By Debbie Adams
Election Day 2021 is scheduled for next Tuesday, November 2.
In the Vinton and Bonsack areas, once you make your way down the ballot from the state gubernatorial, lieutenant governor, and attorney general races, there aren’t many choices to make on the local level, unless you plan to write in a name. Even Chris Head who serves the 17th District in the House of Delegates has no opposition.
Jason Peters, who represents the Vinton Magisterial District on the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors, is running unopposed this year. Phil North, who represents the Hollins Magisterial District on the Board of Supervisors, also has no competition. Tim Greenway, who serves Vinton on the School Board, is running unopposed as well.
Vinton Board of Supervisors Candidate Jason Peters
Jason Peters said that running unopposed has allowed him to keep his focus on the issues at hand, rather than spending time campaigning to retain his seat.
A graduate of William Byrd High School, Peters was first elected to the Board of Supervisors for a term beginning on January 1, 2014. He served as chairman of the board in 2015, 2016, and 2021, and as vice chairman in 2014 and 2018.
He is vice president of First Citizens Bank in Vinton. He serves the community on the Vinton First Aid Crew, as vice president of the Vinton Needy Family Program, and as co-chair of the Vinton/Roanoke County Veterans Monument.
Peters says that he is very proud of the accomplishments in the Vinton District in the past eight years he has served on the Board of Supervisors including partnerships between the county and the town which resulted in construction of the new Vinton Branch Library, the redevelopments of Roland E. Cook Elementary into the Roland E. Cook Lofts, the former William Byrd High School into the Billy Byrd Apartments, the former Vinton Library into Macado’s, the former Vinton Motors into Vinyard Station, and the upcoming redevelopment of Gish Mill into a mixed use commercial space. In those years, many improvements have been made at Explore Park with more in the works. He has also been instrumental in promoting and supporting the public safety staff.
“In the next four years my focus will be to continue to support new economic development in the Vinton District and the Valley; to support existing projects that are ongoing in the Vinton District (the new Vinton Hotel Project, Gish Mill, and Explore Park), other county projects (Tanglewood, Woodhaven, etc.); support of public safety; and continued support of broadband efforts across the district and Valley,” Peters said. “I will continue to support our school system and plans for a new Burton Center and the replacement of W.E. Cundiff Elementary School.” He will also be working on updating the community strategic plan for the next five years.
Hollins Board of Supervisors Candidate Phil North
Phil North was first elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2018. Since then, he has served as chairman in 2019 and vice chairman in 2020. He served on the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Committee from 2018 to 2020.
North earned his BA degree in Business Administration-Management from Lynchburg College and is retired from Norfolk Southern.
Each year he has met with the citizens of his district to provide an update on accomplishments in the Hollins District.
“As 2020 was a challenging year due to COVID-19, our board provided CARES Act assistance to our county’s small businesses amounting to $1.6 million,” North said. “These funds were used to help those small businesses purchase PPE, payrolls, rent and utilities.
“On July 28, 2020, the Board of Supervisors adopted the Hollins Town Center Plan. This plan will help address redevelopment in the area; improve corridors with signage, landscaping, traffic congestion and safety; and consider rebuilding the library at a more centralized location.”
North currently serves as vice chairman on the Transportation Planning Organization (TPO).
“Some of our TPO proposals include using Smart Scale Virginia funds for safety improvements along the 460 East corridor and Valley View and Peters Creek 581 interchange improvements. The county 460 interchanges at West Ruritan and Huntridge have been approved amounting to $6 million in state funding to improve safety and fluidity starting in FY2025. In addition, safety improvements along Plantation Road and Lila Drive with state funds were awarded in 2018, and construction was completed in late 2020. The next phase will begin in the spring of 2021 for a sidewalk between Waldron Drive and Gander Way and pedestrian signals at the Plantation Road/Gander Way traffic signal.
“All total in Hollins, some $7 million of state smart scale funds have been and will accomplish these Hollins projects with only $55,000 in county funds!” North says.
He also serves as chairman of the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission (RVARC).
“With respect to the RVARC, I made two requests for study for Roanoke County in the spring of 2019: the Regional Housing Study and the Regional Career and Technical Education Center (CTE) Study. Both of these studies were completed in 2020 and will serve as tools to guide our county and the region in future years.”
