Pulaski voters will find a new name on the ballot this May when they go to cast their vote in the race for Pulaski Town Council.
Joseph Goodman, 29, started planning a year ago to run for the position and has attended council meetings for more than a year now.
“I grew up in a town with a very similar history to Pulaski,” Goodman said. “I think I have something unique to offer as a result. But before I jumped in and decided I wanted to run … I wanted to make sure I could contribute something.
“A lot of people run for office just to run for office,” he continued. “I wanted to make sure I could help the town move forward. There weren’t any people trying to do that job. I’ve attended these meetings for the past year now. I think it is something I can do and be helpful.”
Goodman grew up in southeastern Connecticut, but moved to the New River Valley to attend Virginia Tech in 1998. He pursued a degree in computer engineering, but was unable to complete his degree due to illness. He would stay on at Virginia Tech though, working in the Computer Engineering Department.
While at college, Goodman met his wife, Laura, and they married in the summer of 2004. After they married, they moved from Montgomery County to Pulaski.
“It is hard to get the type of home you want, especially if you are trying to settle down and start a family,” Goodman said. “You get particular with the things you like. We started looking in Pulaski County and it was nice. Pulaski offered a lot of great qualities.”
Goodman’s experience includes serving on the Virginia Tech Staff Senate and a member of both the Linux/Unix Users and Open Source Alternatives Groups at Virginia Tech. He is also active throughout the community, as a member of the First Christian Church, Pythagoras Lodge 239 and Pulaski Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
Despite not being a native of Pulaski, Goodman sees advantages of taking a look at the town from an outsiders perspective and determining how to better grow Pulaski.
“Not being originally from Pulaski, I see the town the way it is when I moved in and I’ve seen the town the way it is moving forward,” Goodman said. “I don’t look at the town the way it was 50 years ago like some people. The only way I can see the town is as the way it is and the way I hope it to be in the future.
“I look at that future as something we can really look to obtain – to be a good place to live, raise a family, and prosper. I think a lot of the people, especially on council, look backwards. We like to make the town the way it used to be. This is something I’ve heard more than one time. I think we need to stop that mindset and start thinking of where we want the town to go.”
Among the many topics that are addressed by Goodman on his campaign website, www.votegoodman.info, are:
• Economic development – He calls for better use of the town’s economic development office, monthly economic development assessments for council and quarterly assessments made available to the public.
• Community interaction – In addition to town council meetings, he wants council to schedule a time “every month or two” where the public can meet with council to discuss issues.
• Open government – He wants more information, including council packets, council minutes and state and federal reports, to be posted on the town’s website www.pulaskitown.org.
• Improving community image – He calls for the town to start taking advantage of its ability to maintain a registry of vacant buildings and enforce annual safety inspections in order to help fight blight.
• Marketing the community – He would like to see the town work with area realtors to find out what the town can do to increase home purchases in the town, then use that information to create promotional materials to be given to prospective buyers.
• Fiscal responsibility – He wants to be sure department budgets and contracts are being re-evaluated every budget cycle to eliminate unnecessary spending and “ensure we are getting the most for what we pay.”
For more information on Goodman, visit the website or email him at email@example.com.