Albemarle County residents will see a change in the composition of the Board of Supervisors after this election, no matter who wins. That’s because two members are retiring, opening up seats.
And all three races have competition. That’s healthy for democracy, and it gives county voters real choices in selecting who will represent them on the board.
Scottsville District voters have the opportunity to elect a supervisor with an outstanding career record, an understanding of the district’s needs, and the energy, desire and ability to serve the district well.
Donna Price is a retired naval officer with high-level legal and management experience.
Ms. Price understands both the suburban and rural sections of the district — ranging from the Scottsville rescue squad controversy, to the need for more economic development in the district’s southern region, to the transportation capacity and safety problems of roads such as U.S. 250 and Route 20, to the necessity of ensuring government efficiency.
“I’m not in favor of raising taxes so much as I am of making sure government is working the way it should,” she told The Daily Progress. “Government is not always the solution, but it’s not the enemy, either.”
Ms. Price said her career has been based on building consensus, citing, among other examples, the fact that both parties asked her to work in Washington.
We like her combination of pragmatism, enthusiasm for the job and belief in consensus building. That latter quality might be particularly important, as the district needs binding and balancing between its rural and its suburban interests and between the district and the rest of the Board of Supervisors.
Ms. Price strikes us as the candidate most likely to be able to work with other board members to accomplish goals while fighting for those goals that would best serve the Scottsville District.
In the Rivanna District, Bea LaPisto Kirtley has a balanced and comprehensive platform that should serve the voters well.
As a former teacher and school administrator, she cites education as a top priority. She advocates expanding early education for 3- and 4-year-olds. Teacher pay and school infrastructure needs also are on her radar.
Ms. LaPisto Kirtley also stresses affordable housing, noting that not only do very low-income residents face hardship but so do working families — teachers, police officers, firefighters.
The county needs to ensure that affordable housing is available close to jobs and services so that workers won’t be forced to live outside the county, she said.
Transportation is among those services, she added. Albemarle must improve public transportation, which may require working with Charlottesville and the University of Virginia to build a better system.
In determining these and other programs, however, she stressed the need to steward tax revenue wisely. “It’s not our money,” she told The Progress. “The money belongs to the people. Those are precious dollars.”
In the hotly contested White Hall District, Ann Mallek deserves a return to the board. She has built a reputation for constituent service and detailed attention to residents’ concerns.
Additionally, the kind of deep background knowledge needed to govern a complex county such as Albemarle has to be taken into consideration. Ms. Mallek has spent years developing expertise in county government — expertise that should continue to benefit residents.
She also has shown that she is willing to change her mind about issues when necessary.
The Daily Progress recommends Donna Price, Bea LaPisto Kirtley and Ann Mallek for Board of Supervisors.