Celebrating Farmville and her accomplishments

Published 1:36 pm Friday, August 5, 2016

On July 1, 2014, after 216 years, Farmville made history with its first public swearing- in ceremony for town council and mayor.​ T​hat day set the tone and direction for my tenure as mayor — not toward big history–making moments, but a desire to bring organizations, groups and individuals together to collaborate on common goals for Farmville’s future growth.

Longwood University has been an integral part of our community for 176 years. Last fall, the first townsperson spoke at the university’s convocation. As the first Longwood graduate to be mayor, being the speaker was truly an honor, especially with town council attending in support. Representing Farmville at the university is a symbol of their complementary relationship and an important moment for both school and town as we grow together.

The faith community, which fosters a sense of togetherness, quietly meets the hidden needs of many in our town. Bringing together local ministers to attend two ministerial roundtables has resulted in launching community dinners and community service projects. Farmville also boasts many active civic groups; we are currently planning the first roundtable to bring them together to achieve common objectives.

In October, the eyes of the world will be on Farmville to watch the vice presidential debate. We ensured $134,000 came from the state budget to cover expenditures the town might incur. By approaching this challenge together, we will be able to successfully host the debate and not only reap economic rewards, but also bring the community together at this exciting time.

The town’s financial stability also permitted us to take advantage of the debate opportunity. During the last six years, the town’s debt has dropped by more than 30 percent. This has placed the town in a strong financial position, and we rarely have to use our operating line of credit for cash- flow needs.

I have focused on bringing people together; building bridges to Longwood, the county and other strategic partners; and pursuing sound financial management. These are commonsense principles — a winning combination as we look to the future to a community where citizens work together to solve problems, opening doors for future growth. Staying financially healthy allows us to make investments which otherwise would not be possible. The result: a vibrant college town people will want to visit and/or live, raise their families and do business.

This is my vision for Farmville’s future, and I am committed to doing all that I can to make it a reality.

david whitus is mayor of the Town of Farmville. His email address  is dwhitus@thewoodlandinc.com.