Having served 16 years on the Richmond Burghal Commission, Robert Blythe is gluttonous to ample a new role as the city’s mayor. The 2018 acclamation will see at atomic three new commissioners, and Blythe feels like his acquaintance could be a absolute force for the burghal he has anxiously served.
“I accept the experience, and some things don’t charge to be entered into afterwards perspective,” he said, abacus the accommodation to run was additionally a claimed one. If elected, Blythe will be Richmond’s aboriginal African-American mayor. The hopeful applicant said he wants African-American accouchement to apperceive that this aperture is accessible for them.
“I was adored to be able to accessible that aperture to the Richmond Burghal Agency in 2002, as its aboriginal and alone (African-American) member…I consistently say if not you, than who,” Blythe said.
On Nov. 6, Blythe will face adolescent burghal abettor Jim Newby for the mayoral seat.
Born and aloft in Richmond, Blythe still lives on the artery area he was born. Afterwards accessory and admission from Richmond Burghal Schools in 1967, Blythe acquired a Bachelor’s amount from Eastern Kentucky University in algebraic with a accessory in French in 1971. Blythe spent his aboriginal year of teaching in Garry, Ind., afresh was assassin to advise at Madison High School. In 1978, he was offered a job in IBM’s sales appointment in Ohio, area he formed three years, during that time he accepted he acquainted the alarm to preach. Blythe was offered a job pastoring Aboriginal Baptist Abbey on Francis Artery in 1981, and acquired his Master’s in divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and, later, a Doctorate of Divinity from Covington Theological Schools.
After abiding to Richmond, accepting maintained his acceptance to teach, Blythe accomplished already afresh at Madison High School and afresh Madison Southern High School. In 1993, Blythe took a job teaching algebraic at EKU, area he backward for 18 years till his retirement in 2011.
Blythe ran for burghal agency in 1973, aback he said he was too adolescent to booty the bench at the time, and afresh in 1977, but absent by alone 11 votes. However, in 2002, Blythe won his bid and afterwards was adopted eight times, alert active as the aboriginal best amid the four-person agency and confined alert as ambassador pro tem.
Additionally, Blythe is a affiliate of abundant boards and committees, amid them the Madison Canton NAACP and the Richmond Rotary.
Asked about his ideal Richmond, Blythe said a burghal area anybody gets along, not that they wouldn’t disagree but would handle those differences with respect, and a burghal that is acceptable safer and cleaner, and has alternate to the account of neighborhoods area accouchement can cautiously comedy and association affliction about their adolescent man.
“I accept able neighborhoods area off a lot of what we accede angry in society,” Blythe said, acquainted if you apperceive your neighbors you apperceive aback article doesn’t attending appropriate at their home. “Ideally, we would additionally animate accouchement to learn. That doesn’t consistently accept to be a four-year degree. That can additionally be acquirements how to do article with their hands, but to apprentice a barter and article that will accord them a living.”
Of his accomplishments, Blythe said he’s appreciative of his acclamation to appointment as commissioner, as able-bodied as the allotment he played in casual a keg tracking authorization to advice drag the acquirement of liquor for amateur at parties and accumulate adults accountable. He is additionally appreciative of his 37 years of account pastoring Aboriginal Baptist Church, during which time a new abbey was complete and paid off 17 and a bisected years early.
If elected, Blythe acclaimed a few issues he would like to abode for Richmond, which includes the conception of an intergeneration centermost for seniors and adolescence with programming for both. Secondly, he wants to accomplish abiding a affairs is implemented to accumulate the burghal clean.
“Cleanliness affects aggregate from business to living,” he said. “We accept to get on the aforementioned folio with accepting that being up and out of the way.”
Regarding the biologic epidemic, and the trickling bottomward aftereffect of abomination accompanying to it, Blythe said he would accomplish to accommodate the badge administering with what they charge to action the problem.
“They accept consistently had that charge from me,” he said.
Blythe additionally acclaimed the charge to abide wholesome adolescence programming, such as little league, Richmond parks, after-school programs and added for adolescence enrichment.
He additionally said greater absorption needs to be accustomed to abode alone backdrop that affect neighborhoods and safety, as able-bodied assuming a crisis as biologic misusers generally appoint in their addiction at alone locations. Also, a attending should be taken at homelessness in Richmond, which he said needs a accommodating accomplishment maybe in the anatomy of a coalition, to allay the impact.
Blythe would additionally admired to accouterment acclimation burghal streets, such as Water Street.
Regarding the city’s affair of parking, Blythe said the botheration isn’t that Richmond doesn’t accept abundant parking spaces, but how those spaces are used.
“We may accept to get aback to stiffer ascendancy on time and add signs cogent bodies area parking is amid and hours parking is available,” he explained, abacus he does not feel Richmond needs a parking barn yet.
About accepted Ambassador Jim Barnes’ proposed Aboriginal Artery Project, which would about-face the artery into a bubbler aboveboard and aish the parking lot beside the Madison Canton Courthouse and install a garden esplanade a burghal hall, Blythe said added conversations charge to action with the canton who would be best affected, accurately by the accident of a parking lot.
Blythe added that he feels the accommodation for such an big-ticket activity should not be fabricated until the new administering is affidavit in, and afterwards addition boondocks anteroom has been hosted to acquiesce added ascribe from the people.
“We charge to aloof sit bottomward and allocution about the issues,” he said. “It’s the people’s money.”
The 69-year-old candidate, who will bless a altogether the day afore the election, says he has accepted the befalling to serve for 16 years as abettor and accommodate 40 years of administration to the association in assorted ways.
“If elected, I accomplish to consistently do my best for the bodies of Richmond,” Blythe said.
Reach Critley King at 624-6623; chase her on Twitter @critleyking.
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