By Victoria Kidd
The Observer’s guide to who is running in Clarke County
The Observer of Clarke County asked candidates running in contested elections to provide us a few details about themselves. Candidates were asked to write a short introduction, which we are printing without substantive edits. We have also asked that they provide details concerning their education, past offices held, previous work experience, etc. Those details are included below, although they have been formatted for consistency. For more information about each candidate visit their website.
Who is running in Clarke County?
VA Senate, 27th: Jill Holtzman Vogel (R)
VA House of Delegates, 10th: Peter C. Rush (D) and J. Randy Minchew (R)
VA House of Delegates, 33rd: D. Chuck Hedges (D), Dave A. LaRock (R), and Mark D. Anderson (L)
Clerk of Court: Helen V. Butts (D) and Maral S. Kalbian (I)
Commonwealth’s Attorney: Suzanne L. “Suni” Mackall (D)
Sheriff: Anthony W. “Tony” Roper (D)
Commissioner of Revenue: Donna Mathews Peake (R)
Treasurer: Sharon E. Keeler (D)
Soil and Water Conservation Director, Lord Fairfax: Justin Mackay-Smith (I) and Wayne E. Webb (I)
Board of Supervisors, Berryville District: Mary Costello Daniel (D) and Thomas W. McFillen (R)
Board of Supervisors, Buckmarsh District: David S. Weiss (R)
Board of Supervisors, Millwood District: Terri Trimble Catlett (R)
Board of Supervisors, Russell District: Barbara J. Byrd (I)
Board of Supervisors, White Post District: Beverly B. “Bev” McKay (R)
School Board, Berryville District: Chuyen B. Kochinsky (I)
School Board, Buckmarsh District: Monica H. Singh-Smith (I)
School Board, Millwood District: Dennis M. Graham (I)
School Board, White Post District: Charles H. “Chip” Schitte (I)
School Board, Russell District: Tom Parker, Jr. (Write-In Candidate)
Mayor, Boyce: Franklin S. Roberts (I)
Town Council, Boyce: Laurel W. Greene (I) and Ruth A. Hayes (I)
Candidates for VA House of Delegates, 10th: Peter C. Rush (D) and J. Randy Minchew (R)
Peter C. Rush (D)
Education: BA, Swarthmore College; MA, Univ. of Michigan, History
Past Offices Held: Board Member, Loudoun County Soil and Water Conservation District, 2007-2015 (currently still serving)
Current/ Previous Work Experience/Positions Held: Journalist, Information Technology Contractor
Recent Volunteer Experience: N/A
Honors/Awards Received: N/A
I am running because politics in this state (and nation) is broken because too many Republicans have made politics about ideology and political warfare, rather than about good governance and compromise to do the people’s business. We have multiple areas in great need of government action:
increasing funding for teacher salaries, universal pre-K and smaller class sizes;
acceptance of Medicaid expansion to save lives and money, and improve the health of 400,000 Virginians;
jump starting job creation by implementing the Governor’s “New Virginia Initiative” and similar measures;
creating a Virginia minimum wage that people can actually live on, well above the starvation Federal level;
promoting high-tech R&D with government-university-private sector partnerships to develop and commercialize new technologies in health, energy generation and efficiency, information technology, and above all manufacturing;
increasing funding for greatly expanded mental health services;
launching a major effort to provide evidence-based treatment options for opioid addicts (both heroin and prescription drug) to address the current raging addiction epidemic, while shifting from law enforcement to treatment as the preferred option for petty drug possession crimes;
addressing the incarceration crisis by finding ways to release non-violent offenders early and helping them readjust to civilian life;
disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline by timely interventions in schools and redressing the overly severe punishments in some schools;
enhancing the safety net for our poorest residents who have inadequate incomes for food and shelter.
And climate change and our environment are further critical issues that require government-sponsored efforts to shift away from coal and other fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, which will also create thousands of jobs. Fracking should be avoided indefinitely, until its safety can be determined based on many years of experience elsewhere.
By contrast, my opponent believes that Richmond should limit its concerns to just education and transportation infrastructure, according to his website. He offers nothing to address the issues of those without health insurance, of increasing education funding, or pro-active job creation. He believes that lowering taxes is all that the government can do, or needs to do, to help create jobs. He claims to favor moving to renewable energy, but proposes increased use of natural gas, which is not renewable and puts carbon in the air.
