A local known for his years of volunteer work is challenging one of Hillsville’s longest-tenured councilmen.
David Young, who has spent years as a member of the Hillsville Volunteer Fire Department and local rescue squads, is running for the Pipers Gap seat against incumbent councilman and Vice Mayor Orba Alderman.
Young said he opted to run after encouragement from mayoral candidate Greg Crowder. He said he wants to be available for citizens with concerns.
“I want to be the person, if elected, they can call me and I can go directly to the mayor,” Young said.
Young said the current council has done a lot right, but he feels some changes are in order, such as meeting once a month on a night that other local bodies don’t meet. He said citizens in the district feel the summer Cruise-Ins should have a variety of music beyond beach music, and he said many are worried about water issues.
“I’ve got nothing against anybody that’s already up there now,” Young said. “Everybody’s done a good job. They’ve implemented Safe Halloween, which is great; they’ve implemented things with the Gun Show and Memorial Day show. My main concern is the water situation in my area. We don’t want the rates to go up. I think Greg Crowder has a good suggestion to work that issue out.”
Young said in many ways, Hillsville can work with Carroll County to save citizens money while keeping its incorporated status in place. He cited the dispatch system run at the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, which dispatches Hillsville Police whenever calls come in town limits.
“The two governments should work together. We’re not in there to say the county is going to come in. The suggestion is to work with the county any way that can save the citizens money,” Young said. “We want to save the citizens money. No one government should be alienated from everybody else. I don’t think that’s right.”
Alderman has been on council since finishing out a term when Ivan Taylor was elected Mayor. The longtime, retired engineer serves on the Town Planning Commission as well as his selection as Vice Mayor.
Alderman said in his tenure, Hillsville has seen significant growth. The Route 58 Bypass has been completed, Hillsville has adjusted its boundaries to include the areas at Exit 14 and a new water tank with expanded service has been added.
Alderman also noted several popular events, such as Safe Halloween, the summer concert series, Jailhouse Square, the July 4 activities and the completion of the Beaver Dam walking trail.
He pointed out that there are no fee or tax rate increases in the proposed Hillsville budget and that Hillsville’s tax rate is actually 12 cents less than it was in 1980, the town’s water and sewer rates rank among the lowest in Virginia, and Hillsville routinely receives clean annual audits. He said Hillsville’s debt rate is only 38 percent of its available debt, based on 10 percent of assessed value of Hillsville’s real estate.
“I believe the Town of Hillsville is in good condition,” Alderman said. “The Town Council and Town Management are very open with their meetings and discussions. I only recall one closed session in the past two years. Everything that is discussed is in open session, very open and straightforward.”
Alderman said he believes Hillsville would be best served by keeping familiar faces in office, allowing the town to maintain its current course.
“The Town of Hillsville will be better served if the current mayor and councilmen would continue to serve the good residents of Hillsville with honest, open government, low taxes, low water and sewer rates, police protection, fire protection and a good place to live.”