October 9, 2013
Candidates for the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors squared off in a forum put on by the Chamber of Commerce.
All four candidates for the board attended, talking about their goals and priorities for the county.
In the Rivanna district, Tony O'Brien and Fred Kelly are running for the open seat. O'Brien favors investing in infrastructure.
"We have a huge opportunity with the growth of Zion's area, to show that we can be a gateway from the eastern part into Virginia, into the Central Virginia area. I think we have that opportunity and we should seize on it. Fluvanna will benefit in a great way if we do that. We'll see our schools benefit, we'll see our core services benefit, and we'll see our citizenry benefit and our tax base benefit from that. So, that's my biggest priority, is to bring economic development to Fluvanna so that we all benefit as citizens." said O'Brien.
Kelly wants to be careful raising taxes.
"I'm on a fixed income, I know what that's like, I don't have cable television, I'm worried about every penny. So, people need to be protected. It isn't just one way and not the other. I'm ready to work with everybody to come up with some solution that works, or solutions," said Kelly.
In the Columbia district, Mike Sheridan and Elizabeth Franklin are running for the seat. They shared their thoughts on their priorities for the county.
"We gotta...restore the trusting relationship that our county once had with our leadership. I think we have to get everyone involved. There's no team that's ever been successful that's been a group of individuals," said Sheridan. "And secondly, we have to be able to balance our tax base. We have to get economic development, but it has to be controlled economic development. We have to allow our county to grow. And by doing this it will alleviate some of the burden that our individuals are having to face."
"We have more debt than Albemarle. We have the highest tax rate of any county in Central Virginia. We've got to be realistic about what we can afford. And our high tax rate is a detractor to businesses at the same time that we want to attract them. We've got to solve that problem," said Franklin.
Franklin added that keeping Fluvanna affordable for residents, maintaining its rural nature, and creating water infrastructure that will pay off taxpayers and bring businesses were also priorities.
The candidates have just under four weeks until the election on November 5.