By Debbie Hall
A love for Patrick County and its people, as well as his conviction the county can move forward with new leadership, prompted C. “Clayton” Kendrick Jr. to throw his hat in the ring as a contender for the Mayo River District seat on the Patrick County Board of Supervisors.
His first hurdle will be winning a majority of the votes cast in a firehouse primary in June against Mike Gravely and Vance Agee.
The top vote getter in the primary will square off against incumbent Lock Boyce in the Nov. 5 election.
Kendrick said a number of other factors led to his decision to seek the post.
“I’ve seen so many problems in the county,” Kendrick said of things like the blatant disrespect of some supervisors to constituents “who have done their research and come in to present an idea. We need to respect them whether we agree with them or not.”
To that end, he said changes are needed in both county administration and on the Board of Supervisors.
The same applies to working with other agencies and boards, Kendrick said.
“I’d like to see the Board of Supervisors and the School Board get along and work together” for the good of the county, he said, adding that he also would look for ways to grow the tax base.
“We need to find ways to get different businesses into the county” to help not only grow the tax base but also provide jobs, Kendrick said.
He also supports a referendum on a proposed Food and Beverage Tax (so-called Meals Tax), to help generate additional revenue and said he also has ideas with respect to other revenue sources.
Kendrick said the twice year billing of real estate taxes “needs to stop. We fought that hard” before it was implemented, he said of the former Patrick County Taxpayers Watchdog Group, of which he was a member.
The current practice of billing twice each year “messes up the budget,” Kendrick said. Currently, “we’ve got to set the tax rate before we set the budget” because invoices for real estate taxes due must be mailed to taxpayers.
“I want to see if we can change that and back away from it,” he said, adding that the mailing process also costs the county more than costs for a single invoice.
“I have a lot of other ideas about ways I think we can save,” Kendrick said of term limits for local government leaders and other possibilities, all of which would help the county.
“I love this county too and I would like to make changes” that will position the county for future growth and opportunities, Kendrick said.
A local business leader, Kendrick has operated a business in the county for more than 40 years, and also owns and operates a farm. He has served on the Patrick County Economic Development Authority for several years, spent more than 20 years as an election official at the Liberty Precinct and was a member of Patrick County’s former Taxpayer Watchdog Group.
Kendrick has two daughters, three grandchildren and a great grandson and shares four step children and six step grandchildren with his wife Editha.