By the Keswick Life Staff
The last day to register for voting was October 13th, so assuming your card was in hand and you cast your ballot your civic duty in complete. Keswick Life posed the following questions to these Rivanna District candidates since the winner’s decisions most impact the Keswick area. The question is will the winner follow through with what he has promised?
We started out by letting the candidate give their boiler plate, but all three were asked the following questions:
What are your campaign promises and how do they relate to “Keswickians”?
Did you grow up in this area? What are some things you have noticed over his years here that stands out or surprises you?
What do you think your best point is that would make a reader vote for you rather than someone else?
Road safety along route 231 is a big issue in Keswick. How will you assure residents, if elected, that this can be resolved and that you understand the issue?
Fun fact you would like Keswickians to know about you?
Before you read on, here is what a board of supervisor does for the people. In our county, the Supervisor sets the tax rate, determines the budget, makes decisions on zoning and land use regulations and adopts the comprehensive plan.
As a third generation resident of our bucolic, pastoral, and richly historical county, I have had the honor of fostering lifelong friendships with many district residents (such as the Stevens family of Cismont), and I have the kind of unparalleled appreciation and deep connection to our land and our people that my partisan opponents are sorely lacking. There is nobody running for Rivanna District (or any other district) who has a greater desire to protect and preserve our way of life for generations to come. Our farming heritage, historical significance, and the rural integrity of Keswick will be best served by someone who was born and raised here in our community.
One of the most surprising things I have noticed over my lifetime in Albemarle County is the fact that growth does not pay for itself.”
We have seen taxes increase dramatically while developers continue to put up more cookie cutter condos and unattractive apartments to accommodate the alarming rise in population size and density. Our county held an average of 30-40 thousand residents during most of my grandfather’s lifetime, but during my 48 years here, that has increased by nearly 100 thousand. Population increase leads to a viscious cycle of higher taxes and the need for more business growth. This kind of growth has not payed for itself.
The best point I could make as to why someone would be wise to vote for me in 2015 is the fact that I am an Independent in the truest sense of the word. As an Independent, I will be beholden to the will of the people rather than just be another politician who answers to one of these small partisan committees made up of people who are mostly not from our district. Having seen the before, during, and after of over 40 years of poor planning and out-of-control growth in various parts of the county such as Pantops and 29 North, I will fight against the undue influence of big businesses, big developers, and the take-over of industrial, corporate farming.
The number one priority of a member of the county board is to make sure our county is running efficiently and balancing the budget. Currently, there is no sense of fiscal responsibility on the board.
The county coffers go to pay exorbitant salaries to unqualified county administrators such as Tom Foley, while we continually face shortfalls to our annual school budget and also fail to come up with sufficient funding for cleaning up our most precious and vital natural resource, the Rivanna Watershed.
In addition to protecting our environment, we need better planning for infrastructure. Gordonsville Rd, for example, is a beautiful rural road, but it has it’s dangers. My mother had an accident right where the road splits off from Rt. 22, and there are many close calls every day for folks pulling into traffic. While I am not in favor of more regulations or a decrease in the speed limit, I would propose that the county send out regular mailings to residents along the stretch from 22 to 15 reminding them to be more vigilant about driving in a conscientious manner in that area.
Although I am nationally recognized for my work in voter engagement, one thing many Keswick residents (and other county residents) do not know about me is that I am the founder and executive director of GOV360 (a non-partisan, non-profit voter engagement foundation). As long as voter participation remains low in these important local races, we will continue to elect board members who play the kind of partisan political games where cronyism takes precedent over education and the protection of the environment. If people like the way the county is run, with bloated budgets, out-of-control growth, graft, corruption, and painfully poor planning, they can vote for a Democrat or Republican. But if they are tired of business as usual, I offer the good people of my district the independent, common sense voice that they want and deserve. Please visit my website: www.gaughan-for-supervisor.com, and engage in local elections by spreading the word, contributing, and most importantly, by voting at your local polling place on November 3rd.
What are your campaign promises and how do they relate to “Keswickians”? Did you grow up in this area? What are some things you have noticed over your years here that stands out or surprises you? I’ve been in Charlottesville for over 30 years; about 20 in the Ivy area, and the last 10 in Pantops. One thing that has surprised me is how the Barracks Road area has lost the horse and pastoral views over the years whereas the Keswick area has preserved its rural character.
What do you think your best point is that would make a reader vote for you rather than someone else? I have been involved in the community for the last 30 years with founding, and still running, Rebecca’s Natural Food. As half-owner of Harlowe-Powell Auctions until recently, I enjoyed serving many families in Keswick who were settling estates or downsizing. I appreciate how special Keswick is, and want to protect it.
Road safety along route 231 is a big issue in Keswick. How will you assure residents, if elected, that this can be resolved and that you understand the issue? Norman responds,
I agree that Route 231 is terribly dangerous. We need to address this issue with VDOT, the state police, local police, and the Board of Supervisors to create a long-term plan.”
First, we should reduce the speed limit, and enable police officers to enforce it. We could build places where trucks can be pulled over, or use some kind of tracking to make sure that these trucks and other dangerous vehicles are kept off Rt. 231. The shoulders of the road should be uniform and wider if possible so that dangerous drop-offs don’t lead to accidents.
I also think there should be strong voices for making the Southwest Mountains a part of the Rural Historic District, not just as a designation. And include more protection and certainly more involvement from the residents about what we want Keswick to look like in the future.
Fun fact you would like Keswickians to know about you? I’ve learned, while campaigning in Keswick, not to kiss babies. It is better to speak intelligently to all children including babies. And to kiss the dogs.
Hello, I am Richard Lloyd, candidate for Board of Supervisors in the Rivanna District. I was born in Greenwood, at the other end of Albemarle County. I moved with my mother to Hopewell, Virginia shortly thereafter, where I lived with and was raised by my grandparents in a very warm, loving environment. My career as a businessman in Fortune 500 companies and as a small business owner, took me and my wife Christy and our two children to towns throughout the country. After retiring, we chose to return home to Albemarle county. Feeling that I had not been engaged in the communities that we had lived in, due to the demands of my work, I decided that once we were settled, I would make it a priority to do so. Thus, having been involved in the community, and coming to understand the strengths of Albemarle and the complexity of the issues facing the county, I felt with my skills and expertise I was prepared to run for the Board.
I am committed to properly managing the financial resources of the county, assuring our children receive a quality education in our schools, ensuring that those who take care of our community can afford to live here, and preserving the natural beauty of our community while protecting the rights of our property owners.
I wish to fairly represent the people of Keswick and their way of life. It has been faithfully preserved and maintained by generations of Keswickians.
We want to quietly maintain the heritage that has been entrusted to us, while balancing the concerns of the Keswick community.”
Understanding the very serious concerns of all in the area regarding the safety of those travelling Rte. 231/22, and as a civil engineer, I would work with VDOT and the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) to look for solutions for safer passage along this route, while respecting the beauty of this area that makes it so special.
As I said I wish to contribute to my community. And I also wish to help each of you have a voice in your community. The Board of Supervisors presently votes now on almost all issues 5-1. If I am not elected, most likely the vote will always be 6-0. Many of you will not have a voice. Many of you will never be heard, other than your two minutes before the board and then forgotten. We need a discussion in order for all sides of an issue to be heard to get to the best answers. If I am elected, you will be heard! If I am elected, I plan on having office hours, where you will have the time to be heard and your ideas and concerns discussed. I respectfully ask for your vote on November 3rd.