Finally, I am running because I have been a progressive Democrat my entire life, concerned with how to help our economy work for all our citizens, how to help those in poverty lift themselves up, how to better train and educate everyone to be good citizens and productive workers, and how to “unrig” the system that now favors the rich and powerful at the expense of the rest of us. In sum, I believe in ideas, not ideology, and policies, not politics.
J. Randy Minchew (R)
Education: Duke University, A.B. degree in Public Policy & Economics, magna cum laude
Washington & Lee University School of Law, Juris Doctor degree. Law Review
Virginia Theological Seminary, Diploma in Theology
Past Offices Held
Co-founding member and two-term Chairman of the Loudoun County Economic Development Commission
Founding member and Chairman of the Rural Economic Development Task Force
Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
Loudoun County Finance Board
Citizens’ Tax Equity Committee
Loudoun Judicial Center Task Force
Previous Work Experience Held
District Attorney’s Office, Durham North Carolina: Police Liaison Officer and Investigative Assistant (1980-1981)
Law Clerk for Virginia Supreme Court Justice A. Christian Compton (1984-1985)
Private Sector Attorney (1985-Present), now Managing Shareholder of Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley, Emrich & Walsh, P.C., Leesburg Office
Deputy Counselor and Policy Advisor to Governor Bob McDonnell (2010-2011)
Virginia General Assembly, House of Delegates, 10th District (2011-Present)
Courts of Justice Committee
Ethics Sub-committee Chairman
Privileges & Elections Committee
Northern Virginia Transportation Authority
Northern Virginia Transportation Commission
Virginia Indigent Defense Commission
Virginia Broadband Advisory Counsel
Recent Volunteer Experience
Lay Eucharistic Minister at St. James Episcopal Church in Leesburg, Virginia
Boy Scouts of America, Scoutmaster, two-term District Chairman of Loudoun County Scouting, Silver Beaver Award recipient
General Counsel for the Potomac Appalachian Trial Club and awarded Life Membership
PADI Certified Rescue Diver and trained Wilderness First Aid Responder
It has been my honor to serve the citizens of the 10th District in the Virginia House of Delegates for the past four years, and I welcome the opportunity to continue my advocacy of sound, fiscally responsible policies which create jobs, preserve a favorable business climate, and lead to meaningful transportation improvements in our region. I am committed to strengthening the economic base of our rural regions while preserving scenic and historic areas which are a distinct and valued aspect of the 10th District.
During my past four years in the House of Delegates, I have patroned and secured passage of important bills improving our regional and rural roads, fostering cost-effective, transparent, and ethical government operations, and strengthening our local schools. While I am proud of the progress that has been made, the work needs to continue. I am exploring opportunities that will enhance the availability to alternative energy sources for consumers while encouraging the development of an industry that has tremendous growth potential. Another need I plan to address is the expanded and improved broadband services and connectivity in underserved rural and low density areas of Virginia.
As delegate, I consider myself as a servant-leader duty bound to follow the admonition in Article I, Section 2 of our Virginia Constitution:
Article I. Bill of Rights, Section 2. People the source of power: All power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people, that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all times amenable to them.
Candidates for VA House of Delegates, 33rd: D. Chuck Hedges (D), Dave A. LaRock (R), and Mark D. Anderson (L)
D. Chuck Hedges (D)
Education: B.S. University of Maryland, Transportation and Economics; Graduate work, McGill University, Montreal; Aviation Transportation—MIT, Executive School (through the Federal Government); Northwestern University—Kellogg School of Management (through the Federal Government); Numerous Management and Executive Training Courses (through the Federal Government)
Past Offices Held: N/A
Current/Previous Work Experience/Positions Held: Deputy Assistant Administrator for System Safety, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); Executive Director, FAA’s Center for Early Dispute Resolution; Technical Officer, International Civil Aviation Organization, Montreal; Member of the United States Delegations for more than 20 bilateral civil aviation negotiations; Senior Transportation Analyst, Office of the Secretary of Transportation.
Recent Volunteer Experience: Volunteer work with a therapeutic horse riding program; Service to the Sons of the American Revolution, the Lovettsville-Waterford Ruritan Club, the United States Trail Ride Association, the Religious Society of Friends (Lincoln, VA), the Friends Committee on National Legislation, and the Loudoun County Democratic Committee.
Honors/Awards Received: Numerous honors and awards received throughout federal career.
As 15-year residents of Lovettsville in Loudoun County, my wife Betty and I share a deep concern about the future of our beautiful, historic and fast-growing area.
