As we enter the last week of this election cycle, it is time to talk about bringing different perspectives and voices to Goochland.
In last week’s article, we heard from different people touting the miracles that the current Board of Supervisors has performed in bringing Goochland back from the “brink”. However, when you are at the bottom, there is no place to go but up. I certainly laud the efforts made to bring Goochland back from the brink—but I also believe that artificially keeping our tax rate low and raising taxes through the back door via real estate assessments is wrong. In addition, Goochland currently has the highest personal property tax and business property tax rates in the area. TheBoard’s stance on broadband has also been wrong, seemingly until it is time for re-election and Goochland residents are demanding action on it. We need a change of leadership.
Districts 1 and 2 have an opportunity to vote for two excellent candidates that believe in representing their Districts and bringing their experience and drive to serve their constituents. Wendy Hobbs, a former warden and regional administrator for the VA Department of Corrections, has management experience, including overseeing $200 million budgets over her tenure. Wendy believes in fiscal responsibility and her experience in conducting financial, operational, and security audits will be assets to our county in its continuing efforts to be transparent. She has spent a lifetime in service to others and would make a highly effective Supervisor.
Crystal Neilson-Hall is running to serve as District 1 Supervisor and her constituents will benefit from her drive and passion inbringing broadband to western Goochland. She knows broadband and her constituents will be the better for it. Take for example that half the County’s newly unveiled broadband plan came from Crystal’s platform. That alone should be an endorsement for Crystal to serve as District 1 Supervisor. Her opponent’s sudden embrace of broadband in campaign materials is laughable, especially after her comments at Mizpah Church regarding broadband – the message was consistently, “we can’t do this”.
For School Board, there are two candidates who have been involved in the County schools for years. William Quarles and Sandra Barefoot-Reid. Both candidates are passionate about Goochland County Schools and have been in service to the Division for years. Sandra was a long-time employee of the Division and her last position was HR specialist and William is a former educator and currently serves as President of the Goochland Educational Foundation. In addition, William serves as the co-chair of the Goochland County Schools Minority Student Achievement Advisory Board. Both candidates bring passion and experience to the School Board and Goochland would be fortunate to have them serve.
For the House of Delegates, both Juanita Jo Matkins and Mike Asip are candidates worthy of support. Juanita Jo Matkins is running in the 56th District against John McGuire and Mike Asip is running against Lee Ware in the 65th District. Once again, broadband is the issue that differentiates the candidates. Mr. McGuire can’t seem to bring himself to break from the party line of “free markets” solving every problem. Mr. Ware, although he acknowledges that government involvement is key to ensuring access to reliable broadband, was also quick to say that it should be the federal government doing the work, abdicating any responsibility at the state level. I would note that he said this in direct response to a question I asked during a visit to the Capitol last Spring. Ms. Matkins and Mr. Asip know how important broadband is and will work diligently to make sure their constituents get it.
The Goochland Democratic Committee has endorsed Mike Caudill for Commonwealth’s Attorney. We support his work in ending the prison pipeline for people addicted to opioids and other drugs. We also support his professionalism in following the rule of law to ensure that everyone is treated equally and justice is served. He is currently the Vice Chair for the Rural Substance Abuse Awareness Coalition and has been a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for the past four years. It is our hope that the future Sheriff will join the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force so together theymay be able protect our most precious resource—our children.
Finally, Sebastian Volcker is running for Monacan Soil and Water Conservation District Director. He is a farmer, small business owner and longtime Goochland resident who will bring a great depth of farming and river management knowledge to the Monacan Soil and Water Conservation Board.
I am pleased to endorse all of these candidates as Chair of the Goochland Democratic Committee.
Although the Goochland Democratic Committee has chosen not to endorse a Sheriff candidate this year I would like to give my personal endorsement to Levin White. Mr. White is the logical choice for Sheriff. He brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to that position. For me, the election of Sheriff is about the resume. Holding the title of Sergeant is not enough to warrant earning the title of Sheriff. I also happen to value experience from outside the county, we need a Sheriff that has experience working with outside law enforcement agencies and who, as a long-time resident, also knows our County. Finally, it is about keeping Goochland safe. From the beginning of the campaign, Mr. White has talked about the need for Goochland’s participation in the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the need for SRO’s in all of the County schools, preparation for increased growth and the increased criminal activity that inevitably accompanies it, and implicit bias training for deputies. Levin White is the clear choice for Sheriff.
Chair, Goochland Democratic Committee