By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: October 28, 2019 | 12:30 p.m.
PRINCE GEORGE – Ahead of the November 2019 General Election, The Prince George Journal afforded candidates in contested races the opportunity to take part in a short questionnaire where they could all answer the same questions and have their responses printed for prospective voters.
Candidates received the questions during the same 24-hour window earlier this month with a deadline of October 17 at 5 p.m. for their responses and a headshot to be returned. The questionnaire was distributed to candidates digitally and sent to the email addresses that were on file in recent Virginia Department of Elections candidate records. If a candidate did not have an email address listed, phone calls were made to the candidates to request their email address so they could receive the questionnaire.
Below are the unedited answers of the board of supervisors candidates who took part in the questionnaire and provided their responses by the October 17 deadline.
1 – Why are you running/or seeking re-election to local office?
Alan Carmichael – District 1: I am seeking my 4th term on The Board of Supervisors. I feel that I have the experience and have helped do so much for our County but yet there is still more that needs to be done. I enjoy working with the Citizens of Prince George County and would like to continue to help address the areas that need attention.
Stacey Everett – District 1: It’s simple. I’m running because I want to be that catalyst for the growth and change that we are due in the county. Transparency, innovation, and progress is what I want to see more of, and I know that I can deliver. Prince George deserves a seat at the table. I’ve lived in Prince George County for over 25 years. My daughter is a graduate, and my son is a current student in Prince George County schools. I love living in Prince George County, my home. There are several reasons why I chose to live in the county to include: safety/security, great schools, and especially, diversity. Our county is so diverse, and that’s what makes us so great. We are military, civilians, women, citizens with disabilities, senior citizens, and several ethnicities to name a few. We all are worth fighting for today. I believe that some leaders have lost sight of what’s important–the citizen, each and every one of us. We deserve a Supervisor who can assure that what we want matters. Prince George deserves a fighter who is experienced, honest, hard-working, and fair. I offer you a seat at the table.
William Gandel – District 2: Prince George is at a pivotal stage in its history. There are more costly challenges facing our County than I can recall in my 41 years of dealing with our local budget. The new radio system is likely to cost over 22 million, HVAC units at the administration building and the human services building are likely to fail within the next year, and the roof of the courts building is leaking. All this, plus we absolutely need a new elementary school with a cost of 30 million. This is what happens after four decades of trying to patch things up and not doing a regular maintenance and mediation of critical infrastructure. For example, the severe water restriction problem happened because a wooden structure was simply covered over with a tin roof and all it took was a tree (which should have been removed) to fall on it. Over the last four years we had a 4 cent tax increase, lost industrial prospects due to insufficient water and sewer capacity, had all kinds of problems at Walton Elementary and still do not have a final location for a new elementary school. Not much of a track record
Donald Hunter – District 2: I care about Prince George and hope to be a part of helping it continue to be a better place to live and work.
T.J. Webb – District 2: I am seeking re-election for District 2 Board of Supervisors. I am, and have been, representing all citizens of Prince George County and supporting what is in their best interest. I feel it is vital to continue to follow through with long term and sustainable economic development goals, in addition to being fiscally responsible. As an example, I voted against a pay raise for the Board of Supervisors and I championed not adding board members to the county insurance plan as this has shown negative impacts on county employees’ rates. I currently serve on the CIP (Capital Improvement Plan) committee, which works to prioritize and rate county projects. I also have been Chairman of the Tri-City MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) for the past two years. This committee works with surrounding localities and VDOT to address statewide issues.
2 – What do you feel is the most pressing issue for Prince George County?
Carmichael – District 1: The most pressing issue at this time is that of replacing the two Elementary Schools which I am sure all have heard the news on how that is going. Time to put any differences aside and move on.
