Surry Board of Supervisors Surry District candidate: Timothy Calhoun
Published 10:15 am Wednesday, October 11, 2023
Editor’s note: Timothy Calhoun is running for reelection to the Surry District seat on Surry County’s Board of Supervisors against Bob Addison. The Smithfield Times sent the following questionnaire to both candidates.
Occupation: Lead Accountant for Dominion Energy for the past 42 years
Prior elected offices held: Currently, Board of Supervisor for Surry District
1. Can you briefly summarize why you decided to run for the Board of Supervisors?
I continue to believe that the best government is still personal between the elected official and his constituents. My neighbors constantly communicate to me their concerns and desires for the community in which we live. I feel I have more to give over the next four (4) years in making “Unity in the Community” more than just a slogan.
2. What should be Surry County’s top priority right now?
I wish to continue promoting economic growth in Surry that will support both our agricultural community and future business opportunities, while maintaining Surry’s rural and historical character.
3. What more can Surry County do to ensure a timely response to ambulance calls?
I have always supported the Chief of Emergency Management and his vision for providing Surry County citizens with the best possible emergency care. I will continue to fight for allocations necessary to achieve this goal. Listed are several recent improvements: building volunteer EMS squad, anticipating the arrival of a third medic unit to be delivered in the third quarter of 2024, process to receive CPR, AED & First Aid Instructional Certification to build a proficient Emergency Response Team.
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?
In my opinion, no. I proposed a tax rate of 69 cents per $100 accessed and opposed the $4 million ,two year plan for parks and recreation improvements. Surry County, in the not too distant past, has enjoyed lower taxes and conservative fiscal budget. However in recent years this has not been the case as evidenced by taxes rising and increased spending. I have consistently voted against such measures, and will continue to do so in the next four years.
5. Does Surry County contribute too little, too much, or just enough local money to its school system?
The County provides the difference in funding for the operation of the three schools. Based on the amount of revenue received from Public Service Corporations, the state reallocates back to its counties which Surry receives much less than the majority of other counties/municipalities. That being said, there is certainly much room for improvement. I have many times stood alone when voting on an inflated school board budget. The School Board provides their budget to the County and Board of Supervisors for review and approval. I have proposed to the School Board, Board of Supervisors and Staff the opportunity to consolidate into two school buildings based on the declining population of students, elementary students in one building and junior high and high school in the other. This is just one example of tax savings that would result in the implementation of my recommendations.
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?
Regarding solar or any other electric power infrastructure development, I have, and must, abstain from voting on these issues. As I am an employee of Dominion Energy, it could be conceived as a conflict of interest if I voted on these issues.
7. What can be done to reverse Surry County’s decades-long trend of declining population?
It is the quality, not quantity, of the county’s population that makes Surry a GREAT place to live.