Training program will prove invaluable to local CASA volunteers

Dear Editor,

Goochland CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) works with families who find themselves in the Court System.  The CASA speaks up for the best interest of the children.  As part of their in-service program, the decision was made to have the Narcan training since many of the children that the CASAs work with are impacted by the opioid crisis that is affecting the grown-ups in the families.  This was a true community effort! Tammy Witt and Steven Creasey came from the Sheriff’s Office along with Grace Creasey (certified Narcan instructor); and Nancy Davis and Dr. Franck came from the Health Department.  They all worked together to present the program and the results were that  25 CASA volunteers and board members successfully completed this training and were certified.  Being trained and learning as much as they can about the opioid epidemic helps the CASAs be more aware so this training was very helpful.  CASA appreciated the efforts by the Sheriff’s office and the Health Department to make this possible!

Ann Casey

Executive Director

Goochland CASA

Creasey a good citizen from his earliest years in Goochland County

Dear Editor,

I have been a lifelong resident of Goochland County.  I attended Randolph Elementary, Goochland Middle, and Goochland High School (Class of ‘88, Go Bulldogs!).  I am proud to call Goochland County my home and gratefully serve the community in which I live. My family is also honored to live here, including our 11-year-old son Matthew, who is an avid participant in the Boy Scouts, and other organizations throughout the division.

I remember fondly being a sixth-grader at Randolph. At that time, sixth-graders still attended school at the elementary level. Bus 8 took me on a long ride from Rochelle Road to my home school, but along the way it picked up a sweet first-grader named Steven Creasey.

Steven Creasey has been a stable part of the Goochland community since his birth. Like myself, he has given back to the community in which he grew up, providing over two decades of his professional career to Goochland County.  His commitment to all who live here is of the utmost in ethical and moral standards.

My son assisted with a Boy Scout dinner not so long ago.  Steven and his wife were in attendance, and raffle tickets were bought by many of us to raise awareness and to give support to Troop 710. Steven won one of the raffles, and gave all of his winnings back to the scout troop to assist in their summer camps, their campouts and their hikes.   This is the most beautiful of sentiments by an unselfish man who wants to be an integral part of the leadership in Goochland County.  

Other political candidates for this position have found bullying and childish antics to be more important than what the true reasoning is in this election.  I thought these shenanigans were more appropriate for the preschool playground, and not in a community that you want to lead, or to support, or to love. Therefore, it is with great tenacity and with a bombastic voice that the Matejka family shouts from the roof our support for Steven Creasey for Sheriff.  Won’t you join us?

Sincerely,

Cynthia Charlton-Matejka

Goochland

Candidate clarifies endorsement from Goochland’s GOP

Dear Editor,

I’m writing to provide amplification on The Gazette’s report regarding the May 7th Republican mass meeting.

In the May 23 article, it was reported that I was nominated at the mass meeting to run for re-election as one of Goochland’s two conservation district directors. That’s not exactly right.

Specifically, I was endorsed at the Republican mass meeting for re-election, not nominated. Virginia election law mandates that Soil and Water Conservation District Directors run as Independent candidates, not as the nominees of any political party: Democrat, Libertarian, Republican.

Conservation and support for Goochland’s agricultural community isn’t – I hope -- a contest between political parties. The mission statement of the Monacan District is to provide technical assistance, education and leadership to improve natural resource conservation in Goochland and Powhatan counties. I’ve worked during my eight years as a Conservation Director as someone who wants to see Virginia’s waterways protected, soil erosion diminished, and to see Goochland’s farmers get access to agricultural Best Management Practices.

Please don’t misunderstand the endorsement I received: I unquestionably have strong beliefs in the role of limited government, and I believe that our Republic is well-served when we adhere to our Constitution. Those beliefs are the foundation for my advocacy for productive family farms, clean water and effective Best Management Practices. Those objectives are in all of our interest. Those are not a party thing – they are the right thing.

But it’s understandable that there’s some degree of vocabulary confusion surrounding the Soil and Water Conservation Director’s office. (In conversation, I occasionally introduce myself as being elected to the “What’s That?” office.) Indeed, the position reached an apex of unawareness in 2007. That election, no one filed candidacy papers to appear on the ballot for the office. Past Directors Ryan Dunn and Mary Ann Cisne were both elected that year as write-in candidates.

Part of the low-awareness of the Conservation Director’s office is also attributable to the fact that serving as a Conservation Director is a volunteer position. The office pays no salary or stipend. There isn’t even a reserved parking space for Conservation Directors – not anywhere that I know of. (I even pay for my own business cards.) As a consequence, candidates I know who run for Conservation Director in Virginia don’t raise and spend campaign money. No campaign advertising contributes to the low voter awareness for the office. (On the bright side…that also makes voters’ TV viewing and mailboxes safer. I’m not aware of anyone or any PAC running negative ads that beat-up on some candidate for Soil and Water Conservation Director.)

So with low-voter-awareness, no compensation (and no parking lot perks), why does someone – why am I –running to serve Goochland County as a Conservation Director? Why am I humbled to have been endorsed for re-election at the May 7th mass meeting?

Because I think conservation is important – for all of us, not just Goochland’s farmers.

If we do not support conservation and our farming community, urban sprawl in Goochland will become the new norm. Preserving the 85% open land and farm land that the Board of Supervisors has defined as a goal in the Comprehensive Plan will become harder and harder to achieve.

And even though the number of farms in Goochland is shrinking, the work the Conservation Office does IS important in slowing urban sprawl. Conservation helps Goochland improve water quality, it addresses soil erosion and it supports Goochland’s farmers as they implement agricultural best management practices (BMPs).

So, let me come full circle, back to The Gazette article regarding the May 7th mass meeting. I appreciate, welcome and am humbled to have received the Republican endorsement for Conservation Director. I believe that endorsement will help raise awareness for the office of Conservation Director, and that endorsement will raise awareness for my candidacy. But for the record, I’m an Independent candidate for re-election, not the nominee of any political party.

In fact, as an Independent candidate, I would welcome the endorsement of any right-thinking group, organization or individual that believes – as I do – that working for clean water, effective soil management and a healthy, viable agricultural community in Goochland is a worth-while endeavor. (Now wouldn’t that be a heck of a testimony to bipartisanship? -- to see Goochland’s Democrat Committee (and Goochland’s cohort of Libertarians!) endorse me as well for re-election. Assuming they also agree that conservation is important, that conservation is non-partisan and that I’ve been faithful in working to “Keep Goochland Rural”.)

Regardless whether there are additional endorsements out there for my re-election, thank you for this opportunity to add to The Gazette’s May 23rd report. And thank you to the voters of Goochland for giving me the opportunity to serve the county as a Conservation Director. I want to continue to do my part to support our agricultural community, and to do my part to keep Goochland rural.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Lyle

Goochland

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