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Turner Files To Run As Independent for Board of Supervisors

Carter Turner

by Valerie Garner

Carter Turner, age 41, filed to run for the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Catawba District last week. He made his announcement in front of the county administration building and explained his reasons for running as an Independent.

“At the local level party affiliation gets in the way,” said Carter. “It’s all about building trust and working together. It is not to work for party – it is to work for people,” he said. His incumbent opponent Board of Supervisor Chairman “Butch” Church is also an Independent though he was first elected as a Republican.

Turner said that he had been interested in public service long before he ran against and lost to then Delegate Morgan Griffith in 2009. He was successful in blocking an asphalt plant from operating near a Glenvar school. “The seed was planted then,” said Turner. Industry in that area should be kept to the south side of 460.

Turner said that Church voted against moving the asphalt plant to its current location. He considers the alternative location better suited even though it comes closer to his own home. “I don’t know what [Church’s] vision for the county is,” said Turner.

He questioned Church’s thinking on the “smart” placement of industry in the county saying, “his only concern is what will get him votes.”

In contrasting with Church he says he would be more cautious in spending. As a teacher, he said he understands how it feels to be “overworked and under paid” but added that he would not have given  $500 bonuses to teachers in the middle of a recession. “There is too much economic uncertainty,” said Turner.

He will focus his campaign on efficiency, effectiveness and streamlining spending. “I really am fiscally conservative,” said Turner. He thought that decisions in recent years have “raised a red flag.” As an example he cited the Green Ridge Recreation Center which he believes does not serve all of the people of Roanoke County saying, “that kind of thing should have been a referendum … spending taxpayer money is a sacred trust.”

Turner’s problem with Slate Hill (now named South Peak) is the period of time that the developer has before the property starts generating taxes. In the past it has been three to five years and Turner believes that giving them twenty years sets a new precedent. He admitted that it could work out to be “a real windfall” but he sees it as very risky.

He placed emphasis on being accessible to constituents. Turner says he sees frustration in the community in getting phone calls returned and communicating with constituents. He summed up his decision to run by referencing Church’s twelve years on the board and surmising that he had served long enough.

Turner concluded that effective representation is especially needed in the Glenvar area. “Glenvar has historically been the industrial waste zone of the county … that just does not make financial sense,” he said. He believes Glenvar, being the closest part of the county to Virginia Tech, can serve as an extension to the Tech corridor. “That is the most prudent financial way to use the land,” said Turner.

Turner is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy of Religious Studies at Radford University. He is a native Virginian and grew up in Salem and lives in Campbell Hills in Roanoke County with his wife, Karen, and daughter, Callaway 12.

His website will be up and running soon at along with a new facebook page. “I’m prepared to work with every board member to make things happen,” said Turner.


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