Floyd may be named after a former governor of the Old Dominion but it has never been a stop for occupants of the state’s top job. So Mark Warner coming to town Wednesday was a big deal and both the town and the governor made the most of the photo op.
In true political fashion, Warner (right), sporting a cast on his right wrist from a recent bicycle accident, arrived nearly 45 minutes late but, to his credit, stayed well beyond his scheduled departure time as he spoke to an overflow crowd in the Floyd County store, took questions from the audience, and then toured some of the town’s stores, including Angels in the Attic, Cafe del Sol and The Jacksonville Center.
Questions ranged from the serious to the sublime. When one new resident of the county asked him to do something about the influx of chain stores into the town, Warner replied “you’re not going to like my answer but that’s not a state matter. It’s a local one and you should take it up with local government.” When one man asked him to spend road funds to four-lane U.S. 221 and Virginia Rte. 8, anothre member of audience piped up that “we don’t all agree with that.”
One piece of advice to the guv’s advance team. Warner used a standard line from his stump speech about wireless telephones. As the founder of Nextel, he noted that some people are irritated when a cell phone rings during a meeting. “Some hear irritations,” he said. “I hear ka-ching.” Nextel phones, however, don’t work in Floyd County.
The crowd for the town meeting included, of course, the usual dignataries, including members of the Floyd Town Council and the County Board of Supervisors (below) with a front row seat for the show.