September 14, 2011
Election season is upon us and the Western Bypass has dominated local candidate conversation. It was more of the same Wednesday at the Senior Statesmen forum for Albemarle County Board of Supervisors candidates.
In the Rivanna District race, incumbent Ken Boyd voiced his support for the controversial project.
“It's no secret that I've been a supporter of a bypass around Charlottesville ever since I've been an elected official,” said Boyd (R-Rivanna). “I think it's a necessary road that we need.”
Others voiced their opposition.
“I definitely would not have voted for this bypass. It's been bad for many of our communities from the very beginning and it remains so,” said Cynthia Neff, a Democrat challenging Boyd in the Rivanna District.
Boyd is hoping to keep his seat, while Neff hopes speaking out against the Western Bypass will swing votes her way come November.
The candidates competing to represent the Scottsville District also disagree on the bypass. Democrat Christopher Dumler is on Neff's side of the debate.
“I would not have voted for the bypass had it come before me for a vote because I don't think it's the right road for Albemarle County,” he said.
However, Republican challenger James Norwood believes the road is the right choice.
“The 29 bypass is a needed road. I can't believe that this community is so hung up on these infrastructure improvements. They need to be done,” he argued.
In the White Hall District, incumbent Ann Mallek is running unopposed, but that didn't keep her from joining in the debate. She believes there is still work that needs to be done before moving forward with the project.
“We all need to work on the 29 corridor to make this happen,” said Mallek (D-White Hall).
While the Western Bypass is just one topic dividing the candidates, it's one that will likely drive voters to the poll in November.
The five candidates are vying for three open seats on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. Supervisor Duane Snow, Jouett District Supervisor Dennis Rooker and Rio District Supervisor Rodney Thomas are not up for re-election this year. Current Scottsville Supervisor, Lindsay G. Dorrier, is not running for re-election.