Apr 27, 2010

Candidate Hunsdon Cary III

by Tiffany Edwards

Hunsdon Cary III, a city council candidate endorsed by the Republican Party, came to Lynchburg to attend high school at the Virginia Episcopal School. Originally from Sandusky, Ohio, Cary earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ohio University and his master’s in health administration from the Medical College of Virginia.

After he graduated, he married his wife Sue in 1976. They have three grown children — Virginia Military Institute (VMI) graduate Hunsdon “Hunt” IV, Radford graduate Will and Ginna, who graduated from Lynchburg College and received her master’s in education from Liberty University. Cary has two grandchildren.

Cary has worked at Westminster Canterbury retirement community for more than 30 years and has served as president and CEO since 1985, until he retired from his position in January 2010 to run for city council. This is Cary’s first time working in politics.

“The thing I like the most about the political arena is all the interesting people you meet,” Cary said. “I go door to door about six or seven days a week. I’ve probably knocked on about 1,300 doors so far.  You just meet some really wonderful people.”

Cary has been involved in the Episcopal Church for his entire life. 

“My father was an Episcopal minister,” Cary said. “So I’m a PK, a ‘pastor’s kid,’ or TO for ‘theological offspring,’ whichever you prefer.”

Cary has held a variety of community and volunteer positions during his years as a Lynchburg resident. He has served on the vestry at St. John’s Episcopal Church as well as St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and chaired the executive council sub-committee on housing organization for the National Episcopal Church. He has also served on the Lynchburg mental health board, the board of the American Red Cross and was a board member of the Southwestern Virginia Health System. 

He is licensed as an amateur radio operator, volunteers in the communication department for the Virginia 10-miler and in his spare time, referees high school football and basketball. 

“I used to say that refereeing got me around a much younger crowd than I’m used to at work, but I guess I can’t say that anymore now that I’m retired,” Cary said.

Cary’s hobbies include AM radio broadcasting, reading and walking or jogging with his yellow Labrador retriever Addie.


Contact Tiffany Edwards 

at tredwards2@liberty.edu.


Q and A with Cary


On improving the roads

Without a doubt the most important improvement is safe pedestrian crosswalks at several locations along Wards Road.  I’ve watched Liberty students dodge traffic to cross Wards Road and returning with packages can be particularly dangerous as students are not as fleet of foot with bags.  Someone is going to be seriously injured if this is not done soon.


On how many unrelated people may live in a single dwelling or share a single bedroom

The current restrictions have been on the books for years and, I’m sure, did not envision student housing.  The number of unrelated people should be a function of the number of bedrooms and the square footage available in the residence. Clearly, these regulations need to be modernized so that student housing is not unfairly restricted.


On marriage

Yes, marriage is for one man and one woman -  not for same gender relationships!  I am not in favor of civil union rights for gay and lesbians “couples”  — there is nothing biblical about it and just because some states permit it doesn’t make it right.


On his relationship with Liberty

I have been a fan of Liberty for many years, often attending sporting events.  Our daughter, Ginna, received her master’s degree in education, magna cum laude, from Liberty in 2004.  As the president and CEO of Westminster Canterbury (WC) from 1976-2010, I have hired a number of (Liberty) graduates over the years and, without exception, each has been capable, polite, personable and a good fit with WC. Liberty is good for the economy and Liberty students/grads are good for the area workforce.


On campaign funding 

My initial campaign finance report, filed on April 15, shows that I raised $9,763 — primarily from individuals, the 6th District Republican committee and the Lynchburg City Republican committee.  The largest gift was $1,000 and the smallest was $15.


On how long he’s been in Lynchburg

I came to Lynchburg in 1959 to attend Virginia Episcopal School (VES) and met the young lady who has been my bride for 42 years this June. After serving as a captain in the USAF Medical Service Corps, we returned to Lynchburg in 1976 when I became administrator of Westminster Canterbury, a continuing care retirement community affiliated with the Presbyterian and Episcopal churches, which serves 500 seniors in independent living, assisted living and nursing care.  My wife, Sue, is a native of Lynchburg and I, a preacher’s kid, have lived here for the past 34 years. Lynchburg is a wonderful city in which to raise a family and is full of warm, friendly people who are active in a host of volunteer programs. I expect that to continue on a larger scale as Liberty grows.


On building community

As president and CEO of Westminster Canterbury, I was an effective team builder, listening and communicating frequently with constituent groups: residents, employees, trustees, family members, donors and friends.  As a councilman, I plan to have listening   sessions throughout the city — including Liberty — to listen to citizen concerns so that I can be responsive to and representative of them.


On Liberty’s CUP status

Liberty and other large institutions, such as Centra Health, Randolph College, and Lynchburg College should not be subject to the current conditional use planning [CUP] process — it is unduly restrictive and burdensome.  The city must be concerned with the impact any expansion at Liberty has on traffic and utilities — that’s appropriate; but it has no business telling Liberty or any other large institution, how to develop its campus.


On long-term plans for Lynchburg and Liberty

Liberty’s current enrollment is capped at 15,000 on campus students.  Exempting Liberty from the CUP process (see above) will    allow it to grow, unencumbered by the city’s current planning process, and accommodate a student body that is growing by leaps and   bounds.  I fully expect Liberty to rival Virginia Tech, UVA and JMU in the size of its undergraduate enrollment within the next 5-7 years. Lynchburg will continue to be a wonderful place to live and work and raise a family and Liberty, due to its increasing size, will be much more influential in community affairs.


On his party affiliation choice

I chose to run as a Republican because I believe in fiscal responsibility, limited government, and the ability of private enterprise to effective common sense solutions to problems, be they local, state or national. Several candidates in this city council race were proud to call themselves Democrats last November when Shannon Valentine was running for the House of Delegates.  You’ll recall that she lost and the Republican gubernatorial ticket carried this area 62 to 38 percent.  Now, those same council candidates shun the party label.


On priorities for spending

Public safety and education are two of the four essential services any city or governmental entity must provide.  The other two are utilities (water and sewer) and roads and bridges.  I call these four core services, the “necessities”.  Next on my list would be economic development, establishing programs to attract new business and help existing businesses grow — job growth is a key element of a prosperous future for Lynchburg.


On moving the Ward III-4 polling place

UVA has two polling places on its campuses and I believe Virginia Tech and other colleges do, too.  Liberty shouldn’t be treated any differently than those schools. Given the large number of registered voters on Liberty’s campus, it makes sense that there be an easily accessible polling place on the Liberty campus.  The fact that the current majority on city council does not appear to be receptive to this is, in my opinion, reflective of the fact that it doesn’t want to make it easier for a group of largely conservative students to vote.


On carrying out campaign promises

The first thing I will do is work with my colleagues on council to see that Liberty is removed from the CUP process and that safe   pedestrian crossings are established at several locations on Wards Road.  I’ll then move forward on (1) consolidating duplicate services between the city and city schools and (2) identify city services that can be privatized and establish a timeline for receiving reports from the city manager on the viability of these options.  Savings realized — and there will be savings — will be used to reduce the tax burden on Lynchburg citizens. Two on my radar are the exorbitant meals tax and the property tax.

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