Spoonhower has shown he is truly dedicated to county

Dear Editor,

As most of you already know and as I promised 8 years ago I am not running for reelection. I have enjoyed my time representing you on our Board. It has been a great 8 years and they have flown by. I appreciate your support as we worked to make the county better. But it’s time for me to move on and for the County to move forward. I am supporting Neil Spoonhower for District Two Supervisor and here is why.

Neil has demonstrated his dedication to our community via his volunteer work. As I started to write this letter I was informed that Neil had just received a Presidential Volunteer Service award for his work with the Court Appointed Special Advocates organization (CASA). CASA’s volunteers advocate for children who are in foster care due to abuse, neglect or suffering through a contentious divorce. A CASA volunteer is one that a child can count on to be on their side during a very difficult period in their life. In addition to CASA Neil has been a member of the GoochlandCares Board of Directors and continues to volunteer for GoochlandCares. Neil has also traveled on missions to Haiti and Nicaragua to help those less fortunate.

His volunteer work tells us a lot about Neil the person. Add to that his training as a Marine and his business experience in Operations Management, IT and Marketing and we have the makings of a great representative for the Second District. His dedication is demonstrated by his willingness to not just be a part of the Board of Zoning Appeals, but to spend more than 100 hours studying for and receiving his certification. In order to prepare to hit the ground running Neil has met with County and School staff and other elected officials to learn about their roles and needs. He has attended planning meetings, community meetings and most Board and Planning Commission meetings for more than a year. Neil has also met with surrounding locality officials to understand their issues and to learn about their work to improve internet access.

When I was elected I had no political experience, just a willingness to apply my business experience and values to my job as your representative. That’s what all five of us committed to do and it’s why the County is now one of the best managed counties in the nation. Our willingness to collaborate with our peers on the School Board and Administration is why we now have the best schools in the region and getting better. And that is why we are the smallest county in the Nation with triple A ratings from two ratings agencies.

I hope you can see that Neil has demonstrated the skills, desire, passion and hard work that will make him a great District 2 supervisor. I believe that Neil will continue the work of the last 8 years to make Goochland better for everyone. I hope that on November 5th you will join me in electing Neil to be our District Two representative.

Manuel Alvarez Jr., chairman

Goochland County

Board of Supervisors

Sandy Hook

Departing school board member lauds Mazza, Lascolette

Dear Editor,

In about 90 days I will be retiring from the Goochland School Board. It has been an honor and a privilege to represent District 1. As my term comes to a close, I want to say “thank you” to the residents here for electing me to serve on Goochland’s School Board these past eight years.

I also want to take a moment to share my thoughts on why I’m supporting Jennifer Mazza to be the new District 1 school board member, and why I believe Susan Lascolette should be re-elected to the Board of Supervisors.

Like me, Jennifer Mazza is a Career/Technical Education teacher. As a teacher, she is hands-on and in the classroom every day. She knows the support that teachers (and administrators) need from a school board. She also understands that Career and Technical education can give your child what’s needed to succeed for life: technical skills, academic skills and employability skills. In addition, career and technical education helps students see how what they’re learning applies to the needs of employers.

Regardless of whether students are headed for college or the workforce, this type of education will help them prepare for the future. She will keep a needed teachers’ perspective on Goochland’s School Board.

In addition to being a teacher, Jennifer is a small business owner, holds a Class-A contractor’s license, and helps her husband operate the family construction business. Plus, Jennifer is the owner of Mustard Seed Farm here in Goochland. This experience and knowledge will serve her well as a School Board member.

Jennifer Mazza’s conservative values of fiscal responsibility, commonsense leadership and her passion for Career and Technical education is why I am giving her my full endorsement in her effort to become our District 1 School Board representative.

I also know how important it is to have a solid working relationship between the School Board and the Board of Supervisors.

Susan Lascolette has been a strong partner with me for improving our schools here in Goochland. Susan has voted to increase the budgets for Goochland’s schools every year she has been in office.

Susan also worked with the schools and the County administration to bring fiber broadband to Byrd elementary school.

This broadband has given students at Byrd more classroom internet opportunities. And broadband opportunities for students (and parents!) at home are expanding, with the county’s broadband initiative that was launched in September.

Susan is a strong supporter of the JROTC program that was added to Goochland’s schools. She supports our efforts to make Goochland’s schools the best in the region…and in Virginia!

District 1 will be well-served keeping Susan as our Supervisor.

Elections are about choices.

Having been a candidate, I know the effort and energy that’s required to serve at the local level. Jennifer Mazza and Susan Lascolette have the focus, interest and desire needed to keep Goochland one of the best places to live, and where our students can get an excellent education.

