He comes from a family who for generations has served Richmond County, and this year, Robert “Bobby” Pemberton has decided it is his time to take up the family tradition.
This November, Pemberton will be fighting for the Dist. 4 Supervisor seat, left by outgoing member Courtney Sisson, against fellow contender Charles Snavely.
“I grew up here, my family for generations has lived and worked here and all I want to do is ensure that our future generations have a prosperous county to live and work in,” Pemberton said in a recent interview.
Born and raised in Richmond County, Pemberton graduated Rappahannock High School in 1973.
According to Pemberton, at least four of his immediate family members have served in a local political office.
“I even have a daughter, [Lowery], who volunteers for the Warsaw-Richmond County Main Street program,” he said.
Pemberton earned a degree from accounting at VCU and has been married to wife Brenda since 1988. They moved to Sharps in 2001.
“I grew up on a dairy farm on Richmond Hill Road, was born there, raised there and worked there,” Bobby said.
“My family has served this county in a lot of different ways and I think it is my time,” he said. “I am passionate about Richmond County. I grew up here. I love it here and I want to work to better this county. I feel that I can bring new solutions to problems and just want to serve the people the citizens of the county.”
Bobby’s wife, Brenda, serves, as vice chair for the Richmond County School Board, an issue, which both the state and the Pembertons assure, will not cause a conflict.
“What happens in the board rooms stay there,” Bobby said. “Those are conversations that will never be brought home.”
A full-time employee at the Haynesville Correctional Center, Bobby said that one of the keys to his platform is implementing creative ways to entice and induce new businesses and residents to the region.
“A lot of people don’t appreciate what they have here,“ Bobby said. I love this county and I am going to work hard to help make it fulfill its destiny. Instead of saying we cant do something, I think we can make this county and the town of Warsaw what it was in the past.”
He said that his platform involves key ingredients that could change the course of the local and political economical environment.
“It is almost like we have gotten stale and I think we need to celebrate the accomplishments in this county,” Bobby said. “I think one of the important things that we need to do as a county is to have some of our Board of Supervisors’ meetings at night, which will add transparency and allow more of our citizens to see how our government works.”
He added the need to promote the positive things in this county including new businesses like The Daily, Waterfields’ Family Market in Robley, the local school system, including Rapahannock Community College, and its involved parents, teachers and citizens.
“We have a good county,” Bobby said. “To me, these are people who have taken chances and succeeded and we need to support these people and give them our business and I believe strongly in a shop local environment.”
Bobby added that that bringing new businesses to the county with added incentives would be a boon through sales tax income, but it could only happen if local businesses have the support from the county to compete with other towns such as Kilmarnock and Tappahannock.
“Another thing is that my daughter just left home for a job in another area,” he said. “I think we need to provide incentives to local businesses to create jobs so that our children will live and stay in this county.”
As part of his platform, Bobby proposed a graduated implementation of property tax relief for new and improved structures to encourage new homeowners and businesses to come here. According to his plan, it would still ensure that 100 percent of land tax was paid, but that new homes could have a gradually increasing tiered system to encourage new or existing residents to buy and build homes in Richmond County.
He said that the result would be a larger tax base, a decreased burden on each citizen and more services at lower costs. He added that he thinks the county needs to “avoid this bridge loan that is costing money every year and instead semi-annually pay real estate taxes.”
By continually striving to have growth in both commercial and private properties, RC can avoid tax increases. But there has to be a solution,” Bobby said.
He added that he has put a lot of thought into his decision to run for office.
“It is hard for me to describe the passion that I have for this job and I truly think that the sky is the limit for this county,” Bobby said.