The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Friday, June 14, 2013
By K.A. WAGONER - Staff Writer
Bennie Russell of Boones Mill will seek election to the Boone District seat on the Franklin County Board of Supervisors in the November general election.
Russell, the county's fire marshal since 1994, will retire at the end of the year and wants to continue his service to the community, he said.
"I have been a volunteer firefighter for 33 years," Russell said. "I have a passion for serving my community."
Russell moved to Franklin County in 1979 from Greensboro, N.C. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1973 with a bachelor's degree in business administration with emphasis in accounting and economics.
A strong advocate for public safety, Russell said his experience as a county employee has helped him understand the specific needs of Franklin County, which include accountability in government services.
"The county does a good job, and we need to continue a system of checks and balances to make certain we are spending taxpayers' money as efficiently as possible."
Russell describes himself as fiscally conservative, but progressive in his vision for the county.
"We have to take the utmost care with the taxpayers' money, but we have to have a vision for the future, which includes focusing on economic development to expand the county's commercial tax base in order to provide excellent services to our citizens, including education," he said.
"We all want to maintain the county's family atmosphere, while advancing in terms of jobs, education and services to our citizens, especially our aging population," Russell added. "Achieving that balance will take vision and careful planning."
Before going to work for public safety in 1994, Russell worked as a manager at PPG Industries and Metro Paint Supply in Roanoke.
Russell is a lifetime member of the Boones Mill Volunteer Fire Department and was the county's first Firefighter of the Year in 1989. He is an instructor with the Virginia Department of Fire Programs.
Russell has one daughter, Carrie Russell, who teaches at Henry Elementary School.