Larry F. Tolley, is serving his second year as Mayor. He was elected to City Council in 2007, and also served on the City School Board. He is a native of Natural Bridge, graduated from Natural Bridge High School and earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from National Business College in Roanoke. He moved to Buena Vista in 1970.
Larry retired in 2015. He was employed by Blue Bird Bus Company from its’ opening in 1972 until it closed in 1992. He operated a School Bus Dealership in Buena Vista for five years, and then became the Western Virginia General Sales Manager for Sonny Merryman, Inc.
Larry and his wife Brenda (Keiser) have two grown children and four grandchildren. The Tolley’s have been active in the community serving in many civic clubs and volunteer efforts particularly in the area of landscaping and city beautification projects.
Tim Petrie was elected to city council in 2013, and is a candidate for re-election in 2017. He moved to Buena Vista, from Bath, Maine, with his family 1968. Tim has worked for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality for 25 years. He graduated from Parry McCluer high school, and received both a BA and Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from Virginia Commonwealth University following a four-year enlistment in the United States Navy. Tim returned to Buena Vista with his family in 1995.
Petrie re-enlisted in the Navy, as a reservist, in 1997, serving with the Fighting Seabees (the construction force of the Navy) during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Bahrain, and retired from service in 2013. Since his return, Tim has served on various advisory boards including the Planning Commission, where he was Chairman. Tim and his wife Janet have two daughters, Olivia and Anna.
Melvin Henson was raised in Buena Vista, and graduated from Parry McCluer High School in 1966. He retired as Director of Buena Vista Public Works Department after 33 years of service. Melvin also has 45 years of service and leadership with Buena Vista “Volunteer” Fire Department and also served Buena Vista Rescue Squad as an Emergency Medical Technician. He has extensive training in fire and emergency management. He is a veteran of the US Army.
As councilman, he has served on Buena Vista Planning Commission, the Parks & Recreation Committee, and the Public Safety Committee. Regionally, he also serves on the Board of the Rockbridge Area Network Authority, and the Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee.
John Dyer is a Buena Vista native. He was appointed to City Council in 2016 and re-elected in 2017 for a one-year term He graduated from PMHS in 1976 and Virginia Tech in 1981. After working for 25 years in commercial construction in the Richmond area, John returned to BV in 2015 and has started his own construction business.
His wife, Sarah, is also a Buena Vista native, and the owner of a The Urban Farmgirl in downtown. John & Sarah have three boys and two granddaughters.
Lisa Clark serves as the Vice-Mayor of the City of Buena Vista. Lisa earned her Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership from Liberty University and is Principal at Kling Elementary School in Buena Vista.
Lisa spends much of her free time volunteering in the community. She is married to Troy Clark and they have two children, Cole, and Allison.
Steven Baldridge, JD, PhD, was elected to City Council in 2011. Prior to his election he served two terms on the Buena Vista School Board. Steve is a graduate of Washington & Lee University and earned his JD and PhD in Educational Leadership from Brigham Young University.
Steve came to Buena Vista in 1998 as a professor of Politics and Law at Southern Virginia University. He joined the Law Firm of Jones & Baldridge in 2012 and is the managing partner. Steve continues to teach as an adjunct professor and Pre-Law advisor. He is also very active in Boy Scouts of America and his religious community.
Steve and his wife Miyoko have three children, Leila, Zach and Maia.
William “Billy” Fitzgerald was elected to City Council in 2015. He was appointed to the Buena Vista School Board in 2012 and re-elected in 2013. Billy is a native of southwest Virginia and attended Natural Bridge High School. He moved to Buena Vista in 1987.
Billy, a self-employed contractor and fine woodworker, also serves as president of Buena Vista Lions Club and Buena Vista Youth First (supporting local children). He has two grown sons, Billy and Jeff, also living in Buena Vista.