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Goad, Littrell face off in Pipers Gap

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Political newcomer Gerald Goad is challenging incumbent Tom Littrell in the Carroll County Board of Supervisors race.

By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

 

Voters in the Pipers Gap District will have a choice in the Nov. 8 election, between incumbent Tom Littrell and newcomer Gerald Goad in the race for the Carroll Board of Supervisors seat.
Pipers Gap has one of four competitive races for representation on the county board in the match-up between Republican Littrell and Democrat Goad.

Gerald Goad
If elected, Goad says he wants to benefit the community and the county that’s done so much for him.
“Pipers Gap District is my home district,” he said. “It’s where I attend church, Oakland United Methodist. It’s an area where, in addition to all of Carroll County, that I learned the values of becoming a citizen.
“It taught me what I want to do with my future and that is to make a difference in peoples’ lives.”
He described himself as always having an interest and a passion in public service.
He has participated in the life of his community as a lay speaker at his church, president of the Oakland Community Club, a board member for the Family Resource Center, an intern with Carroll and Montgomery counties when studying at Virginia Tech and as outreach coordinator for Talent Search at Wytheville Community College. Now, Goad wants to take his public service to a new level.
Goad has a number of ideas he would work on, if elected to the county board.
He supports open government and good communication with the citizens. Goad would hold quarterly town hall meetings in his district to encourage good communication there.
Goad wanted to see a close working relationship between the board of supervisors and Carroll County Public Schools, as well as other county departments.
In order to keep Carroll clean and green, Goad would like to see more trash and recycling drop-off sites, like the one in Cana, in districts throughout the county.
Goad also wants to see a more comprehensive economic development strategy.
While the region has hosted efforts to help entrepreneurs start their own businesses and be successful, he thinks more needs to be done.
“I believe that not everybody wants to start their own small business in order to make a living,” Goad said. “I think we need to provide more diverse job opportunities.”
He would do his best to provide more recreational opportunities for youth. Goad said he’s heard a lot of citizens say county officials need to provide a swimming pool for the children again.
“We need to provide a future for our youth so our county can continue to grow,” he said.
Goad promised to be fiscally conservative and look at each budget line item and see what it does.
“I want to bring a younger mindset, perspective to the board,” he explained. “I want to make a positive difference to the county. I want to bring new ideas to the table so that all citizens, regardless of age and or background, can succeed in the county they call home.”

Tom Littrell
Littrell, the current Pipers Gap District representative and county board chairman, has enjoyed being able to help the people.
He gave the recent example of a citizen who called and asked about a problem she was having with emergency services billing. Littrell contacted the appropriate staff member, and in a day the issue was resolved.
While in that case Littrell helped the citizen cut through the bureaucracy to get to the right person, the board of supervisors has tackled many projects to help the county as a whole in the last few years.
A desire to continue helping is why Littrell is seeking re-election.
Wildwood Commerce Park, meant to spur new business and job creation at Interstate 77’s Exit 19, is an economic development project that seems just about ready to go, for example.
He’s also looking forward to the long-awaited Fancy Gap water and sewer projects coming online, which is expected to lead to more growth in that community.
When it comes to new job creation, Littrell doesn’t want to forget about existing business and industry. Finding ways to help them expand could lead to increased employment in Carroll, too.
While the county pursued various capital projects, the supervisors continued to get Carroll’s financial house in order. Littrell noted there have been no tax hikes and the county hasn’t had to borrow money for the operations budget.
“I also feel like we have put Carroll in a stable financial situation because we’ve run the county in a business-like manner.”
County officials just recently asked the Virginia Department of Transportation to study problems that continue to vex motorists on Interstate 77.
“I feel like we can encourage study and a solution to 77’s problems with congestion, weather-related problems and the safety issue,” Littrell said.
Now that issues like town boundary adjustments with Hillsville and the lawsuit with former log home manufacturer AmerLink have been settled, county officials can undertake other projects.
In the future, he would like to see the recreation department expand to meet the needs of citizens, which might include a new swimming pool.
After a stint in the Air Force based in Anchorage, Alaska, Littrell founded his dental practice in Galax in 1972, and he has lived in Pipers Gap since 1978.
“I try to use common sense in my decisions,” Littrell said. “I have experience as a small business person for the last, almost, 40 years. I try to do my homework before each meeting and I try to make the best decisions for the people of Pipers Gap, specifically, and the county in general.”