Make the right choice and join me in voting for Jennifer and Susan on Nov. 5.

Sincerely,

Michael Payne

School Board, District 1

Goochland

County Republicans were wrong to ask candidates not to attend forum events

Dear Editor,

The Local Candidate Forum, originally organized by The Goochland Democratic Committee, The Goochland Tea Party and The Goochland Republican Committee and scheduled for this past Monday at 7 p.m. at Grace Chinese Baptist Church was canceled. Although all three Forum sponsors agreed to the format and rules in June, The Goochland County Republican Party sent an email on Sept. 22, 2019 to their membership recommending that their candidates not participate in forums for this election cycle.

Candidates running for office are expected to be able to speak anywhere, anytime and answer questions as to why they are the best person for the office they are seeking. To only speak to “friendly” audiences does a disservice to the candidate and the community as a whole. Abigail Spanberger’s first Town Hall here in Goochland was not a majority friendly crowd--she showed up anyway. Those folks are her constituents too. She needed to hear from them just as much as they needed to hear from her.

It is a shame that the Goochland County Republican Party denied the citizens of Goochland an opportunity to hear from their candidates. It is also a shame that the majority of their candidates chose to give up an opportunity to speak with voters and answer their questions. The GDC believes it is imperative that our candidates make themselves available to the residents of Goochland County so that voters can make informed decisions. Voters should question why the GCRC has taken away the opportunity to learn about their candidates and why their candidates went along with the decision.

While we considered moving forward with the Oct. 21 forum alone, our candidates felt that if their opponents were not going to show up, their time was better spent doing what they do best--talking directly to voters at the doors.

I will give credit to Don Sharpe, District 4 candidate for Supervisor, and Jonathan Lyle who is running for reelection as a Monacan Soil and Water Conservation director, who were going to show up even though he was running unopposed. He stated he wanted to meet with voters. I only wish the other Republican backed candidates felt the same.

Tina Winkler

Chair, Goochland

Democratic Committee

Lascolette is the type of leader our residents need

Dear Editor,

Many fairy tales begin with “Once upon a time”, but some begin with “When I am elected”. Back in 2011, Goochland voters booted out four of the five members of the Board of Supervisors, in favor of a slate of new people, none of whom had political experience. Our citizens were fed up with incompetent, unresponsive and wasteful people running our county. One of the new members was Susan Lascolette in District 1. Susan truly helped to make the “fairy tale” become a reality. The late, and very effective supervisor, Ned Creasey, the only incumbent reelected from the previous board, once told me that the previous board members had actually discussed allowing Goochland County to go into receivership. That’s how bad it was. Susan Lascolette and the new board came into office with several ideas in mind on how they would govern. They would rely on honesty, common sense, openness and fiscal responsibility. And, of course, they believed in following the rules. They also decided that the citizens would benefit far more if the Board of Supervisors worked with the School Board, instead of against them. They began having Town Hall Meetings in order to keep our citizens informed, and give them the opportunity to voice their concerns. This was a new concept here in Goochland.

The results over the past seven plus years have been astonishing. Goochland has not had a real estate tax increase on their watch, and we have the lowest real estate tax rate of all the surrounding counties. Our schools are top notch. We were voted the most taxpayer friendly county in the nation. Goochland is the only county with a population less than 75,000 in the country with a triple A bond rating from both Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s. What does that mean to us? It means that when our county needs to finance expensive projects, like new schools, we have credit available to us at reasonable interest rates. This helps keep our taxes low. The accomplishments keep coming, and so do the accolades.

Susan has worked tirelessly for District 1. She was instrumental in creating Matthews Park, building the county’s first county run firehouse in Hadensville (without borrowing any money), and renovating the Fife Firehouse. Susan is one of the hardest working elected officials I have ever met. She is totally dedicated to our citizens here in District 1. She cares about this county, and it’s autonomy. She is committed to keeping Goochland rural. There is now high speed internet in all schools and all Goochland County buildings, and a plan to bring broadband to many households in the District.

We cannot risk turning back the clock on Goochland’s progress. Let’s keep the great things going! Let’s preserve our “fairy tale” reality. Let’s reelect Susan Lascolette for District 1 Supervisor.

John D. Myers

Columbia

Matkins will serve all Virginians in House, not just a select few

Dear Editor,

Juanita Jo Matkins, Democratic candidate for House of Delegates 56th District, has been working tirelessly to meet her future constituents and listen to their concerns. She is a strong advocate for improvements in education, healthcare, expansion of broadband to rural areas within our communities, and common sense solutions to address climate change and other issues. Juanita Jo supports the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the US Constitution to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. One hundred years after women were granted the right to vote, Virginia could be the 38th and final state needed for passage of the ERA.