Everett – District 1: We deserve someone who will represent our interests and concern themselves with the growth and progress of our community. I AM that person. Our growth is worth our effort, so make your vote matter. My constituency has voiced several concerns related to a dire need for school renovations and construction of two new schools, waste and water upgrades, and the ability to attract businesses that will produce economic growth. I would address these issues by supporting the allocation of funds and resources toward resolving these pressing issues. Many residents are concerned about the rising cost of water and sewer coupled with our dependency on other municipalities for these sources, mold in classrooms, safety of our children, and the need for technological advancements in the classroom. I would also examine the economic research, work with the team to develop a strategic plan, and ensure accountability through transparency as the plan is executed.
Gandel – District 2: Keeping the tax rate stable yet funding projects that should have already been planned for and funded. The debt ceiling will have been reached if there is a bond for the new radio system not to mention another bond for a new elementary school. Currently the County has an AA+ bond rating and to keep that, which reduces the interest on a bond, the County will have to raise the tax rate and/or the real estate assessment. Both would be met with wide spread opposition. The need for skilled fiscal planning and leadership has never been more needed.
Hunter – District 2: We need to improve our infrastructure to support more homes and business/industry.
Webb – District 2: Development and Infrastructure are the most pressing issues for Prince George County. Without utilities such as water, sewer, power and broadband, our county will be unable to support improvement and growth. Restoring and maintaining our current infrastructure to support the county’s development, as well as responsibly initiating new businesses and residential developments, while preserving a rural setting, are strategies to address these issues. I have worked with the other board members to bring a partnership with Prince George Electric Cooperative to the county. Through this partnership, broadband will become available to all citizens.
3 – If elected/re-elected, what are your priorities once in office?
Carmichael – District 1: Continue to keep moving forward on taking care of the County needs. There are always things needed each and every budget year and to have the years of experience really helps bring that information to the rest of the Board.
Everett – District 1: If elected, one of my top priorities will be to work closely with my colleagues and the school board in order to appropriate funds for much needed upgrades to our existing schools as well as expedite the construction of two new schools in a fiscally responsible manner. In recognizing the need for growth management, a few other priorities at the top of my list will be to support sewer pump improvements, expansion of our water and sewer capacity to assist in attracting, retaining, and expanding businesses (grocery and retail) in our county in preparation for projected growth.
Gandel – District 2: There is political will now for a new elementary school, and the possible lend-lease of land on Fort Lee seems to be the key element that bolstered the Board of Supervisors to begin a dialog with the School Board toward funding of this project. That is a mystery to me since the cost of land is only about 5% of the total cost of a new school and the County has about 250 acres of land, most of which is idle. I have been in most of the third and fourth grade classrooms over the past several years due to the various non-profit organization to which I belong. Anyone who spends, even, only a few minutes in the classrooms at Walton or Beazley can see why we need a new school. I would immediately call for a meeting of the newly elected and incumbent Board of Supervisors and School Board along with the County Administrator, plus the PG School Superintendent. This would be a summit just like those done by large powerful countries to plan mutual trade, defense, and strategy. I would examine our fund balance, our expected revenue from all sources, not just from the local tax base. While it is likely the new public safety radio system may be funded in part by the time the newly elected Board members are seated, in case not, I would focus on this very necessary operational improvement. Then, I would concentrate on the overdue replacement and upgrades to our own infrastructure.
Hunter – District 2: See above response in addition to helping the schools and sports activities
Webb – District 2: My priorities continue to be Public Safety, Education, and as mentioned above, Development and Infrastructure. According to the Prince George County Population Change Analysis, the highest growth age group currently in Prince George is 65 and over. Quality Police, Fire and EMS services are essential in providing a safe and comfortable living environment. I have worked with the board members to approve funds for the building of the recently opened Moody Road Fire Station, which impacts 1600 homes, and ground has been broken for the building of the Jefferson Park Fire Station. These initiatives will lead to more rooftops and businesses, which will, in turn, aid our tax base and help to offset a tax increase for the building of schools. We need to attract younger citizens to consider Prince George. To do that, we, as a county, need to ensure that our best education, and infrastructure plans are in place. All students must be given the opportunity to enter the workforce skilled and ready to become productive members of the community. All school employees are crucial to ensuring student success.
