Whether a current resident, native, or simply someone that’s captivated by the sheer beauty of Patrick County, many folks far and wide routinely discuss the current plight of Patrick County. As someone that travels all across Virginia many times a year, it’s a truly distressing sight to see the absolute wealth of natural beauty that our County has to offer, paired with the juxtaposition of a shuttered factory, boarded up restaurant, or a vacant hospital. All of these serve not only as vestiges of a more successful past, but as reminders that we can do better. We have, we can, and we must.
This election is perhaps one of the most critical that our County has seen in many decades. Local governments are very, very important, and we have seen firsthand what happens when they fail to function as they should. I believe that we all find it to be distressing that while our neighboring localities grow, we contract. That at a time where the nation’s economic growth is powerful and tangible, we’re being left behind. If this can happen in such a strong economy, what’s going to happen once a recession settles in? How many more closings can we handle?
At this juncture, you’re probably asking yourself many of the same questions that I have asked. Why is this happening to us? Why have we become the posterchild of a failing locality that must now borrow money to pay bills? Why do our neighboring localities continue to grow while we lose jobs, lose population, and lose morale? The unfortunate answer is that currently, Patrick County is the epitome of a failed local government.
What do we do now? I promise you that it’s a much simpler solution than you may think. Vote for new Supervisors. Vote for Supervisors that will do what is difficult, yet necessary. Supervisors that don’t make a mockery of their office or have us question if they’re merely there for a paycheck. When you look at today’s Board of Supervisors, do you see 5 members that go to bed at night thinking about how they can make Patrick County better than the day before? I don’t know about you, but I certainly do not.
The premise of this letter is not to hurt feelings or to attack or deride any of our elected or appointed leaders in Patrick County. I believe we have some exemplary leaders within the Board of Supervisors and within the ranks of our County government. With that being said, we also have elected and appointed leaders that, for no specific ill will or reason, are not capable to uphold the duties of their office. It’s a bitter truth and an uncomfortable situation, but I’m a firm believer that it’s better to be a little uncomfortable in doing the right thing than to let our County continue down this unnecessary path. We’re better than this and we know it.
That’s why I ask that you vote for Denise Stirewalt for Peters Creek District, Clayton Kendrick for Mayo River District, and Dr. Clyde DeLoach for Blue Ridge District Supervisor on Tuesday, November 5th. Our County needs you to give it a fresh start and a new direction, and your vote will provide it. Speaking to the residents of my home district of Peters Creek, where I proudly lived for 23 years and still visit every single month, I fully support Denise Stirewalt as our next Supervisor. Having worked with her during my tenure as Director of Tourism, I went from not really knowing who Denise was, to realizing what an invaluable asset she was and can be again for our County. Whether it dealt with Tourism, Economic Development, Real Estate, or the myriad of things in between, I was truly impressed with both her abilities and her love for this County. Denise proved to me that, unlike many of our current board members, her love for this County was from the heart, her actions and work were intrinsically motivated, and regardless of how tall the mountain seemed to be, she would climb it to make Patrick County the best locality in our region. Knowing that she will bring this same work ethic, this same drive and commitment to the Board of Supervisors, this is why I ask that you vote for Denise Stirewalt as the next Peters Creek District Supervisor.
Vote for positive change on Tuesday, November 5th, 2019. Vote Stirewalt, Kendrick, DeLoach.
Joseph N. Quesenberry
Former Tourism Director and Patrick County Native