Our current delegate was in fact a co-patron of the ERA bill in 2018, when it did not pass. In the 2019 General Assembly session, he opposed the very same ERA, voted against it in committee 3 times, then opposed it twice more when efforts were made to bring the bill to the House floor for a full vote. I and many others made numerous calls to his office requesting that he not vote to block the bill from coming up for a floor vote. The bill had passed in the Senate and there were enough votes on the House floor for the ERA to have passed, but the bill was blocked. How frustrating this was, knowing that more than 80% of Virginians support gender equality! This is just one of many instances where our elected representatives in state and local government do not appear to be listening to their constituents.

Juanita Jo is a woman of integrity, enthusiasm, and action! I am so glad that she decided to run for House of Delegates! If you are not familiar with her campaign, I urge you to take a look at her website, matkinsfordelegate.com. Her homepage says it well: “All Virginians Deserve Access to a Fair & Just Society.”

She has earned my vote on Nov. 5.

Jean M. Smith

Goochland

Champions of equal rights for all will find a friend in Matkins

Dear Editor,

“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” That simple, no-nonsense statement is the text of the Equal Rights Amendment. Who would deny that women should not enjoy the same rights and benefits of citizenship in our country? Apparently, the answer is John McGuire. In January of this year Mr. McGuire was one of four Republicans who voted against the ERA in sub-committee and blocked the measure from reaching the floor of the House after it had gains passage in the Senate.

Juanita Jo Matkins believes that all Virginians deserve a fair chance. She supports ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment and barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. She is determined to continue the fight for racial justice to ensure that everyone shares in the American dream.

Virginia could be the state that finally make the ERA federal law. We need to elect delegates to the General Assembly who believe that all of our citizens should have and deserve equal rights in this great country. That is why I am voting for Juanita Jo Matkins for delegate in the 56th House district this November. I encourage all the voters in Goochland, who live in the district, to do the same.

Harry Hancock, Jr.

Goochland

Creasey campaign: Too many signs, not enough substance

Dear Editor,

Having lived in Western Henrico County for roughly 55 years and the last five years in Goochland County, and witnessed many local elections, I am stunned by the amount of money being spent by the Creasey campaign for the Sheriff’s position in Goochland. I have seen hundreds more signs then I ever saw for all the Sheriff’s races in Henrico put together, and now I get to see Mr. Creasey’s smiling face on a huge billboard on Patterson Avenue every day! I’ve heard that money can’t buy you love or happiness but I imagine enough of it might buy you a Sheriff’s office! I assumed with such an outpouring of support that Mr. Creasey must have generated an impressive history of accomplishments in the county and in the Sheriff’s department. After investigating, however, such is not the case. From all general reports and letters to the Editor on his behalf, all I really know is that he is a nice guy with a nice family who had a well-respected father and is a current member of the Sheriff’s department. Most of the writers who have sent letters in on his behalf actually have spent more time telling us about themselves rather than expounding on any specific qualifications that Mr. Creasey has for the Sheriff’s office. When given multiple opportunities to lay out his game plan for the County as the new Sheriff and to explain his qualifications for the position, Mr. Creasey has instead opted not to participate in three of the four planned candidate forums, usually pulling out within a day or two of the events! Meanwhile, his opponent, Mr. Levin White, a 30 year law-enforcement veteran with experience in multiple positions in the Richmond, Petersburg Tri-City area, showed up every time to tackle any questions thrown at him and to lay out his vision for the County moving forward, such as his well-thought-out 12 point plan for Goochland. The Creasey campaign had excuses for each of these forum no-shows, one of which was they refused to attend a forum that had any chance of rebuttals from other candidates. Yes, that means Mr. Creasey refused to attend because he might have to answer a question from a competitor? On another occasion his campaign demanded to know the questions ahead of time! Will the future criminals and law-breakers of the county be so kind as to notify him ahead of time as to where, when and how they intend to commit a crime? This doesn’t give me much confidence that Mr. Creasey has what it takes to be the top lawman in our county. Perhaps that’s what makes the difference in being a good deputy or Sergeant and being the Sheriff; one is good at following instructions while the leader, the Sheriff, must be good at making quick important decisions and implementing policies and guidelines for the department. If you can’t handle questions from the citizens of your county or rebuttals from a competitor, can you really handle the much tougher task of decision-making necessary to be the top law-enforcement official in the County?