Building on a longstanding record of community service, I am committed to serving all the people of the 33rd District in the House of Delegates, in contrast to our one-term incumbent, who serves only the extreme fringe of his own political party. To ensure good quality of life and economic prosperity now and for those who follow us, we must take practical actions to adequately fund public education, to improve transportation, and to care for the health of all our citizens.
In the past, Republicans and Democrats traditionally cooperated to improve people’s lives, the prosperity of businesses, and the justice of our laws and regulations. This willingness to serve the common good has been lost in Richmond, as in Washington. I will use knowledge gained through my international and national negotiation and conflict resolution experience to work across the aisle and restore public education funding; improve transportation; attract investment and jobs; and enhance the health of our citizens. Furthermore, to respond to the critical needs of the 33rd District, I will pursue policies that build on our agricultural heritage and promote value-added farming and agritourism as well as farmland preservation.
I will help older citizens to stay in their homes as long as possible, by ensuring that our elders receive tax credits to help make their homes safe and secure and access to the services they need.
We must increase state public education expenditures. It defies common sense for state public education expenditure to have decreased 17% since 2008, while our school-age population is growing by 10% per decade. The state’s projected budget surplus should be invested first and foremost in public education. I will work with state and local officials to provide teachers the pay they are due, because they have been ignored in the recent economic downturn.
Transportation is a severe problem throughout the 33rd district, but my opponent has done nothing to address congestion on routes 7, 9 and 37. I will use my 37 years of transportation experience to achieve practical measures to reduce costly congestion.
We also have an obligation to provide quality health care to all our people. I have seen my wife go from zero to stage III breast cancer between mammograms in less than one year, and we understand the costs and stresses such a diagnosis creates. Among the 400,000 Virginians without health insurance that the current House of Delegates turns its back on, some 25,000 women will get breast cancer and not receive timely treatment. The women and families of Virginia deserve better.
Peter M. LaRock (R)
Education: High School graduate; completed college courses in business management, accounting, and marketing at State University of New York, Agricultural and Technical College at Canton
Past Offices Held: N/A
Current/ Previous Work Experience/Positions Held: Worked as a carpenter; grew a general contracting company into a family-run, multi-million/year (gross revenue) custom home-building business; director of The 1789 Project; director of Loudoun Opt Out; director of No Toll Increase.org
Recent Volunteer Experience: Blue Ridge District Chairman, Loudoun County Republican party; supporter of 1st Choice Women’s Health Center, Leesburg; Romania Reborn, Purcellville; New Eve Ministries, Winchester; Cornerstone Chapel, Leesburg; support team for missions trips to Belize, Ghana, and Brazil
Honors/Awards Received: Winner of a Kitchen design award; Virginia Chamber of Commerce 2014 “Distinguished Advocate for Virginia Business”
Over the last months and years, I’ve had the privilege of representing the good people of the 33rd District in Virginia’s General Assembly. One of the most enjoyable parts of this job for me and my family is going door-to-door across the district and getting to know the thousands of neighbors that live nearby. I’ve been able to meet many of you personally, and if we haven’t met yet, I hope to soon!
I’m passionate about making Virginia a better place to live, work, raise a family and do business. If you hire me again as your delegate, some of my top priorities for the next session are:
Helping Virginia on the road to economic recovery. Many people are still struggling to find work and make ends meet, and I believe the legislature can take careful steps to grow the availability of good jobs. Expanding rural broadband access is one such step that I’m excited to help advance, as branching high speed internet access out to rural communities makes it easier for businesses to branch out and entrepreneurs to get started. I’m also working with local businesses and fellow legislators to tap into Northern Virginia’s enormous potential as a leader in cybersecurity, an industry that holds vast employment potential. Along with fellow delegates, I’m pushing back against the crushing EPA regulations that threaten to drive up heating bills and business costs all over Virginia in the near future.
I want to see our road problems fixed. Northern Virginians have to deal with some of the worst traffic in the nation, and that’s why I passed legislation last session to improve our transportation spending by requiring rating of ALL transportation projects. We still have more work to do to make sure our transportation spending aligns with practical goals like easing congestion. I’m also working to get the word out about the Governor’s plan to stick it to commuters by enacting an outrageous $17 toll for I-66 users. This is a horrible plan, as it bilks our citizens for an outrageous sum and will do nothing to help our traffic woes.
