Name: Larry Ray Phillips
Profession: Senior Pastor Midway Baptist Church, background experience in retail management and textiles.
Political History: Serving his first term after being appointed to fill vacancy on the board.
Why are you seeking a full term in the commissioner’s seat?
While work has been done to address the economic challenges we face in Surry County, there is more work needing to be done. Every week residents of Surry County are making tough choices between how much food and how much gas, how to make the mortgage payment, how to afford insurance, how to best provide for their families. As a county commissioner I see opportunities to improve the county for the betterment of all citizens, it will require a serious level of commitment and dedication, and I am ready for that challenge.
How do you feel you can help residents of Surry County if you are re-elected?
By remaining committed to the following:
Jobs — I am committed to Surry County having the most positive pro-business climate in the state for existing and future businesses by specifically working to: reduce our state’s corporate tax rate, making sure we have competitive incentive packages for new businesses that have built-in bench marks protecting the interest of the taxpayer, by having in place the necessary infrastructure within our county for future businesses.
Education — a strong K-12 and community college system. This includes a community college system that remains strong and sensitive to the needs of unemployed adults who need to quickly retrain and re-enter the workforce without obtaining a college degree.
Government — I am committed to maintaining a local government that’s effective, efficient and accountable to the people. It is their government, funded by their tax dollars, and must work for and be accessible to the people regardless of their social status or political affiliation.
Safe Communities — in 2011 our Surry County Sheriff’s department calls and civil duties totaled 93,809 responses. Surry County EMS responded to over 16,000 calls. I am committed to our county government getting back on a 5 year equipment replacement plan for emergency vehicles and providing law enforcement with the necessary personnel to ensure our communities remain safe.
Religious Liberty and Freedom — people of faith understand that usually most attacks upon religious freedom usually originate from some local ordinance. Our communities of faith must continually have the freedom to provide religious and moral instruction, to live out their faith without the fear of some ordinance prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
Is there one issue you feel isn’t being addressed or you would like to specifically focus on if elected?
Much of what county government does is reactionary in that we’re responding to national conditions or laws and mandates imposed from the federal or state level. I want to see county government become more visionary in that we’re developing long-term strategies, plans, based upon clear priorities and measurable objectives.
What would you like to say to the voters of Surry County?
On Aug. 20 I was given the privilege to serve out the remaining term of our late Commissioner Garry Scearce. The very next day I went to work (even before my swearing in on Aug. 27) with people from all political backgrounds, coming together for the good of county. There are some projects I’ve worked on that I want to see completed and advanced. With your vote, I’ll continue that work always mindful that you deserve nothing less than my best.