Like it or not, significant growth is coming to our county in the form of population and businesses. With those you can expect to see a corresponding growth in crimes of one sort or another. With new hotels opening up near Rt 288 we can also expect to see prostitution and sex trafficking cases. We will need new, more current and proactive law enforcement techniques and strategies in order to stay ahead of that trend and keep our citizens safe. We already have an unsettling number of unsolved murders for a county this size and Goochland is the only area county that has chosen not to participate in the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Why would that be? Mr. White has brought these things to our attention during the forums and in neighborhood Meet and Greets and has promised to change the county’s position with regards to the ICAC (coincidentally, Mr. Creasey has started to copy Mr. White’s position on the ICAC but only after Mr. White made it a campaign issue) and to aggressively work to bring those unsolved murder mysteries to satisfactory conclusions. Mr. White has also promised to work with an “Open Borders” policy, meaning that his team will work in total cooperation with the neighboring Sheriff and police departments. The only thing that matters in this election is who is the most qualified to lead the Sheriff’s department of Goochland County. If you simply look at each candidate’s resume and their past years in law enforcement, where they have worked and in what capacities, there is only one conclusion. Mr. White’s expertise and wide-ranging experience in multi-levels of law enforcement far outweigh the cocoon-like experience of Mr. Creasey. When growing businesses want to take that next substantive leap in growth, they almost never hire from within. They reach outside the company for an innovator with multi-levels of experience and a fresh outlook that can implement new ways of doing business. You don’t get that with a good-old-boy hire. For long-time county residents and for the many recent newcomers to the county, please take the time to vet the two candidates for Sheriff. Ignore all the negative talk, smears and mud-slinging coming from the Creasey campaign. Let’s move our county’s policing forward in order to correspond with the growth we are seeing. Vote for Levin White for Goochland County Sheriff.

Glenn Diersen

Goochland County

Creasey has what it takes to lead our Sheriff’s Office

Dear Editor,

Being a Police Officer is not an easy job, I know because I served in Law Enforcement for 36 years at the City, County, and State level. You serve because you want to make your communities a safer place to live and raise your children. I served in many capacities from uniform officer, aviation unit, Forensic Crime Scene Investigator, and Special Agent. As we all know in today’s Political climate if you are planning on running for Public Office you had better have thick skin. I am pleased to say Steven Creasey has stayed true to his character and has acted like a gentleman throughout this campaign.

Steven knows Goochland and Goochland knows him. He knows the operations of the Goochland Sheriff’s Office inside and out and will hit the ground running. He will not require on-the-job training. Steven has wide support among his peers in the Law Enforcement community, which is evident by the endorsement of the Sheriffs from surrounding Counties, and current and retired Law Enforcement Officers.

I have known Steven for most of his life and have worked with him on a professional level and through the Goochland Fire-Rescue. Steven’s experience, education, integrity, dedication, and temperament are only a few of the numerous qualifications that make him the best candidate for the next Sheriff of Goochland. I proudly endorse Steven Creasey for Sheriff of Goochland. I respectfully ask that you vote for Steven on Nov. 5.

Woody Barrack

Special Agent (Retired)

DOC - Office Of The Inspector General

Goochland

It takes more than ‘nice’ to head up Sheriff’s Office

Dear Editor,

I have known a lot of really nice people for my entire life. They come from great families and are good citizens. That doesn’t make them adequate candidates for sheriff of any county! I recently saw one of Steven Creasey’s resumes and his list of certifications. It’s good to know he met the qualifications for his current job, which he has had for 10 years.

A few years ago I heard Sheriff Agnew say “we don’t have those problems here” when asked about drugs and human smuggling. What about the recent large drug bust that occurred on Route 6 near the the Richmond Country Club? Don’t worry, the Virginia State Police handled that one. The current sheriff’s office blames the Commonwealth Attorney’s office for not prosecuting enough of their cases. That is not true. The sheriff’s department needs ongoing training to produce reports adequate for the CA’s office to submit to a judge. Is this a tactic so that they can pick and choose who is prosecuted? Levin White will initiate adequate training as soon as he takes office, so that the American citizens in Goochland have equal justice under the law. We need true leadership as our county grows, not just “certifications”.

I’ve seen pictures of Creasey standing behind tables at events and posing for pictures with his friends, but those aren’t signals that he will work to keep us safe in our state, that is now number 6 in human trafficking. Goochland is easily accessed by 288, I95, and I64. However, it is pleasant to have a “nice” sheriff deputy pull you over when you’re speeding.. According to the Virginia Courts website

(http://www.courts.state.va.us/courts/home.html), Creasey issued only 2 traffic tickets between January 1 and September 30 of this year: one for speeding, one for following another vehicle too closely. Are WE comfortable with that?

