A lack of funding for Emergency Management Services (EMS) and volunteer fire services is the biggest challenge facing the county, according to Lisa Mickles (pronounced Michaels), who is seeking the Peters Creek District seat on the Patrick County Board of Supervisors.
Jonathan Wood also is seeking the post in the November election.
“We don’t have a local hospital, and for them to transport it’s, what, 35-40 minutes, and not enough funding going to our fire and EMS that everybody in the county relies on,” said Mickles, 48.
For instance, if she needed help at 3 a.m. because her house was on fire, Mickels said she’s under the assumption that a fire department is coming and money’s not an issue.
But it is, and to help address this challenge, Mickles believes the board needs to try to find room in the county’s budget to provide more money for fire and EMS.
“Like right now, just for an example, I know we don’t require business licenses here in Patrick County. That would be an area of revenue that we could bring in” if licensing was required, she said.
A supporter of public involvement in local office, Mickels said she’s already trying to educate herself on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to better understand the various statutes.
“I’m already trying to educate myself on that. Lots of people from the county have expressed to me they feel there’s more of a need for transparency, and I support that 110 percent,” she said, adding transparency is important because so many things become issues due to misunderstandings or information not relayed to the public.
“Or if it is, maybe not in the timely fashion that it needs to,” she said. “Because when that’s not done people start making assumptions about what’s going to happen, what was said, what’s going to be done. Where if it’s just laid out, everybody’s on the same page.”
Mickles believes the county excels in a great sense of pride.
“I think most people who are here have a strong investment in the county and want the county to succeed. I would say across the board, most residents, the majority of residents, are that way,” she said.
But there are other issues. For instance, the county is lacking access to critical medical care.
“We need to find some way to bring some type of revenue into this county. Of course, a hospital would bring in lots of jobs,” she said.
Overall, Mickles feels she would bring a commonsense approach to the board, and since she’s not originally from the county, she has a unique perspective.
“My experience is, I have 10 plus years’ experience as a manager. I have eight years’ financial experience. I work here at the courthouse. I am familiar with how land transfers work in the county, the taxes that are charged on those,” she said.
Mickles said the big thing is that she is a straight shooter who will bring the commonsense approach of the everyday citizen of Patrick County.
‘I’m not a huge landholder here. I’ve got less than two acres, and I think that I represent more of the average Patrick County citizen,” she said.
Mickles has been married to her husband for 15 and a half years. She has a 26-year-old daughter and a 20-year-old stepdaughter.
A graduate of Magna Vista High School, Mickles attended the European campus of Maryland University in Schweinfurt, Germany. She has an associate in science.
When she returned to the United States, Mickles worked at Martinsville Hospital in the pharmacy for three years before transferring into the Emergency Room doing insurance work.
Mickles also ran her own hair salon and still has her cosmetology license. She worked in banking for three and a half years and has been with the courthouse for almost four years.
In her free time, Mickles enjoys playing with her dogs and chickens and recently started to learn how to play the piano.