CLIFTON FORGE — Carl T. “Shorty” Wolfe has announced his candidacy for Clifton Forge Town Council in the Nov. 3 election.
A self-employed contractor, pastor and business owner, Wolfe resides on Prospect Walk in Clifton Forge.
“I love Clifton Forge and I want to see it continue to prosper and grow,” Wolfe said of his decision to seek a seat on council.
Wolfe said he was once asked what makes Clifton Forge so unique.
“My answer is the tremendous number of volunteers,” he said. “This town prospers because the citizens offer their time with no expectation of reimbursement because they believe in where they live.”
Wolfe pointed to all of the events the town has to offer from the Historic Masonic Theatre, the Masonic Amphitheatre, Clifton Forge Main Street, Alleghany Highlands Arts & Crafts Center, Clifton Forge Woman’s Club, Threadbenders, Clifton Forge High School Alumni, Alleghany Historical Society, the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, C&O Historical Society, Clifton Forge Merchants Association, the Ministerial Association and the Elks Lodge.
He also mentioned other service organizations such as the Friends of the Library, the garden clubs, Lions Club, Clifton Forge Rescue Squad, Clifton Forge Fire Department, Clifton Forge School of the Arts and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“Not too bad for a small town,” Wolfe said. “These are just a few of the organizations that make Clifton Forge interesting and lift the lives of all who live here.
“The council seat that I am running for is just a very small part of the reason that Clifton Forge prospers,” he continued. “I look forward to working with all the people who donate their time to make Clifton Forge a better place.
Wolfe is an ex-railroader, having worked for C&O for 13 years. He also worked at the old Jane Colby sewing plant in the late 70’s.
Since 1993, Wolfe has been a self-employed contractor doing numerous jobs in Clifton Forge. He has worked on the lower Roxbury Project which was funded by a $1 million grant secured by the town to specifically help residents rehabilitate their homes.
When he and his wife, Tammy, moved from Covington to Clifton Forge, they opened a church in the Clifton Forge Woman’s Club building on Commercial Avenue.
“We made much needed improvements to the building and it was a win-win for both of us and for the woman’s club,” he said. “We’ve had a great relationship for almost 10 years.”
Wolfe said he has worked hard in Clifton Forge to help rebuild the community. He has renovated five houses in the area and two commercial buildings on Ridgeway Street.
Wolfe and his wife manage The Way coffee shop and the Loving Life Outreach for teens. They also sponsor a recovery group two days a week that helps people with their “hurts, habits and hang-ups.”
Wolfe is pastor of Loving Life Church and past pastor of the Clifton Forge Ministerial Association of which he is still an active member.
“On March 20, 1998, a miracle happened in my life,” Wolfe said. “God delivered me from alcohol and drug addiction. I have been clean and sober for over 21 years.
“The main focus in my ministry is to help people get clean and become productive members of society,” he explained. “I believe in honesty and one of my weaknesses is that I trust everyone. One of my strengths is being totally committed to whatever I’m working on.
Wolfe and his wife have been married for 34 years. They have two children and six grandchildren.
“One of the reasons I am running for council is that the Alleghany Highlands, Clifton Forge and Bath County brought $343 million to the area in 2019 because of tourism,” he said. “This is money in our pockets that can be used to improve our town. Tourism results in revenue and without volunteers working in unity for our area, we would not be able to attract the tourists that we do.
Wolfe said residents in large cities are frightened by the pandemic and are looking for a safe place to live.
“I know many people who have relocated to Clifton Forge because of our low crime rate,” he said. “Managing a business and talking to people result in lots of information.
“I have heard rumors of eliminating Clifton Forge Police,” he added. “I fully support law enforcement; without good law enforcement, fear enters our lives.”
Wolfe said lots of vacant houses are available to those who are interested in moving to Clifton Forge.
“This leads to more tax revenue and lower tax rates,” he said. “I believe in welcoming those people who want to make Clifton Forge their home.”
Wolfe listed his goals, if elected, for the next four years:
1. Work with local governments to lower water and sewer rates.
“In touring the water plant, I learned that we have the best water in the state — spring-fed and no up-stream debris,” he said. “The newly renovated dam should last another 75 years and keep our residents safe.”
2. First responders.
“We need to keep our paid first responders and our volunteer first responders — police, fire departments and rescue squad.
“These groups make our neighborhoods safe,” he said.
3. Attract people to Clifton Forge and promote schools.
“The low cost of living and our low crime rate are attractive,” he said. “I want to work to keep Clifton Forge clean, loveable and safe.”
Wolfe said he would appreciate each vote he receives on Nov. 3.
“I’m committed to working together with our residents to help unify our town by listening to all our citizens and working hard for each individual,” he said.