District 1 Supervisor candidates answer our questions ahead of Election Day

By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: Oct 26, 2017 | 12:40 p.m. 

PRINCE GEORGE – Election Day is less than a month away and in Prince George County, a pair of seats are up for grabs as the county’s recent change to staggered terms places a District 1 and District 2 on the ballot for both the Prince George School Board and Board of Supervisors.

Ahead of the election, The Prince George Journal asked candidates running in the 2017 General Election for the school board and board of supervisors to answer a questionnaire so voters can learn more about them before the November 7 election in the county.

Those candidates were sent the same questionnaire and given the same deadline for sending their responses back in.

This week, we feature the responses of those running for the District 1 Board of Supervisors seat formerly held by the late Jerry Skalsky, Floyd M. Brown, Jr., Joseph Wallace, and Shayne Bridgman. Their answers are presented as submitted by the candidates themselves without alteration.

Candidate responses for District 2 Supervisor candidates will be featured in the November 1 edition of The Prince George Journal and here online shortly after publication.

Q – Please provide any biographical information that you feel is important for voters.

BRIDGMAN – I have been a resident of Prince George for 42 years. I graduated from Prince George High School in 1993. I majored in Architectural Engineering in college. I served in The VA Army National Guard. My family has owned and operated Goofus Quick Mart in Prince George for 35 years. I’m a project manager at Perkinson Construction and have been an employee there for 9 years. I have been in the Civil Construction field for 25 years.

BROWN – I have a very strong family support structure from my beautiful wife, Mrs. Robin M. Brown down through our 5 children and 8 grandchildren along with my parents and siblings. Born and raised in Prince George County with my two younger brothers, I learned early on the value of hard work, teamwork, and perseverance.

My commitment to always listen to the concerns of my constituents and doing what is best for the entire county. My commitment to spend our residents tax dollars appropriately as I would my own

Seeking to become the District #1 representative on the Board of Supervisors in Prince George County to serve as your voice. A voice that echoes our citizens concerns, a voice that matters and a voice that cares.

I feel my business experience and leadership are the type of qualities that I can bring to the position from day one and help Prince George to continue to strive as a prosperous county.

WALLACE –  EDUCATION

A.S. in Public Administration – Ferrum College

B.S. in Urban Studies and Land Planning – VCU

PROFESSIONAL AND CIVIC EXPERIENCE

30+ YEARS AS A Transportation Consulting Engineer

Prince George Planning Commissioner 2005-2009

Prince George High School Band Booster President 2007

Clements Jr. high School PTA President 2014

MILITARY EXPERIENCE AND AWARDS

Virginia Defense Force, G3/7 Operations 2005-Present

Virginia National Guard – Bronze Star Recipient (Service)

Virginia National Guard – 23 State Activations

PERSONAL

Joe is married to Pam (Browder) Wallace; they have four children (Taylor-28, Amber-27, Grayson-25, Laurel -17 and one granddaughter (Addy-5).

Q – Why are you running for office?

BRIDGMAN – If someone told me a year ago Shayne you will be running for Board of Supervisors in the next election. I would have told them they have the wrong person. But I started to pay attention to what is going on around the county. I noticed that we have some serious concerns from our residents that seem to falling on deaf ears on the board of supervisors. So I decided to run and try to make a difference. Changes need to happen in the Board of Supervisors.

BROWN – I am running for office to bring positive change and to make a difference in Prince George. I want to be that voice on the Board of Supervisors that all residents of the county can feel comfortable to approach and know that they have someone truly interested in listening to their concerns and helping to address their issues appropriately.

WALLACE – To move Prince George County forward. many use catch phrases such as “make a change” or just “change”; however, by the sheer nature of the election results, change has already happened and for some, that is the extent of their effort.  As a transportation engineering consultant, I am hired to solve problems and find solutions to difficult situations. That is what I am asking the voters to do.  Hire me to bring economic development opportunities to the county; work and find opportunities to improve and increase the water and sewer network in the county; provide the resources to public safety departments when the need arises; and finally, to work with school officials to find areas of overlapping services where working together will save valuable tax dollars.

Q – What experience do you have that qualifies you for this office?

BRIDGMAN – Honestly, I’m not a politician. I have no political experience at all. With that said, I feel that my 25 years of Civil construction, would help with making decisions on fixing the infrastructure in the county. I have been a resident of Prince George my whole life. My family has owned and operated a small business in the county for 35 years. I’m also a project manager for a local construction company based out of Prince George. I feel my experience in running a business will help me in marketing decisions in running a county.

BROWN – I feel I have the business and leadership qualities that are truly needed to perform in this capacity based on my experience of running a company and also my experience and managing and leading many organizations during my 40 year career in IT.

I am someone with experience to deal with adversity, confrontation, change and that business sense of what it takes to strive forward through adversity.

And lastly, I am a people person whose is willing to listen to what is important to our citizens in Prince George County.

