Surry Board of Supervisors Claremont District candidate: Robert Elliott Jr.

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Editor’s note: Robert Elliott Jr. is running for reelection to the Claremont District seat on Surry County’s Board of Supervisors against Susan Corvello. The Smithfield Times sent the following questionnaire to both candidates.

Age: 60

Occupation: Pastor, Morning Star Baptist Church, Prince George County

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Prior elected offices held: Claremont District, Board of Supervisors

1. Can you briefly summarize why you decided to run for the Board of Supervisors?

I decided to run for re-election because it is my desire to serve my community. In addition, I have a vision for progress in Surry. 

2. What should be Surry County’s top priority right now?

Our top priority should be to stem off the declining population and to provide entities that will improve the quality of life for the citizens of Surry.

3. What more can Surry County do to ensure a timely response to ambulance calls?

As our Emergency Services Director, I am proud that we have added a second paid emergency crew while still keeping our agreement for mutual aid with our neighboring counties.

4. Did the supervisors make the right decision in June by lowering the real estate tax rate to 71 cents per $100 in light of reassessed property values, and postponing a $4 million, two-year plan for parks and recreation improvements? Why or why not?

This past budget year, we lowered our tax rate in conjunction with the reassessment of property value. We also provided more tax relief for our seniors.The improvement of our Parks and Recreation facility will be readdressed at the appropriate time.

5. Does Surry County contribute too little, too much, or just enough local money to its school system?

A  large portion of our budget goes towards educating our children. Based upon joint meetings with the School Board and the competitive nature for quality educators, I believe we appropriated the proper allotment of funds towards education.

6. Did the supervisors make the right decision in April when they amended Surry’s comprehensive plan to limit solar farms to 10% of the county’s developable land? Why or why not?

Surry County has a beautiful rural setting and putting a limit on solar farms within our comprehensive plan has ensured that we will maintain this important aspect of the county.

7. What can be done to reverse Surry County’s decades-long trend of declining population?

There is a desperate need to continue to build the infrastructure within the county. In doing so, this will attract corporations, businesses, and create jobs. Upon the arrival of corporations and businesses, we will experience a positive effect with our tax rate and housing. Making this investment in infrastructure is paramount to the development of Surry, as it is my desire to attract others and retain the citizenry of this great county. A lot has been accomplished in my first term, even in the midst of a pandemic, but there is still a lot of work to be done. I trust that my constituents will trust me to get the job done.