4 – What are some examples of commitment (personal and professional) to the community?
Carmichael – District 1: Having lived here for over 40 years I see the growth that has come to our County and we need to keep up with what is coming. I am not for fast growth but a steady flow which will happen as years go on. I served as a Volunteer so I know the importance of of Volunteers and how much we appreciate what they do. My entire family lives in Prince George and I have family members who work for the Police Dept and School system years before I served as a Board member so they have no problem telling me the issues that they face and how we can help. I believe recreation for kids is very important and have pushed for more fields and activities so we can have our children involved in staying active in the sport in which they choose. I am a big supporter of public safety and will continue to do my part to ensure that Prince George County remains one of the Safest places to live and raise a family. I have over 30 years experience of managing people and being held accountable of working within multi million dollar budgets. Thanks for your support thus far and I would like to continue to serve as your representative for another 4 years.
Everett – District 1: My commitment is pure and true in everything I do. Some of the most notable things I have done are: Soldier- I am a Patriot. I remain committed to my country in spite of the difficulties we face. I have been around the world, and I know that there is no place like America. For 31 years, I have made my contribution to the safety and security of this country that I believe affords us all the freedoms, that we celebrate as citizens. Teacher-I have educated two generations of students. I believe that I have influenced each one to walk in their potential, think for themselves, learn all they can, do all they can, and to be proud/upstanding Americans. I hope that the effects of my efforts reflect for generations. I have been told by many that I am the reason they became teachers. (Knowing this is one of my greatest honors) Breast Health Advocate-I assist fellow survivors and soon-to be survivors in learning the most current information about their journey. I have met many women, and I aim to help them through the difficult journey. I supported the ACS, Susan G. Komen Foundation, and Relay for life for years. Prince George is my home. I want to see it grow and prosper effectively. Change is necessary in order to be prepared for our projected growth. We need to be ready and willing to change. It starts now; it starts with you. Our growth is worth our effort.
Hunter – District 2: I’m a member of Gregory Church, PG Ruritan, Rotary, Masonic Lodge 115 and serve on several committees. I was instrumental is starting a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)
Gandel – District 2: After 40 years in local government, the last 33 of which were in the administration of social services, and emergency management, I retired in 2011. I ran for and was elected to the Board of Supervisors and served from 2012 to 2015. During that time we revised our outdated strategic plan, planned for and began a new fire station on Route 10, prevented through-tractor trailer trucks in a major subdivision and achieved the North and South Prince George designation for thousands of residents who were formerly identified as being in Hopewell or Petersburg. We also achieved staggered terms for both the Board of Supervisors and the School Board to gain continuity of government that could have been at risk before. I am an active member and/or on the board of several civic and non-profit organizations. I am a Past President of the Rotary Club of Prince George County. I am a charter member of our Local Emergency Planning team and have been called upon to aid in emergency communications during weather emergencies in our Emergency Communication and Amateur Radio Emergency Services Team. I currently serve as the citizen representative to the Crater Youth Commission and I also serve on the board of Prince George TRIAD, plus Chair the Crater District Agency on Aging Advisory Council. I serve as Elder of Prince George Christian Church and I am a Gideon. For a more detailed description of my community involvement, please see my website: www.gandelforpgboard.com
Webb – District 2: Anyone who knows me knows that my position as a Prince George County Supervisor is both personal and professional. I was elected by the citizens to be their voice and advocate. My evenings and weekends are often spent answering citizen’s phone calls, meeting citizens in person, attending county meetings and events, and being involved with several committees. I am passionate about working toward a balance of what I feel the citizens need and being a good steward of the citizen’s tax dollars. These are all practices I follow to serve this community.
Copyright 2019 by Womack Publishing
Send Us Your News Tips