Another Christiansburg incumbent has made it official that he will seek re-election this fall. Brad Stipes has turned in signatures for his name to appear on the November ballot. He is completing his third-term on town council.
“It’s been an honor and a pleasure to serve this community for the last 11 years as a council member, and to work with citizens, staff and business leaders to shape the town for present and future generations. Honestly, if I had not seen distinct progress in the areas of open government, bicycle and pedestrian accommodations and expanded recreational and business opportunities then the thought of running again this year would not even be a consideration,” he said.
Stipes is a licensed civil engineer practicing in transportation, traffic, and public utility engineering, and land use / planning. He served on the town’s planning commission for seven years prior to being elected to council.
Christiansburg is at a very good place, according to Stipes, at a very good time.
“The present town council is an outstanding group of individuals to work with. We often have differences of opinion, which is the very essence of the democratic process, but we work well together to share viewpoints, make decisions and support decisions as a group once they are made,” he said.
Stipes also serves on the town’s bikeway/walkway committee and street committee. The expansion of the Huckleberry Trail has been high on list for a long time.
“Looking back to 2006 the first time I ran, the fire that burned deep was the clear need to expand the Huckleberry Trail and to make Christiansburg a less-hostile environment from a bicycle pedestrian standpoint,” he said.
Stipes is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society of Highway Engineers, the New River Valley Regional Commission Transportation Technical Advisory Committee and Bikeway/walkway committee. He also serves on the Virginia Municipal League’s Transportation Policy Steering Committee.
After taking his seat in 2006, Stipes said it was also very clear that the town lacked transparency in the way it conducted business — advertisement of council meetings and general town business; the lack of a website to access basic town information and a general attitude that the less people outside town hall know and are involved, the better.
“So, this became another passion in the early months of my first term, and I began advocating strongly on both agendas. Fast forward 11 years and the progress in these areas, and others, is actually quite remarkable. It’s safe to say that in many ways the town in 2017 doesn’t even resemble the town just over a decade ago except for the fact that it’s a wonderful community in which to live, work and play and we have preserved our hometown feeling as we have progressed,” the incumbent said earlier this week.
Like other local leaders, Stipes is very concerned about the downtown business area and believes council’s recent focus on revitalizing the downtown areas is paying off with increased enhancement projects, special events and working with local business owners and non-profit groups to try new things to attract interest and investment to the Central Business Districts of Downtown and Cambria.
Looking to the future, if re-elected, Stipes wants to continue to work on the expansion of the Huckleberry Trail and other recreation amenities within the town.
“A few of the biggies I see in the near future and want to be a part of, are the additional expansion of Huckleberry Trail Connections to the downtown area and through Cambria and out to the Roanoke Street Corridor, and the realization of a new town park on the 61-acre, former Truman Wilson property on Route 114,” he said.
Stipes points to both these projects being literally transformational in nature, and are critical amenities to attract and retain the next generation of residents and businesses that will be the town’s future.
“Additionally, I think there are more steps we can take with our business community to ensure we are being the best partners possible in their success. And lastly, I feel that Christiansburg is home to one of the most significant educational and cultural treasures of Southwest Virginia – Christiansburg Industrial Institute. The restoration and preservation of the remaining buildings for public use and education has been, and will be, a key interest of mine if re-elected in November,” he said.
Stipes is one of three incumbents that will be joined by at least three others this November to fill the three spots on council. The post of mayor will also be up for re-election this fall.