Home Danville Economy How to Restore Trust in Pittsylvania County Government – Mike Swanson

How to Restore Trust in Pittsylvania County Government – Mike Swanson

On Tuesday, I posted a lengthy article about how the administration of Pittsylvania County has dealt with the Purpose Driven Events (PDE) company surrounding the cancellation of their country festival a few weeks ago.  I believe that the administration has put out false statements and had a few questions about them in hopes they could clear them up. I did this publicly and put all the information I could in detail so that people would understand how important this issue is.

The article also had links to all of the news articles and documents referred to in it so readers could double check it for themselves too. 

The county administration gave no answer.

Therefore, I believe the simple takeaway of the article still stands:

All the available evidence forces one to conclude that the county administrator’s handling of PDE was nothing short of a complete and total debacle and the administration misled the public to hide this reality from it.  Therefore, the current Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, and his block of allies on it are not providing a proper supervision of the government for the taxpayers and citizens of Pittsylvania County, as this situation has been going on for weeks now.

What is the community to do to be able to restore its trust in its county government?

Luckily, there is a simple solution. 

That is to get a group of new independent supervisors on the board, who have the trust to look after the interests of the community.

Tuesday, is Election Day and there are three seats on the board of supervisors up for vote.  If you talk to people or read the letters submitted to the Chatham Star-Tribune this week (and you need to subscribe to the paper to know what is going on), and even look at the ads in it, I think you can figure out who people respect and trust to do the job required. 

For starters this ad appeared in it this week.

If I lived in one of those districts those are the votes I’d cast on Tuesday too.

Here is why – if they can win, joining Ingram on the board, we’ll have a perfect mix of tough, independent minded supervisors from different backgrounds and all with integrity. We can say that, because of the people that support them.

Timothy Chesher lives in the Ringold area.  He has never run for office before and is running, because he has been serving the Ringold community for twenty years as a volunteer firefighter and EMT, where he first got encouraged, if not asked, to run.  From there, his support grew.  The thing is, one of the most important services in the county is the fire and rescue volunteer stations throughout it.  Chesher is the perfect man to help look after their interests and that means everyone’s.  His voice would be important on the board.

Chesher told the Chatham paper, “”I work for my constituents. That’s one thing I would do my best to remember.  I’m a public servant. To listen to the people that I represent­—that’s paramount. It’s not so much my desires, but the desires of the whole district, from the top of the district all the way to the Carolina line.”

Secondly, Jesse Barksdale is running to win back the seat he vacated after he retired from the board in 2018 to pursue other opportunities.  Everyone in the county pretty much knows who he is already, as he served on the board of supervisors for six years until 2018.  While he was there the board acted in a smooth and steady manner, unlike today’s mess of a board. 

While he was on the board, the president and CEO of the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce said this of him, “Jessie Barksdale is an elected official who puts the good of the county and its citizens as his top priority. He is a great listener who appreciates input and ideas. He is an involved leader who is accessible, engaged and connected. He is inclusive and values different viewpoints.”

And last, but not least, Darrell Dalton is running for Ben Farmer’s seat in the Callands – Gretna district.  He retired after serving as Assistant Director of Public Works for Pittsylvania County.  “I know majority of the county staff and I feel like I can make a difference for them,” he told the Chatham Star-Tribune in an interview a few months ago.

An ad ran in the Chatham paper this week for him with endorsements from Ben Farmer, Robert Mills Jr., H.F. Haymore, Arlene Creasy, Odie Shelton, Jr., Shirley Hammock, Ronald Merricks, Otis Hawker, and Wayne Dolan.  There isn’t much more you have to say about the race than that.

When you have a professional administrative office in the county government and a group of independent citizens with different backgrounds of their own on the county board of supervisors then you have government you can trust.  These men are ready for the job.

-Mike Swanson