WALLACE – My leadership, management, and problem-solving skills uniquely qualify me for the Board of Supervisors.  I have served on the Prince George County Planning Commission and chaired the Capital Improvement Plan Committee, where I mandated county government department leaders to provide multiple quotes for requested capital improvements and each quote had to be valid for at least 90 days.  As a planning commissioner, I supported several development opportunities that provided the county with excellent employment opportunities and tax revenue.  I was active in the update to the comprehensive plan and plan evaluation of the RTE 460 project.  I also served as President of the Prince George High School Marching Band Booster where I worked to have funds allocated by the School Board for new uniforms and provided the guidance and leadership to raise over $30,000 which allowed the marching band to perform at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, TN.  I have also served as President of the N.B. Clements Jr. High School PTA where I instituted a grant program for teachers and student groups to request PTA funds for non-budget funded services or supplies at N. B. Clements.  The grant program was widely successful, having distributed over $4,000 in one year.  Finally, I have experience bringing business to the county.  During late 2016 and as early as July 2017, I have represented LOVE’s Travel Center as their transportation/traffic consultant working with the county and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to gain approval of the project access and mitigating impacts to the surrounding roadway.  Additionally, I represented Lake Harley, LLC in obtaining a break in limited access right-of-way on Temple Avenue between Whitehill Boulevard and Puddledock Road from the Commonwealth Transportation Board.  This process required nine months of exhaustive study and meetings with VDOT and county officials.  In the end, the Commonwealth Transportation Board approved the break in limited access and now the developer can provide direct access into their site. When you sum it up, each of these accomplishments demonstrated leadership and the ability to accomplish goals.  That is what we need to move forward!

Q – What do you feel is the most pressing issue affecting Prince George County today and how would you address it?

BRIDGMAN – There are several issues facing Prince George today. There is issues with infrastructure in county, fire and EMS & police departments need more staff, teachers need raises and help with supplies to properly teach our children. Let’s start with infrastructure. There is 400 residents in district 1 that can not drink their water. They pay their taxes, they pay for the use of county utilities but yet they drink their water. That’s a big issue for me. I would set down with county utilities and come up with a plan to properly fund and get this issue fixed. I’ve personally seen some of these tap fees the county charges new businesses. There are other ways to fund this project instead of raising taxes or water and sewer bills.

BROWN – One of our biggest issues is working to provide our current citizens with the appropriate infrastructure to support additional services that they deserve for the taxes that they pay today. Of course, with any addition of services there will be other challenges that we must find a way to work through.

To address issues affecting the community, I would like to start with dialogue. Find out from the residents the services that are in need. Then prioritize them and put a plan together working with the County Administrator to address them

WALLACE – Economic development.  Without economic development, you can’t improve the quality of life for your citizens or attract high school, college graduates, tradesmen and professionals to settle in the county.  While economic development is the most pressing issue there are other issues that are required in order to support economic development; such as water/sewer and transportation improvements; public safety improvements and school improvements that will teach and train students to fill professional and skilled positions. I will work with county officials to identify resources and grants to upgrade and improve the county water and sewer system and subsequently grow our tax base through commercial development.  I will work with state, regional and county economic development officials to attract businesses that work with school officials to develop apprentice programs and promote community involvement.  Each of these efforts will provide opportunities for economic development.

Q – What are your three top goals if elected?

BRIDGMAN – My top three goals are to work on infrastructure in the county. Work hand in hand with the School Board in getting teachers raises and supplies to properly do their jobs in teaching our children. My third goal would be to get our Fire/EMS and Police Departments fully staffed and equipped to do their jobs properly.

BROWN –  Infrastructure growth, Building a better working relationship with our School Board, Supporting Fire, EMS, Youth activities in the county, but keeping them in check with the Fiscal Budget and within a reasonable tax rate for our citizens.

WALLACE – Economic Development, Infrastructure Improvements (water, sewer and roads), Public Safety (Police, Sheriff and Fire / Rescue), Schools.

Q – What would you do if a constituent came to you with a problem and thought they were wronged by the system?

BRIDGMAN – No answer provided.

BROWN – The first thing I would want to do is listening to their problem. Too often we try to solve too quickly without truly hearing someone out. Then I would like to work with the appropriate parties in the county to address their concern. People today just want to know that someone hears them and is willing to help them out without any strings attached

WALLACE – In the broad context of the question, the immediate answer would be to assist the constituent in any way I could without compromising the county staff chain of command.  Initially, I would listen and develop a timeline of events that led up to the current status of the perceived wrong and investigate the matter through the county administrator.  I would take my findings back to the constituent with an explanation and possible resolution.

Q – What are some examples of your commitment (personal and professional) to the community?

BRIDGMAN – I volunteer in programs that deal with addictions in the county and I have attended the citizens academy in the county to learn more about our county so I can better meet its needs.

BROWN – I have been a lifelong resident of this county so I’m not here today and gone tomorrow. My family ties is now at 4+ generations raised here in Prince George County. My commitment to never go against the majority voice of my constituents. My commitment to spend our residents tax dollars appropriately as I would my own. To remember that this is business and not personal.

WALLACE – I would have to relate back to my answer regarding experience.  I have volunteered hundreds of hours to school groups such as the Prince George High School Band Boosters, the N. B. Clements Jr. High School PTA providing positive, knowledgeable guidance in solving problems and improving the learning environment for the future of our county. Indirectly, this is a building block for economic growth.  Additionally, my service on the Planning Commission, together with 33 years’ experience as a transportation planning / engineering consultant has provided the county with guidance and expertise in working with VDOT and other state and local agencies in problem-solving and planning for the future growth of the county.

Copyright 2017 by Womack Publishing
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