We need a new sheriff in town, and not one currently in the sheriff’s department who’s being groomed to maintain the status-quo. Levin White will hit the ground running on Day 1 as our new sheriff. He will work with current deputies to maximize their abilities and get them ready for our quickly growing county. Through professional education and classes, we will have the best-trained staff in the state.

Ann Beauchamp

Goochland

Resident offers his top choices for upcoming election

Dear Editor,

Goochland County has a very important election on Tuesday, November 5 that will shape the future of our County for many years to come. “Off year” elections are usually poorly attended but this one deserves a special effort by all Goochland residents to show up and vote.

I have done my homework for the Goochland District 2 election by attending a half dozen local political events, meeting most of the candidates and studying their resumes. So as neither a democrat or republican I would like to share my opinions on how I think District 2 should vote on Tuesday, November 5.

Some of our races are uncontested and all of these candidates deserve a vote. Mike Caudill will continue to be an outstanding Commonwealth’s Attorney. As a former District 2 Supervisor Mr. Quarles will be a great addition to our School Board. Jenifer Brown for Commissioner of Revenue and Pamela Duncan for Treasurer also deserve our votes.

As for the highly contested races, my pick is Wendy Hobbs for our District 2 Supervisor. Wendy is clearly the most qualified candidate by education, employment experiences, her philosophies, and demeanor.

Levin White is also clearly the best pick to be Sheriff based on his resume, previous work experiences, seniority, and his new visions for our Sheriff’s department.

Jonathan Lyle is a great choice for reelection as a Soil and Water Conservation Director due to his previous outstanding service. I honestly can’t say about the other two candidates.

Then we are left with the virtually uncontested races in which democrats and republicans failed to nominate good candidates probably because the 22nd Senate and 65th House districts are so highly gerrymandered to favor the republicans. So the highly special interest funded republican candidates who don’t represent the majority views of Virginians on issues such as gun control or abortion will no doubt win reelection and continue to obstruct legislation wanted by a majority of Virginians.

So for our Senate 22nd and House 65th Districts I will write in Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse to send a message to both political parties to nominate better candidates in the future.

For the contested races, I only hope Goochland residents will vote based on proven experience and abilities rather than political party affiliation for the long term benefit of our County.

Art Bachman

Gum Spring

After much research, Creasey best choice for county sheriff

Dear Editor,

For over a year now I have been up close and personal with this upcoming election. I have always taken a special interest in Goochland’s local government, its elected officials, and more importantly the direction we are heading as a leading county in this great Commonwealth. I am very pleased to see the progress we have made over this past 47 years I have called Goochland my home. I am raising my family in some of the best schools and in the best environment I could hope for. A special thank you to all past and present County Administration, the Board of Supervisors, School Board, and other appointed or elected officials that have put Goochland on the map as a highly sought destination for businesses and families alike.

Now allow me to dial back the clock a bit. One day while attending Randolph Elementary, I believe it was in 5th grade or so, we had special guests come in to talk with the class about certain careers. One special guest was, at that time, Game Warden Jim Agnew. Little did I realize that day that he would become Sheriff of Goochland County and be a pivotal part in the before mentioned success of this County for so many years. As we all know Sheriff Agnew is stepping away from the department he has helped grow for so many years. I, along with my family, want to express our gratitude for his service to our County. Thank you Sheriff Agnew. Now passing the torch after decades in the position cannot be easy. He’ll want to “pass the baton” if you will, to someone he can trust to get the job done and continue keeping Goochland County the great county it has become.

That choice for Sheriff Agnew, along with the entire Goochland County Sheriff’s Office is Steven Creasey. Why? Simple. No learning curve. Sgt. Creasey worked as an integral part of all facets of the department for well over 24 years.

Sgt. Creasey has led and supervised the deputies of the Goochland Sheriff’s Office for over 10 years. He has earned the trust and respect of colleagues, citizens, County leaders, and surrounding jurisdictions law enforcement leaders. This has been accomplished through an unblemished career within ALL aspects of operations to include budgeting, supervising, training, investigations, tactical operations (known to some as SWAT), and the list goes on and on. The most important qualifications beyond education and experience to do the job at hand is someone who is honest, with the highest integrity and character.

Without question, the Sheriff of our great county, MUST abide by the law and have the utmost respect for all residents of our county. With everything said, the BEST choice for the next Sheriff of Goochland County is Steven Creasey.

Larry and Megan Proffitt

Maidens

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