Mike Stovall is running for a seat on Vinton Town Council. He made his announcement at the Vinton Municipal Building on February 20 with his wife Patsy and daughter Page at his side.
Stovall is well known in Vinton and in Roanoke County, having represented the Vinton District on the Roanoke County School Board for almost 20 years, from 1994 when he was first elected, until he resigned in August 2014. He served as School Board chairman in 1997, 2001, and 2010.
Stovall has said that during his tenure on the School Board he was most proud of having been instrumental in placing resource officers in the middle and high schools, of extensive renovations and technology updates in all Vinton schools, and of maintaining the quality of the school system in the tough economic times that struck with the recession in 2008.
He is now employed by Roanoke County Schools as Supervisor of Transportation.
As for the issues, Stovall said that he hopes council will continue to build on the momentum generated in the town in recent years with extensive economic development projects. He wants to be a voice for citizens and businesses in order to “make Vinton a better place to live.”
Stovall would like to establish a task force to meet on a quarterly basis with business owners to hear their concerns. He intends to make infrastructure needs a top priority. He says it is important to him to be a good steward of the taxpayer dollar.
One unique suggestion he offered was that in light of the fact that businesses receive incentives for coming to or staying in Vinton, it would be appropriate to reward the longevity of citizens who have remained in Vinton for many years.
“We give tax breaks to businesses, why not to long-time residents and veterans?” said Stovall.
He believes that the town needs to make a special effort to attract millennials to the town and to keep those who grew up here in the area.
With up to 42,000 commuters passing through the town each day, Stovall says Vinton needs to offer attractions “to make people want to stop and stay.”
Stovall has been involved in public service for 36 years. Before serving on the School Board, he served as an investigator for the Vinton Police Department, beginning his career as a dispatcher at age 19.
He and his wife have been small business owners in Vinton since 1995. They now own Alert Driver Training, which Patsy operates.
Stovall is a third generation Vintonite with a deep love for the town. He is a William Byrd graduate, a member of Vinton Baptist Church, past president of the Vinton Dogwood Festival, and member of the Vinton Breakfast Lions Club.
He and his wife have been married for almost 30 years and have three children, Chris, Page, and Patrick. Page, who is employed by Berkshire Health and Rehabilitation in Vinton, is working as his campaign manager.
Stovall is in the process of gathering signatures and preparing the paperwork due in early March necessary to compete in the May 1 election. He said that he had received quite a few phone calls in recent weeks from citizens and business owners urging him to run for a seat on council.
Councilwoman Sabrina McCarty is also running to retain her seat on council. Two seats are up for election in 2018 with Vice Mayor Matt Hare deciding not to run again for council due to the demands of his job after a promotion.