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Three seats up this year on board of supervisors
Adams undecided; Bryant to run again

Thursday, January 10, 2013

By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer

Joe Bryant is in and Jim Adams is undecided.

Both hold seats on the Henry County Board of Supervisors, and both are up for re-election in November.

Bryant, of the Collinsville District, said he will seek a second term on the board.

“I think that things are going well in the county as far as the board goes. I think the board members are getting along good, which is good for the county, and even when we disagree,” members agree to move forward without hostility, Bryant said.

He also is running because “I think I can still do some good in the county. I enjoy this even though there are good times and bad times,” he said.

As one of the newer members — the other being Milton Kendall of the Iriswood District — Bryant said his first term has “unfortunately been during difficult and trying times” in terms of the economic state of the county.

“Being new on the board, it’s been hard for (him and Kendall) to come in and really enjoy it, but I think that is changing. I still think we have a light at the end of the tunnel that things will turn around here before long,” Bryant said.

“I am an optimist, and I am optimistic about the future,” he said. “We have to fight for what we’ve got here, and if we all work hard and we all work together,” the future can be brighter than the past.

“If you look at all we’ve lost — tobacco, textiles, furniture. We’ve lost everything” in terms of industries, Bryant said. “We have basically had to start from scratch.”

Workforce training programs through Patrick Henry Community College and the New College Institute and the involvement of high schools also give Bryant hope, he said.

In the past, he said, “we had programs to train people to work in a position that’s not in this area, and I always frowned on that because we were basically training them to leave the area.”

But when high school graduates are trained for positions at RTI, ICF and other local industries, “we don’t have to seek outside sources” of workers, he said, adding that young people stay in the area instead of leaving to find employment.

“To me, that’s the best of both worlds,” he said.

Bryant, 57, lives with his wife, Robin, in the Collinsville District and works at Bryant’s Radio. The couple have two children and three grandchildren.

Adams, current board chairman, said he has “not made a firm decision yet,” but is leaning toward seeking the Blackberry District post for a fourth four-year term.

Kendall could not be reached for comment.


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