Open Forum

It’s time that Pulaski town citizens are asked to vote for candidates who request votes to give them the opportunity to continue to “serve” the citizens of Pulaski or to select new candidates who desire to replace them. What does it mean to “serve?” Now my understanding is that a candidate wants to represent their family, friends and neighbors in town government and make decisions that are in the best interest of the general populace.

I let my mind drift back a few short years and I recall an article in The Southwest Times that a young writer with the Times interviewed the former Town Manager with this question: “Can the Town of Pulaski be revitalized?” The reply was basically that we don’t have a clue, truer words were never spoken. The town has continued to regress since back in the 60s with no apparent hopes of turning the corner, yet the town manager continued to maintain his position with town council blindly ignoring the status of the town. Please forgive me for being personal, but when you are put into a position of responsibility it requires doing some things that are not so pleasant. Having been a supervisor in industry for 29 years, I’m well acquainted with dealing with people not performing their jobs. Trust me, I took appropriate action when needed. I understand some actions have been taken in town government as a result of the push of our three newest members of town council, Jamie Radcliffe, Heather Steele and Greg East. Based on what I have read in The Southwest Times, I know other members of town council were bitterly opposed to the actions of these three members, but thankfully they realized the trust town citizens put in them and they acted accordingly. My fondest hope was that more folks just like Jamie, Heather and Greg would just get into the race to keep the ball rolling on progress and give the people hopes of “PULASKI’S REVITALIZATION.” I’m just stupid enough to believe Pulaski can see resurgence, but it will take more than Dusty Springfield’s song of the 60s “Wishing and Hoping,” but rather a lot of pro-active attitude with actions.

As a lifelong resident of the town, I’ve seen Pulaski go from being a boom town (Little Roanoke) to a doom town laughed and mocked by people within and outside of Pulaski. It’s very sickening to see the state Pulaski is in today knowing it can be changed. I recall nine or 10 new domestic car dealerships in town, all the factories going full blast with furniture, textiles, hardwood flooring, etc., all kinds of shopping in downtown with people coming in from Bland, Giles, Montgomery, Floyd, Carroll and Wythe counties.

I have a very personal interest in the town’s revitalization. Back a few years ago, along with the help of my brother, I built a machine shop on Pierce Avenue with the blessings of the town after a roller coaster of issues. Just as I was preparing to put my sign up to officially open my business, I received a condemnation notice from the town manager and building inspector for a kiln furnace located on the property from the old Virginia Oak Flooring. Prior to building my new building the town had issued me a letter stating the town had no issues with the property yet within just a short time the kiln had to be removed. The building had asbestos so the building inspector insisted I use a West Virginia contractor with whom the town was working to do the job. I was devastated at what had taken place so I agreed and the building was demolished and removed.  Interestingly, I met a town official at Fatz Restaurant in Dublin who was a real estate person and considered the building a blight to his property. Some period of time after that meeting the councilman was forced to resign because of impaired driving violations. I was forced to go back to work for five more years to pay off the indebtedness of the demolition cost. Since then the property has been up for sale. I placed the property in the hands of two realty companies and neither could sell it. They said if it were located anywhere except the Town of Pulaski they could have easily sold it.

I am a Journeyman tool and die maker and I had very high hopes for my future in my new business. I had worked for a company that manufactured a product that landed on the moon and was used most flying and sailing craft. I had planned to do prototype work dealing with new products which would have been a new business in the Town of Pulaski. But because of the senseless act of a couple town officials, yet another building stands closed in the Town of Pulaski. This is absolutely unacceptable! To the candidates for re-election or to the new councilmen or mayor, let this be a horrible act that need not ever be repeated. Pulaski was built on small businesses that started and grew into major companies. Do your best to see that any and every potential for new business is afforded your support and all the help those folks need. Perhaps another Fortune 500 company could start right here in Pulaski. If elected, please serve with honor and respect!


Roger Hurd




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