Since his election in 2018: “I have been a supporter of lower business license taxes, improved schools capital spending by $14 million over 10 years, increased funding for our public safety police, fire and rescue and sheriffs, reopening of the Hollins Library on Sunday afternoons, moving up the timeline for a new Hollins Library from 2030 to 2026 and avoided a potentially $6 million higher cost, and advocated for a new fire station in Bonsack 460 corridor.”
North says he broadly supports conservative fiscal values, quality education facilities and funding, economic development, and transportation and public safety improvements.
His plans for the next four years include: a ground-breaking for a new Bonsack fire station, finalizing plans for the Hollins Library, development of the Hollins Center Plan, responding in a timely fashion to citizens’ needs, continued transportation improvements around the county, broadband support, and supporting education, schools and hopefully a new Burton technical center to meet the greatest challenge in the area to recruit and retain a talented workforce.”
Vinton School Board Candidate Tim Greenway
Tim Greenway was elected to the Roanoke County School Board in November 2015 to complete the unexpired term of Mike Stovall who resigned from the board. He was elected to his first full four-year term in 2017. Greenway served as chairman in 2017. He says this will be his final term on the School Board. He is a native of Vinton and a 1982 graduate of William Byrd High School. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Radford University.
Greenway has been involved in the private sector of business his entire career. He worked for a local recycling company as assistant controller/controller for 16 years and then started Greenway Construction Company in 1995, specializing in single family residential housing, as well as developing a portfolio of investment real estate.
He is involved with the Vinton Area Chamber of Commerce, Vinton Baptist Church, and the Vinton Breakfast Lions Club. He says he has always had a strong interest in his community and wants to make a positive intellectual investment in the continued growth of the Roanoke County school system. He says it is his desire to see his community thrive, even in difficult economic times.
“I want to thank the citizens of the Vinton District for trusting me with task of representing us in the Roanoke County Public Schools,” Greenway said. “I don’t take the task lightly and as my counterparts will tell you, I work hard for everything I can get for Roanoke County Public Schools and the Vinton District to educate our kids the way they should be educated in today’s environment.”
His role in past renovations at William Byrd High School, installation of a new track and artificial turf in the stadium, and the current $28 million renovation project at WBHS to be completed in 2023 is well-known.
“I will let the citizens look at the Vinton area schools for the improvements made inside and outside the classrooms to judge my performance,” said Greenway. “I am very happy with what’s been done in the last six years in our schools and will continue to work hard in the next/final term of my tenure on the board. We need a new person with fresh ideas to step up and take it in 2026.
“As far as future projects or goals educationally, first and foremost, I want to make sure no child is left behind from this pandemic,” Greenway said. “We have three Title One schools in the Vinton District, and it bothers me greatly that some without the access or means to obtain help may be most at risk in not catching up to their peers. We know for a fact this pandemic has left some further behind, and we don’t want to forget them in their struggles to catch up. I will fight every day to make sure the ‘least among us’ is thought about and brought forward to the same standards as our kids with access.”
As for future infrastructure goals, “In this last term, I want to make sure three projects are started and on their way to a finished project before I leave – BCAT, Cundiff and Glen Cove. BCAT is necessary for many reasons, but the two main reasons are economic development and education for our working students who aren’t planning on college right out of high school. This will be a major focus for me over the next four years to see it started and with our advisory group this will help us achieve our goal for BCAT.
“No less important are Cundiff and Cove! These open concept classrooms must be re-built or built new as soon as can feasibly make sense. I will be working closely with the Board of Supervisors to make this happen in the next four years. These students need every opportunity to be successful like our counterparts across the county. These may be the only two open concept elementary schools left in Virginia. I want them fixed now! We’ve seemed to have fixed all other schools in the county but these two. It’s past time to get these two done. I have walked all Board of Supervisors members through Cundiff and so hopefully they will help us get this issue behind us quickly.
“Lastly, this is an important election,” Greenway says. “We have several contested seats up for the School Board. I personally can’t think of a more important elected position than School Boards. There are a lot of buzz words being thrown around these days and if you want to make sure they don’t make into classrooms, it’s my opinion you need to get out and vote for the people who closely represent values you want to see maintained in Roanoke County Public Schools.
“Again, I thank you for the trust placed in me and no matter under which spectrum of platforms you fall, I promise to always listen and evaluate respectfully.”
(Candidates were asked to supply information on what they consider to be their accomplishments or the accomplishments of their boards over time they have served and to indicate what they want to accomplish in their upcoming terms.)