Steve Clinton, a 15-year veteran of Botetourt County politics, made it official this week when he announced he will run for the Amsterdam Election District seat on the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors as an Independent in the November 7 general election.
Clinton, who served as supervisors chairman five times during his previous service (1999 to 2014), initiated the county’s first-ever strategic plan. This led to improvements in public safety, communications, economic development, waste recycling, and recreational facilities, his announcement says.
His announcement said that strategic plan fostered a strong collaborative relationship between county government and the school system. The plan also generated the county’s first citizen survey, enhancing responsiveness of county government to community needs.
Clinton was instrumental in the construction of the Botetourt Sports Complex at Greenfield, the Botetourt-Craig Counties Regional Jail, and the Eagle Rock Library, as well as renovations at James River High School, the Fincastle Library, and the Landfill Convenience Center.
Clinton worked effectively with the private sector supporting major employers such as Metalsa, Lawrence Companies, Dynax America and Altec as they expanded their facilities and grew their work forces. He also assisted developers with efforts to create area-appropriate communities.
He continually nurtured and supported the Botetourt Center at Greenfield, his announcement said. “I was always confident of Greenfield’s potential,” Clinton said. “We built pad-ready sites, extended the road network, and expanded the athletic facilities and nature trails. These decisions made it possible for companies like Ballast Point and Eldor to come to Botetourt. Today, we are reaping the benefits of forward-looking decisions I helped make almost a decade ago.”
The former supervisor chose not to run in 2014 due to a work conflict. At the time, Clinton told news media that his absence was, “a sabbatical from public service, and not a retirement.”
His expertise in infrastructure planning, design, and construction will help the Amsterdam District deal with growth, he said. He is a professional civil engineer with 45 years of design and construction experience, and a seasoned business executive. He served as a corporate executive and chief operating officer for firms that included AECOM, a Fortune 500 company where he oversaw 1,000 employees in architecture and engineering.
He currently serves on numerous boards, including Valley Conservation Council and the Commonwealth’s Joint Committee on Wireless Communications Infrastructure.
“I enjoy serving the community where my leadership skills, business acumen and technical expertise can be of great value,” Clinton said.
The engineer spent 26 years in the US Air Force and West Virginia Air National Guard, retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel and as commanding officer of an air-mobile contingency construction unit. He is a graduate of The Citadel, The University of Virginia, Radford University, and the US Air Force Air Command and Staff College and holds master’s degrees in civil engineering and business administration.
“Botetourt County stands at the threshold of something more than mere change,” he said. “We have a trained, capable workforce, available land, excellent schools, good household income, desirable recreational and historical assets, natural beauty— you name it. The future character of Botetourt County depends on what we do with those unique attributes.”
He cited the changes at Exit 150 as a concern, along with pending improvements to US 220 north.
“Amsterdam could easily become just another unremarkable development with a mega-corridor running through it,” Clinton said. He said he believes Amsterdam’s citizens want an attractive, livable community that fosters a strong social and aesthetic foundation leading to a healthy and sustainable economy.
“The final vision for Amsterdam will be in the hands of the county’s leaders,” Clinton noted.
Clinton said he is a strong believer in citizen engagement in government and plans to hold forums for Amsterdam’s individual neighborhoods.
Titled “Answers for Amsterdam,” the meetings will take place in August. A full schedule will be available on Facebook.
Clinton believes that balanced growth will help ensure that jobs are available for young people. He said his responsible leadership will forge better communication between citizens and the board, helping to prevent unfortunate disconnects such as those that have occurred in recent years.
Finally, he said he hopes that booming growth in Amsterdam will bring lasting prosperity to all of Botetourt’s citizens.
“Friends ask me why I am running for public office again,” Clinton said. “I love Botetourt County and its people. I marvel at the county’s economic potential. And I revere the history, heritage and natural beauty this area offers,” he explained.
“If I can help Botetourt’s citizens enjoy a prospering economy, live desirable lifestyles, and allow future generations to enjoy the unmatched beauty and inspiring history that define us, then I will have repaid a debt of gratitude for the many opportunities that Botetourt has given me. That’s what I’d like to do.”