dan River District, a seat he first was elected to in 2009. The filing deadline for the 2017 county election in November was Tuesday at 7 p.m., and no one had tossed a hat into the ring to run against the incumbent as of late Tuesday morning.
Hayden said later Tuesday that he would like to continue being a voice for citizens in the Dan River District on securing Live-able wage jobs, taxation, emergency medical response, County communications and other Infrastructure.
“I think as far as the taxes part, we’ve got that kind of under control right now,” said the incumbent, who added, “I’ve never voted for a property tax increase.” And remain a Watch Dog to stop more Tax and Debt .
Patrick County’s taxation situation seems stabilized at present, Hayden said, after the majority of the county supervisors voted to increase the tax rate from 55 to 57 cents per $100 of assessed valuation two years ago.
“But I’m still watching taxes and especially our debt,” the Dan River District supervisor said of a need to maintain a conservative fiscal policy. This included his and other supervisors’ rejecting plans this year by the Patrick County school system to borrow $2 million.
Hayden said he “will not support any more tax increases or debt, as Patrick County’s economy is still in decline — citizens are struggling with lower income.”
Hayden said another concern of his involves an issue faced by localities around the nation, a decrease in volunteers for rescue services.
The Dan River supervisor said his district is blessed with three rescue squads and fine personnel manning them, but they need help.
A proposed paid backup system in the Stuart area has been voiced by Board Members. I support a subsidy program to aid volunteer squad members who run calls. As our County is not in a Financial position to start a fully paid EMS Fire and Rescue.
“Even though they are volunteers, they still should be compensated for their time and fuel,” he said, which can involve members having to drive their personal cars to a squad station to deploy rescue vehicles.
“That’s something I’m really interested in working out,” Hayden added of the subsidy plan.
Transportation is another issue on which Hayden wants to continue to make progress.
“Here in the Dan River District, we have more dirt roads than all other districts put together,” he said of the county that has five legislative districts.
Roads in his district placed on a six-year funding plan for paving and other improvements include Ararat Highway, Farmers Road, Squirrel Creek Road, Pine Spur Lane, Deer Run Road, Fish Farm Lane and Mills School Road, with Handy Mountain Road to be added to the list.
“I would like to stay on the board to make sure these get paved,” said Hayden, a 50-year resident of Cox Ridge Road in Claudville with his wife Mabel. They have two grown children who work in the educational field.
Live-able Wage Jobs
One issue that consistently has defined Roger Hayden’s service as a county supervisor is his support for increased access to Internet service in the county — which hasn’t been easy.
“I think the biggest problem I’ve ever dealt with is trying to get the broadband high-speed Internet.
“We had dial-up and the challenge was getting the politicians to understand the importance of it,” to convince fellow officials there was much public interest , especially to meet modern business demands.
“High-speed Internet service is as important as electricity,” Hayden mentioned of the need to provide connectivity throughout Patrick in addition to Stuart, the county seat, which has progressed from dial-up to high-speed Internet. This was accomplished through a partnership with Century Link, funded by Tobacco Fund and Connect America grants at no cost to county taxpayers.
At this time, Century Link also is upgrading the county’s 251 and 694 exchanges to higher speeds.
If re-elected, Hayden pledges to continue efforts to improve technology and communications, including cellular telephone services.
In any election year, the economy is always at the forefront, which is true in Patrick County with the loss of textile and other industries in recent years.
“We must secure businesses that provide a living wage for our citizens,” stated Hayden, who lost his job due to NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement). Government can not create jobs other than Tax Supported; we can only make Patrick a Business friendly location by promoting our County as a good place to live and work. I do this through through State and Local Economic and Planning Committees.
I believe citizens have a simple desire for their county government:
“People want Jobs that pay a live-able wage, lower taxes, less debt, accountability and transparency of elected/appointed officials and taxpayers’ money.”
Hayden looks for third term on Board of Supervisors
He said he has never voted for a property tax increase and remains “a watch dog to stop more tax and debt and to continue to maintain a conservative fiscal policy.
“This included myself and other supervisors’ rejecting plans this year by the Patrick County school system to borrow nearly $2 million, at a time our county debt is one of the highest per-capita in the state of Virginia,” Hayden said. “I will not support any more tax increases or debt, as Patrick County’s economy is still in decline — citizens are struggling with lower income and low wages.”
On emergency response, Hayden said he supports a subsidy program to aid volunteer emergency squad members who run calls but he does not feel the county is in a financial position to start a fully paid EMS, fire and rescue system.
“Even though they are volunteers, they still should be compensated for their time and fuel, which can involve members having to drive their personal cars to a squad station to deploy rescue vehicles,” Hayden said. “This is something that is desperately needed to aid our volunteers!”
As for road needs, Hayden said progress is being made in addressing transportation problems, but that the Dan River District has more dirt roads than the other four districts put together.
“Roads in (the Dan River District) placed on a six-year funding plan for paving and other improvements include Ararat Highway, Farmers Road, Squirrel Creek Road, Pine Spur Lane, Deer Run Road, Fish Farm Lane and Mills School Road, and Handy Mountain Road,” Hayden said. “Paving is scheduled to start this year. I would like to stay on the board to make sure these get paved.”
As for technology and county communications, Hayden said one of the projects he has worked on since 2004, as a volunteer and continuing as a county supervisor, is support for increased access to Internet service in the county, which hasn’t been easy.
“(The) problem I’ve ever dealt with is trying to get broadband high-speed Internet,” Hayden said. “We had dial-up and the challenge was getting the politicians to understand the importance of it, to convince fellow officials there was much public interest, especially to meet modern business demands. Also HSI provides job opportunities by providing a tool for citizens to build their home business or work from home.”
Hayden said if re-elected, he will continue his efforts to improve technology and county communications, including cellular telephone services.
As for economic needs, Hayden said southern Virginia and Patrick County are faced with the loss of textile and other industries and the demise of tobacco production. He said that “started a domino effect in destroying small businesses.”
“We must work to secure businesses that provide a living wage for our citizens as I too lost my job due to NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement),” Hayden said.
“Government cannot create jobs other than tax-supported. Government can make Patrick County a business-friendly location by promoting our county as a good place to live and work. I continue to work for jobs in Patrick through state and local economic and planning committees that I serve.”
Hayden said he believes citizens have a simple desire for their county government.
“People want jobs that pay a livable wage, lower taxes, less debt, accountability and transparency of elected/appointed officials and taxpayers’ money,” Hayden said.
Hayden, who is retired and who drives a school bus for Patrick County Schools, earned a machinist technology degree at Surry Community College. He also studied engineering one year at Wytheville Community College. He worked at Proctor Silex in Mount Airy for 25 years, in a number of jobs, including machinist. He worked for Micro Metrics in Meadows of Dan for 15 years, in sales and service, and computer-aided design. He worked intermittently and part time for the Patrick County Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service (now the Farm Service Agency) for 37 years, as a compliance technician for the flue-cured tobacco program in Patrick County.