By Shawn Nowlin
Former Vice Mayor Trish White-Boyd, a multi-term city council member, will not run for re-election in November.
Currently, White-Boyd, Mayor Sherman Lea, Vice Mayor Joe Cobb, Luke Priddy, Vivian Sanchez-Jones, Peter Volosin, and Stephanie Moon Reynolds comprise the council makeup. Things will look drastically different this time next year.
A Florida native, long before she was elected to serve on the city council, White-Boyd was heavily involved in Democrat circles. That experience allowed her to make a seamless transition when she ran for elected office. Getting to know her constituents made White-Boyd a better council member. Even when voters disagreed with her decisions, she handled it with class.
Appointed in 2019, White-Boyd was elected to council in 2020. “My first vote was a tough one because it pertained to the transit station. Many people and business owners were against it. I thoroughly explained my intentions behind the vote. Today, the transit station is beautiful and is probably one of the best decisions that the city has made,” she said.
Playing a vital role in changing the election date from May to November and better-compensating city employees are some of White-Boyd’s other proudest accomplishments.
“May was a hidden election. No longer is that the case,” White-Boyd said, adding, “We decided to make sure that every city employee was compensated based on the average salary for those positions, which was a noticeable increase.”
Competition is often ruthless, with politics being no exception. Last November, White-Boyd challenged David Suetterlein to represent the newly created state Senate District 4. While she easily won her primary, Suetterlein won the General Election with approximately 53 percent of the vote.
While no one knows exactly what the future holds, for now, White-Boyd says after her term, she will be taking a break from elected office.
“I just felt that the timing was right,” she said. “We’ve made some tremendous progress and I love the direction that the city is heading. Now is a good time to step back and focus more on my family and the finer things in life.”
A business owner by profession, for 19 years, White-Boyd has run a home health agency. Her hard-working assistant director, Latonja “Toni” Motley, allowed her to handle everything that comes with being on city council by going above and beyond to get things done.
As her term comes to an end, White-Boyd says she will continue to do what is best for the city.
“I thank Roanoke for giving me an opportunity to serve. Tough decisions often had to be made, but I’ve really enjoyed my time on city council. I feel that my contributions benefitted the residents as well as the city as a whole,” she said. “I hope that members of the community feel the same way.”