By Aila Boyd

Billy Martin, chairman of the Botetourt Board of Supervisors, is seeking the Republican nomination to represent the Blue Ridge District for a fourth term.

Billy Martin
Photo by Aila Boyd

He said that despite feeling as though he’s accomplished quite a bit since first taking office back in 2008, there are still things he would like to accomplish. The three things he’d most like to see if given a fourth term center around economic development.

Ideally, he said, he wants to see more of a variety of restaurants, more upscale hotels, and a convention center in Botetourt County.

Aside from those three things, he said he wants to continue to advocate for not just the citizens of his district, but for all of the citizens in the county.

Similarly, he said that although he’s running as a Republican, he plans to represent the interest of all citizens no matter their political affiliation.

“We should be servants of the public,” Martin said of what he sees as the primary responsibility of members of the Board of Supervisors.

He explained that there’s nothing he loves more than fixing problems for people, adding that his desire to be a mixer led to his decision to become a certified mediator.

“It’s nice to be in a position to help people,” he said.

Throughout his time on the Board of Supervisors, Martin said that he’s especially proud of the fact that he’s followed up with every single person who has contacted him about a problem. He said that it doesn’t matter if a citizen calls him, talks with him in person, sends him a letter, or email— he always gets back with them.

“It’s not what you know— it’s who you know,” Martin said, explaining that his job isn’t to have all the answers, but rather to connect citizens with the individuals who do have the answers to solve their problems.

A through line throughout his career as an elected official has been fiscal responsibility.

“I’m very adamant about taxes,” he said.

He explained that he first decided to run for the Board of Supervisors after reading an article about how the Board of Supervisors at the time was planning on raising taxes—  something he was opposed to and spoke out against.

“We should be sensitive to the tax burden we’re placing on citizens,” Martin said. “We’re already taxing people enough.”

He touted the fact that during his time on the Board of Supervisors, he’s the only supervisor who has consistently voted against every proposed real estate tax increase as proof of his fiscal responsibility bona fides.

Martin holds a degree in mechanical engineering. He served 10 years as the postmaster for Roanoke and five years as director for field operations for the Roanoke Post Office before retiring.

He has served on the Virginia Planning District Commission, the Roanoke Transportation Commission, the Virginia Roanoke River Basin Advisory Committee, the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, the board of directors for Total Action for Progress, the Botetourt County Social Services Board, the Child Fatality Review Team, the Fire and EMS Commission of Botetourt County, the Virginia Association of Counties, the Agricultural and Environmental Committee with VACO, the Public Officials and Lakes Committee, the Botetourt County Republican Committee, and the Chief Local Elected Official for Workforce Development General Fund Committee.

Currently, only one candidate has announced a bid to face Martin in the June 11 Republican primary election— Walter Michael.

“I’ve tried to serve to the best of my ability,” Martin said of his time on the Board of Supervisors. “I’m very thankful for the people of Botetourt for putting their trust in me.”