By Debbie Hall
Giving back to the county and better management of available resources promoted Dr. Clyde M. DeLoach to seek the Blue Ridge District seat on the Patrick County Board of Supervisors.
“We should be able to do better. We should not be running a debt,” DeLoach, a Danville native, said.
But he is quick to note that he is not casting dispersions on “anybody who is doing the job” because they are doing the best they can. That said, there is room for improvement.
“We need to be more available. We need to be more involved in county government,” DeLoach said, adding that it is his understanding county staff do not have written job descriptions.
The supervisors can – and should – direct county staff to prepare those documents, he said.
Additionally, and when legislators meet, “we should go to Richmond and (each supervisor) represent your county and your district,” DeLoach said.
Transparency in government also is on his ‘To-Do’ list, and DeLoach said he will accomplish that partly by holding monthly public meetings in the district that spans from Meadows of Dan to Stuart. It is necessary to hold meetings in both locations because “the public has a right to know what is happening and what my position is,” he said.
After growing up with working class parents employed at Dan River Mills, DeLoach said he is familiar “with people who work hard for a living and want the best for their families. My family valued education, and I have a Ph.D. from Baylor University in Church History. I worked in Respiratory Therapy while finishing college and eventually was the head of the department at what was then Memorial Hospital in Danville.”
In that post, DeLoach said he supervised an estimated 15 people and oversaw a budget “that was several hundred thousand dollars.”
He left that position to attend seminary and has served as a United Methodist pastor for 27 years.
During his tenure, “I have pastored churches in rural areas and in cities such as Newport News and Virginia Beach. I pastored Stuart United Methodist Church in Stuart for seven years. After I retired, I wanted to come back to Patrick County since I found it to be friendly and beautiful. I also liked the lower cost of living,” he said, adding that he also spent “large parts of my life teaching, in high schools, colleges, and seminaries. At the present time, I am teaching several courses online at Grand Canyon University.”
Now that he has returned to Patrick, DeLoach said he wants to use his “unique blend of talents to help the county. We have some serious problems in the county and we need leadership that is willing to face those problems and come up with new solutions.”
He includes his personal Code of Ethics in campaign materials. In it, DeLoach pledges “first to have integrity in all that I do … I will be honest and forthright in all I do. I do not promise to always make everyone happy but I do pledge to make the best decision available to me and to share my reasons with anyone who wants to know.”
Economic development is another area of focus if he is elected, DeLoach said, adding that he will “seek out economic growth for the county. We are a beautiful and strong county. We need economic growth to help our citizens and to keep our children here in Patrick County. Fiscal growth will help grow the budget and eliminate the deficit. It is time to stop moving money around and tackle the problems,” DeLoach said.
Education also ranks high on his list of priorities. “If we do not have the best educational system possible, there is no way that we will survive as a county. If we want to have full employment and keep our children here, we must give them a great education,” he said.
DeLoach also pledged “to work to strengthen the financial base for our county. We are a rural county and we need to understand our strengths as we move forward,” he said.
DeLoach, his wife, Lela and their granddaughter live in Stuart. The couple also have three adult children in various areas of the country.
Karl Weiss, incumbent, has said he will seek reelection to the post in the November election.