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Favero would concentrate on small business growth
Iriswood District race, Henry County Board of Supervisors

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pat Favero said he works to cure patients in his medical practice, and he now hopes to do the same with the county’s ailments, such as job creation, education, providing a good quality of life and keeping taxes low.

Favero, 32, is running for the Iriswood District seat on the Henry County Board of Supervisors in the Nov. 5 election.

Favero, a doctor of osteopathic medicine, opened a family medical practice about three years ago. A doctor of osteopathic medicine can do everything a medical doctor does plus manipulations such as a chiropractor does, he said.

As a small business owner, Favero said he would concentrate on small business development as a primary goal if elected.

“I think we should focus more on small business development and try to encourage multitudes of small businesses” to locate to the area, he said. To that end, he supports using tax incentives “not just to build shell buildings, but also to renovate some of the older existing buildings.”

The Clock Tower, in the former Tultex plant on Franklin Street in Martinsville, is a prime example of how that could occur. Its owner, The Lester Group, has “done a good job of renovating it and trying to create new businesses. Another example is uptown, where old buildings were renovated” to house the New College Institute offices and classrooms, he said.

Larger “old factory buildings can be subdivided into smaller” spaces that would be attractive to smaller businesses, Favero said.

If elected, he said he would bring fresh ideas and help find alternate ways of growing business and the tax base. Both are imperative to the community, for its quality of life and drawing young, educated people back home, he said.

“I think our county faces lots of issues on an economic level. Being a physician, I can cure people, but I can’t provide them with an income or insurance. Time and time again, I see people who can’t afford insurance. They can’t afford their medicine,” and Favero said he feels it is up to him to help. Growing the economy is one way to do that, he added.

While he is willing to maintain confidentiality for prospective companies interested in locating in the area, Favero said, “we still require some type of transparency.” He said he is convinced there are ways to accomplish both.

For example, if a small engine group was considering the area, Favero said, county and economic development officials could say publicly it was a small engine group because that would cover a broad area. He said an estimate of the number of jobs also could be provided.

Confidentiality would be maintained, while providing transparency and accountability, Favero said. Then, if the company located here, “everybody would know, and if not, there would be some accountability as to why they didn’t come,” he said.

“The average person would not have the ability to do the research” to identify the company, Favero said.

“I think we can still be vague, but give some transparency to the public who is paying EDC’s wages and still respect privacy” and confidentiality agreements with prospects, he added.

The grading of Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre also needs to be pursued, he said. Currently, federal officials have refused to issue a permit for the project because of a lack of a committed industry.

“We still need to look for ways to make sure it succeeds. There’s been a substantial investment up to this point, and we need to work with state and federal officials to reach (a) solution,” Favero said.

Education is critical to having a well-trained workforce, which is essential to growing the economy, he said.

“It is critical to support the continued development of NCI and Patrick Henry Community College” and their work with industries to provide a strong education for students and training for those who are under- or unemployed, Favero said.

Having a well-trained workforce “will be a big asset” and will make the area more attractive to potential businesses, he said.

Favero said he supports pay raises, especially for teachers and law enforcement officers.

“I think our teachers are underpaid. They are paid significantly less, on average, than the state average,” he said. The same is true for law enforcement, he added.

“If we could have more economic development,” local tax revenues would increase, and “we could have more money to give raises,” Favero said.

“I think everybody deserves raises,” he said, but noted that he would have to research the pay of county employees to determine whether it is also below the state average.

The emergency services career (paid) staff program also must be expanded, Favero said.


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