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Martin seeks to break ‘Pharaoh’s Curse’

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By John Barnhart

People have often joked about a “Pharaoh’s Curse” on people selected by the Bedford County Board of Supervisors to fill an unexpired term on the board. Over the last two decades these people, without fail, have been defeated by a challenger.

    Curry Martin was appointed to fill the District 2 seat last fall when Chuck Neudorfer abruptly resigned at the end of a meeting after his fellow supervisors rejected his nominee to fill the then vacant District 2 planning commission seat. Now it looks like Martin is on track to break the “curse.” Martin, who is running as a Republican, will be the only candidate for the seat in November. The deadline for other candidates to file paperwork to get their names on the ballot passed on June 11.
    “I’ve enjoyed it,” Martin said of the time he has spent on the board of supervisors.
    Martin said serving on the board allows him to debate issues and then cast one of the seven votes that decide what will be done. So far he’s voted on details in a county budget.
    “We gave the schools what Dr. Schuch asked for,” he said. “I felt like he’s the person who knows what the schools need.”
    He is particularly proud of being part of the process that brought Mark Reeter in as county administrator this past spring.
    “I got us a super county administrator,” he commented.
    He said that the people in District 2 have been nice to work with and he tries to help citizens with problems. He’s pleased with a minor change that solved a safety issue at the intersection of Va. 626 and Va. 608, at White House. “You turn on the right side of a stop sign, not on the left,” Martin commented. Martin said that it didn’t take reconstructing the intersection, and taking anybody’s property. All it took was a change to the stop sign.
    “I love Bedford County,” he said. “I love the direction it has gone in.”
    Martin said that that doesn’t mean he approves of everything the county’s government has done, but he agrees with 95 percent of it.
    He believes one of the greatest challenges Bedford County faces are unfunded mandates from the state government. Martin noted that not all Virginia counties are created equal and it’s not reasonable to expect Bedford County to be able to fund items that counties in the northern part of the state pay for. As an example, he said that in  Loudoun County the average income is $107,000 per year.
    “The stuff you mandate for them, we have to do it too,” he said.
    Martin said he has been talking with Delegate Kathy Byron about the unfunded mandate issue.
    He said that he’s fortunate in this economy to have a business that sells something almost everybody has to have. The business also gives him an opportunity to get a good picture of the local economy and what he’s seeing tells him that half of the people living in Bedford County are facing tough times.
    “I’m in business and can see the money is not there,”
    One issue that has gotten his attention is that there are now people buying used tires and he’s had people come looking for used brake parts. He does not sell used brakes, but he said the fact people are asking about them is a change from the past.
    “The county has shifted to a survival mode,” he commented.
    Being in business also gives him a personal insight into the impact of taxes.
    “I pay $591 a week to live and do business in Bedford County,” he said
    Martin was born and raised in Bedford County. His father, Wilbur Martin, started Glenwood Esso in 1953, the business that Martin now owns and operates as Glenwood Oil and Automotive.
    He’s on the board of directors of the Safe Surfin’ Foundation. Safe Surfin’ is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to educating children and adults about Internet safety.
    Martin is a life-long Republican.