Lebanon High School graduate
Virginia Tech Bachelor of Science in Business Management
Small business owner/manager for 31 years. Manager/trainer for the US Chamber of Commerce and National Federation of Independent Business for 17 yrs.
Married. One daughter who lives in Austin TX
Getting jobs into Washington County is one of the most pressing issues. In order to keep our young people here, we need to emphasize vocational training and college. We need to get better business relationships, emphasize small and medium size manufacturing and related industries and services. We need fair taxes for small businesses and less restrictive zoning in some cases. We should work closely with the Chamber of Commerce and local business associations. I have owned and managed a business or worked with small business owners all my working life.
I think training should be required for all elected county officials. I would take advantage of all available training programs. I have had formal training for the Planning Commission and have taken many leadership training programs.
Washington County Schools should have a Capital Improvement Program. We need more cooperation between the Washington County School Board and the Board of Supervisors. I do not think the county needs a Capital Improvement Program.
I believe in the Comprehensive Plan. I was on the committee that wrote it and on the Planning Commission that recommended it to the Board of Supervisors. I would base decisions on the plan, but not totally. The Comprehensive Plan is based on where growth is expected. It is reactive and not proactive. The Board should hire a county planner.
Tax breaks can be given to businesses over several years. In order to compete with other localities for new business, we will have to offer incentives. Each should be considered on an individual basis and priorities should be given to small and medium size businesses with higher paying jobs. The factors to be considered are-- does it fit, number of jobs provided, average wage, economic impact, and revenue generation for the county.
The admission tax is a fair way to finance the expansion, but I question whether we should have given all of it to the developer.
I have found that the cheapest way is not always the best solution. Many citizens are concerned about property values and the impact on downtown Abingdon if the courthouse is moved. Recently the town of Abingdon stated they would be open to relaxing their Preservation Zone restrictions in order to allow a parking garage to be built. I haven't seen an estimate on the cost of a parking garage. I feel we should explore this possibility and do everything we can to keep our courthouse where it is.
Comparing the town of Abingdon debt to the Washington County debt is not the best way to go about this.
Bonds can be created for new schools or for updating and renovating our courthouse.
B.A. Sociology - Emory & Henry College
Served four years and currently serving as Vice-Chair of the Board of Supervisors
Our most immediate pressing issue is the decision about the courthouse. We have been holding town hall meetings around the decision of whether to move the courthouse, do an adaptive reuse of a current vacant property or build a brand new building. While we have voted to place an option on the November referendum, it is ultimately up to the voters in Washington County to make the final decision.
Yes - I have completed the Supervisors’ Certification Training through Virginia Association of Counties.
Yes and we have been working with the school system to develop a capital improvement plan and prioritize projects that are most urgent and pressing. We have addressed some of these issues (roofs, chillers, etc.) with excess carryover funds in our last budget and are making formal plans to address current and future needs.
Yes, I would make decisions, and have made decisions, based on the Comprehensive Plan. We will need to update the plan over the next few years and I am in favor of hiring a County Planner to oversee that project.
Incentives would depend on the overall benefit to the county, such as the number of high quality jobs, tax revenue, etc. The admissions tax at the Pinnacle is to help the developer finance the project. The developer has promised that he will not seek any incentives from the county.
We voted recently to place the adaptive reuse of an existing vacant building on the November referendum. We are currently working on the best use of the potential vacant building, depending on the outcome of the referendum.
The county is in excellent financial shape and we have worked hard over the past several years to increase our reserve funds and keep a strong bond rating. We have been in discussions with our financial advisors and are in excellent shape to do a bond offering.