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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Board of supervisors District G

CHOOSE TWO CANDIDATES FROM BELOW TO COMPARE
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    Dwayne Ball (I) Stone Mason / Owner Boulder Look Stone Company

  • Vernon Smith (Rep)

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Biographical Information

If elected, would you make relevant planning and zoning decisions based on the county’s Comprehensive Plan? (If you have reservations, please explain.) Should the county employ a planner?

Large national retailers have been offered tax breaks and government subsidies to locate in Washington County. What do you feel are the best ways to develop and maintain a healthy local economy? How would you support locally-owned businesses?

Washington County Public Schools have been among the best in Virginia. Many voters are concerned that budget cuts to local contribution funding over recent years have played a role in personnel reductions, cutbacks in school programs, and delayed infrastructure maintenance. As a board member, are you willing to increase school funding as a percentage of the county budget?

Training workshops for elected officials are available through various agencies. Would you take advantage of formal training opportunities for county supervisors? If you have held office, have you already had any formal training?

What do you see as the 3 most pressing issues facing Washington County? How do you propose to address each of these? What in your personal experience has prepared you to help solve these issues?

Campaign Phone (276) 644-1530
Education John S. Battle HS BS Forestry with an emphasis on wood science and industrial engineering from Virginia Tech
Experience Supervisor International Paper Inc. Founded Ball Log Homes Inc (President) Founded Boulder Look Stone John S. Battle Cross Country coach Church elder
Family Married 30 years to Whitney Jessee Ball We have three adult children.
I feel the county has an effective zoning plan in place that would prove very useful in making decisions on development and land use. The Comprehensive Plan was created using a diverse cross section of the populous of the county, and exhaustive efforts were made to obtain community input. I feel the plan is a good guide that should be referred to when situations arise that require board action. The plan is not, in my opinion, a "concrete" document in that it can be modified when needed. I liken it to a 5 year plan that corporations use to pilot their organizations into the future.

I do not think the county needs a full time planner. I feel the Comprehensive Plan is our planning document that was crafted by our citizens and should be used in making decisions. When unusual situations arise, counsel could be sought from engineering and planning firms that specialize in these areas.
I own a small business and received no government assistance in my endeavors. I feel that an atmosphere of "buy locally" should be supported by board members and the entities that they represent. When possible county agencies should purchase locally or at least in our state. We need to encourage growth and innovation among the businesses that we already have. This could be accomplished, in part, by developing relationships with business owners and showing our appreciation to them for locating and staying in our community. We also need to collaborate with other counties in our region to develop plans and strategies that benefit our region.
The reason that I am seeking a board position is for "the kids." I believe that we have great schools and will continue to do so. I think that some of the budget cuts may be reflective of a declining student population. However I also believe that no further cuts need to be made, and some funds may need to be added back to offset rising healthcare costs, facility maintenance, and equipment purchases.
I would definitely take advantage of workshops and classes that would help me in the role of supervisor.
1. Education: The children are are our greatest assets. We need to support our schools financially and emotionally. Supervisors need to be more involved with the school board to make sure that the funds being allocated are used as effectively as possible. My wife is a teacher, and we coach cross-country and track. This allows us more perspective on our schools continually. 2. Jobs: More efforts need to be made to recruit and retain high paying jobs. Supervisors need to develop relationships with executives and employees to keep good corporations here and encourage them to grow. My experience in business will be useful in facilitating relationships and will be helpful in understanding what obstacles these companies face. 3.The possiblity of Bristol coming into our county as a town. I would like to build relationships with city officials to help them retain their status as a city. I am concerned that their financial situation will push them toward default on looming bond obligations. We need to work together to build a strong economy that will raise revenues for both municipalities. Again, my business background and willingness to work and seek solutions to problems will facilitate me in being beneficial to resolving this issue.
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