Five On The Ballot
Published 3:00 pm Tuesday, July 22, 2014
FARMVILLE — Voters have been dealt a full hand for the August 19 special election to fill the At-Large vacancy on town council.
Five candidates have qualified. They are, in alphabetical order: Daniel Dwyer, Carl U. Eggleston, Robert Glenn, Jack Houghton and Rhodes Martin.
Each of the five had written either to the Town or a Town official in May asking to be considered for the appointment to serve until a special election could be held. Town council, however, named Pam Butler rather than give an electoral edge to someone they knew would run in the special election.
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Now each has followed through on their interest to file and qualify to appear on the ballot in an election less than a month away.
The At-Large vacancy was created when David E. Whitus was elected Mayor on May 6. His term runs through June 30, 2016.
The Herald is happy to print a formal front-page campaign announcement from each candidate and there is an August 1 4 p.m. deadline for getting that campaign press release and photograph to The Herald. The information can be brought in person, mailed or emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline is in place to prevent a candidate from bringing their “announcement” in the week before election and getting what would amount to a free, and unfair, front-page ad.
In the meantime, The Herald provides the following information, again alphabetically, as previously reported, quoting either from the information each candidate submitted to the Town in May or to The Herald:
Stating his “strong desire to serve my community,” Dwyer describes Farmville as “an amazing town with an exciting future. I would like to be part of the process in shaping that future.”
Noting his track record of public service as a current member of both the Farmville Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals, Dwyer describes himself as “an even-keeled fellow” who tries to “get along with everyone. However, I am not afraid to take a stand on issues even though I may be in a minority.”
An elected official, Dwyer writes, “should listen to his or her constituents. I would not come to this position with a hidden agenda or an axe to grind. I am basically non-partisan when it comes to politics, although I tend to lean slightly to the right on most issues.”
The longtime member and past president of the Farmville Rotary Club notes “I have a working knowledge of the issues facing our town and county and pride myself on being up to date on current affairs.”
Dwyer has 33 years of continuous employment with The Farmville Herald, though not on the newspaper, serving as sales manager of Farmville Printing since 1987.
Eggleston is a former town council member and finished second in May’s town-wide vote for mayor.
The businessman ran on a campaign of “creating One Farmville to bring citizens together in unity” and in last month’s debate described his mayoral vision as having “government that is open and transparent so that citizens would know what’s transpiring in their local government.”
Eggleston noted that, “As a former member of Farmville’s town council and a businessman for more than 30 years, I understand the economic needs of Farmville.”
In an email to The Herald, Eggleston wrote that he was asked by several citizens to seek the appointment, “as well as many citizens believe that I had a great platform and message that was good for the growth and development of Farmville. I will use my (legislative) contacts to economically benefit the Town of Farmville under the direction of the council.”
In his letter to the Town, Glenn cites “numerous membership and leadership positions in such organizations as the Rotary Club, the Downtown Merchants Association and the Town Zoning Board.”
The retired businessperson states, “It would be a great honor to continue my longstanding record of service as a member of the town council. I am prepared to dedicate myself fully to the demands of the position and the needs of the community…”
Houghton, who is retired, notes that he has been a Farmville resident for 34 years “and have worked with the Town of Farmville in some official capacity during that time, including Executive Director of the Piedmont Planning District Commission from 1981 to 2004 and a member of the Farmville Industrial Development Authority since 2006.
“Also, I ran for election to the At-Large council member seat in 2008 (not elected) and maintain a keen interest in town governmental affairs,” Houghton points out.
Houghton is a board member and vice president of Housing Opportunities, Inc., of Farmville, an organization he has been part of since 1990 and one that is affiliated with Crossroads and provides housing for persons with physical and mental disabilities.
Likewise, he is a board member and vice president of Housing Alternatives, Inc., which provides housing for persons with intellectual disabilities and has served that organization since 1990.
Houghton is also a board member and treasurer of Heart of Virginia Friends of the NRA and a 4-H adult volunteer and instructor at Holiday Lake.
Martin, an agent with Farm Bureau Insurance, writes that his “vision for Farmville is growth—only through growth can Farmville offer valuable resources to the younger residents who fuel Farmville’s future.”
Emphasizing his youth, Martin points out that “I will provide a younger perspective by coupling my historical roots…in Farmville with my energetic outlook.”
Martin’s great, great-grandfather, R. J. Martin, was a town council member from 1923-32 and his great-uncle R. J. Martin, Jr., served on council in 1948-49.
“I will offer fresh ideas on how to recruit and retain a population that will sustain Farmville for many years to come,” he writes.