It’s a three-way race for the Town of Christiansburg’s mayoral election.
Incumbent Michael Barber is running for his third term against Town Council members, Samuel Bishop and Johana Hicks.
Barber said he hopes his past performance and leadership helps him to get re-elected and see his projects through.
“Over my years, there has been so much that we have accomplished and so many more things that we are waiting to see completed such as passenger rail, the redevelopment of the marketplace, the regional recreation park,” said Barber. “I have given hours of time towards these projects and I feel that I deserve, I have earned the right to stay on and complete these things,” he said.
Hicks, who is currently serving her first term on Town Council, is running for Mayor because she said there needs to be a change in leadership. One project she opposed was the $18 million Signature Park, saying it was too much money to spend during the pandemic.
“For me to be in council during that time to make sure we take care of the needs before the wants was the biggest thing,” said Hicks. “I think that prepared me very well to see how the town was run, how the politics behind things were, how the favoritism goes on, how there’s the ‘old boys club,’ and how if you belong to that club you get well treated. If you are not, you don’t,” she said.
Bishop has served as an elected official since 2014, currently serving as Vice Mayor on the council. Bishop hopes to control Christiansburg’s growth. He says he doesn’t want the town to overload its infrastructure. He elaborates, control doesn’t mean stop.
“One thing I would like to do also is to bring what I call affordable housing to the town. I know to do that I will have to work with other organizations as far as landowners and developers,” said Bishop. “When I say affordable housing, I don’t mean $300,000 homes and up. I mean something the average person can afford. That’s one goal. Another goal I have is to have more training for town council members because right now we have very little training,” he added.