CLIFTON FORGE — Mayor Jeff Irvine has announced his candidacy for re-election to Clifton Forge Town Council in the Nov. 3 election.
He has served on town council for the last nine years.
Irvine is a native of Clifton Forge who was educated in the Clifton Forge School System. He and his wife, Terry, raised their family in Clifton Forge.
Currently employed by the Alleghany County School System, Irvine serves as head custodian at Clifton Middle School.
“I have deep roots in this town, and I am deeply invested in the best interests of this area,” he said. “I am one of you.”
Irvine said he has served to the best of his abilities during his nine years on town council.
“When I assumed my seat on town council, my goal was to be a councilman who cared for the citizens of this town,” he said. “I wanted to always make myself accessible to our citizens, listen to their problems an concerns and support them whenever possible.”
Irvine said he feels he has reached and surpassed that goal.
“During my time in this position, I have been a hands-on councilman and have spent countless hours out in the community, interacting with citizens and seeing the problems that our community faces firsthand. These years have given me a wealth of experience and a working knowledge of the complex issues facing Clifton Forge, especially in this era of COVID-19,” he said.
Businesses in Clifton Forge need familiar and experienced leaders to keep them on track, Irvine added.
“This time of uncertainty is not the time to be training inexperienced and unfamiliar people,” he said. “Electing experienced leaders will help Clifton Forge regain a sense of normalcy that has been lost, and it will certainly be beneficial in governing and dealing with adjoining localities to help us all recover from the devastating aftermath that is sure to follow COVID-19.”
Irvine said he has the necessary experience and dedication to work with Alleghany County, Covington and Iron Gate that will ultimately lead to a stronger future for Clifton Forge.
“I have and will continue to work with our neighboring localities to get things done and form better communication and partnerships between all of our communities,” he said.
During his tenure on council, Irvine said Clifton Forge has experienced positives such as the Roxbury grant, selling vacant lots to be put back on the tax records, the Historic Masonic Theatre, several new small business openings, an increase in events and tourism, road and sidewalk repairs, new restaurants, the Houff business locating at the olds stacks property, various volunteer programs on Main Street, the C&O Heritage Center, Clifton Forge School of the Arts, the public library, the Masonic Amphitheatre and the Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center.
“All of these things have been steps in a positive direction for our town, making Clifton Forge a great place to live, work, raise families and visit,” he said. “We need to keep this momentum moving forward with experienced, knowledgeable leadership that is unbiased, fair and not influenced by other organizations or groups.”
If re-elected, Irvine said he has many new ideas to help Clifton Forge continue on its path to revitalization.
“I will work diligently to overcome differences with all council members for the betterment of our community and strive to bring the council together with the common goal of making Clifton Forge one of the best small towns in Virginia,” he said.
Irvine said he will be available to hear concerns and continue to serve the citizens of Clifton Forge “with truth and honesty.”
“We have some tough decisions ahead and this election is important to the future of Clifton Forge,” Irvine said. “We need to keep moving toward a bright future, not risk going backwards with inexperienced leaders.
“I am an experienced leader, and I have this town’s best interests at heart because this is my town,” he added. “If I receive your vote, I will work hard on the upcoming issues and do my best to make Clifton Forge a better place to live and work.”
Irvine thanked the citizens of Clifton Forge for their part in making the town what it is today.
“The people and the values that they hold are the backbone of our town, and these very qualities assure me that working together we can solve any problem or issue that we will face,” he said. “Sometimes casting a vote on difficult issues comes at a price, but please know that I do not make these decisions lightly, and that I always have your best interests at heart.
“If re-elected, I will work to build professional courtesy and better relationships, and avoid the tearing down of personal character,” Irvine added.
Irvine closed by reminding Clifton Forge residents that all votes are important on Nov. 3.
“Make your vote count for a better Clifton Forge,” he concluded. “I look forward to serving you for the next four years.”