With a desire to serve South Boston in a “more effective and developmental way,” Michael “Mike” Byrd is running for re-election to the South Boston Town Council in Tuesday’s election.
Byrd is one of six candidates vying for three open seats. He has served on the town council for two and a half years.
“I believe that my experience in marketing and economics will help our town to achieve goals that are set forth by the needs of all of our citizens in our town,” said Byrd.
Councilman Byrd added, “I believe that my deep love for our town and my determination to seeing South Boston become one of the brightest stars in Southern Virginia is what truly and earnestly drives me to serve our town and seek re-election.”
Byrd is a minister who first and foremost thanks God for the opportunity to serve on town council. He is pastor/bishop at Mt. Olive Baptist Church on North Main Street and works as a child care supervisor at Pathways Youth Services in Scottsburg.
A Washington, D.C. native, Byrd has lived in South Boston since July 2010. Although he is not a native of South Boston, Byrd has found a permanent home here and is vested in the community.
“I’m stuck on South Boston,” Byrd said.
Byrd makes his home in South Boston with his wife Alesia Edmonds Byrd. The couple has five children, Janetta, Dominique, LaShawn, Erynne and Latisha; four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
The town councilman said he is privileged to work with a number of talented people who strive to make South Boston a better place. He said he would ultimately like to see the town come together as a “unified community,” all working together to make the town the best place it can be for all of the cultural groups that live here.
“South Boston is going through a transformation that I believe all of our citizens are beginning to speak out and require we, as the town council, to listen to all voices,” Byrd said.
Byrd wants to see council develop a concrete working plan for the town of South Boston. He said he specifically believes South Boston needs to have the following four qualities: vital, value, virtual and vision.
In explaining the four vs. Byrd said the following:
w Vital: “We must become a vital place for those seeking a greater life both personally and economically. Those looking for a place to settle must feel that there is no other place but South Boston, Virginia.”
w Value: “We as a town must continually create an atmosphere of success, be it in the corporate sector, entrepreneurialism or other areas of personal goals. We must be a place that offers to all a place where we invest in the success of all who endeavor to know more and learn more and strive for more. We must be a town that shares in the motivation, education and success of all people.”
w Virtual: “We must endeavor to make our town a virtual community. Our recent crisis has shown that we must use preset day technology to communicate with our world. Lets face the truth years ago we would have never thought that the internet would no longer be luxury, but now it has evolved into a necessity for all in our world. We must educate all of our citizens in how to understand and function with success in this virtual world.”
w Vision: “We as public servants of our town must establish open lines of communication for all of our citizens never excluding any culture or economic status. We must be inclusive and hear from all citizens in regards to what they feel make South Boston a place to live, work and succeed. We must have a vision that is attainable, concrete and ever evolving. Our town must reach out to the younger generation and hear from them, not just dictating to them what we feel is our norm, but hearing from our younger generation as to what they feel would make out town a better place. Where there is no vision, the people perish! We want to know that what we are doing now to make our town great, for all people and will aid it being the great place in 50 to 100 years from now.”
All in all, Byrd said he is thankful to be involved in the “great development” of the town of South Boston and would like the opportunity to continue to serve as a town councilman.
“We must all become a partaker of the success of our town and embrace all cultures in our town. We need each other,” Byrd said. “Please allow me to continue to serve this great town so that we may all reap the harvest of success for others as well as our great town. South Boston…I’m stuck on you!”