Virginia’s education system needs improvement. Last session I led the effort to protect our schools from a Federal Common Core takeover and to expand educational options for special needs children. It’s my intention to make sure that the promise of a good education is open to every child in our Commonwealth.
These are just some of the issues that I’ll focus on if you honor me with the opportunity to serve again as your delegate. If you have any suggestions or would like my assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact me at (540) 751-8364 or visit votelarock.us.
Mark D. Anderson (L)
Education: Currently enrolled at Lord Fairfax Community College; studying Business Administration. Future educational goals include enrollment at George Mason University where I hope to study Economics.
Past Offices Held: None
Current/ Previous Work Experience/Positions Held: I have worked at O’Sullivan Films Corp. for over 11 years. My current position is Quality Lab Technician.
Recent Volunteer Experience: 2014 Robert Sarvis for Senate and Bill Redpath for Congress Winchester/Frederick County Campaign Coordinator.
Current Chairman of Frederick County Libertarians.
Honors/Awards Received: N/A
I am running for Virginia’s House of Delegates in the 33rd District because the size and scope of the government far exceeds our founders’ intent. Spending and taxes are at heights that cannot be supported by the economy. There needs to be drastic cuts to both if we are to reverse the direction our state is headed. The founders of this Nation knew that Liberty is the vital component if a nation is to succeed. This is what I aim to bring to the House of Delegates, a consistent vote in favor of individual liberty and fiscal responsibility. Governments cannot legislate their way to prosperity; they can only back off and let each individual make the best choices for themselves. As each individual thrives, so does the state in which they live. A state and nation founded in Liberty is the only way to ensure this success. In recent years there has been a focus placed on our carbon footprint, it is time we started focusing on our Government’s Footprint.
Among the issues I want to address is the War on Drugs in Virginia. Our nation has 5% of the world’s total population, yet we house 25% of the world’s prison population, and three-quarters of all incarcerated people in America are there for non-violent drug offenses. We need to start treating addiction as a health crisis, not a criminal one. We will not end addiction by arresting people, pulling them away from their families and their jobs and throwing them in prisons. The War on Drugs has brought us nothing but bloated budgets, a loss of liberty, and devastated communities. I will strongly push to legalize cannabis and decriminalize harder drugs in Virginia.
I am a strong proponent of the free market and I believe it should replace government in education, healthcare, and transportation. The free market is truly better equipped at offering affordable and higher quality alternatives than government subsidized programs. We need to deregulate education and healthcare to allow the market to open creative alternatives that meet the demands of parents and consumers. In transportation we should get the government out of the road-building business, let the market handle road maintenance, public transportation, and all other government functions. The government methodology of tax and spend to provide these programs has proven to be inefficient and ineffective, I would seek all opportunities to privatize education, healthcare, and transportation.
Virginia is one of only three states that in 2014 did not have a growing GDP, this is a result of our reliance on government jobs and dollars. Virginia employs government workers at twice the national average. It is time for deregulation and a free market to handle business in Virginia.
Candidates for Clerk of Court: Helen V. Butts (D) and Maral S.
Helen V. Butts (D)
Education: Graduate of James Wood High School, Training in Case Management and Financial Management Systems (This training is updated with Webinars throughout the year), Training with Logan Systems Inc. (To keep updated with scanning and on-line processing)
Past Offices Held: Clerk of the Clarke County Circuit Court
Current/ Previous Work Experience/Positions Held: Have 52 years experience in Clarke County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office (33 years as deputy and 19 years as clerk)
Recent Volunteer Experience: N/A
Honors/Awards Received: Have received awards from County for years of work completion.
I am Helen Butts, Clerk of the Clarke County Circuit Court. I moved here from Frederick County, Virginia, in 1963 together with my late husband, Eugene Butts, and our three children.
In March, 1963, I began in the Clerk’s Office as deputy clerk. The Judges of the Circuit Court appointed me Clerk in 1996 upon the retirement of J. H. Wood, Jr. I was elected to fill his unexpired term in 1997; re-elected in 1999 and 2007.
The reason I am seeking another term as Clerk is to continue to serve the many individuals who use the services of the office and the services of the Court.
There are many duties of the Clerk as mandated by the Supreme Court of Virginia and the Code of Virginia. Many changes to improve and modernize the office have taken place during my tenure. The Supreme Court mandated that all Circuit Courts place their land records on-line. Our land records, wills and estates are computerized back to the forming of Clarke County in 1836. We have also scanned our judgments, UCC books and other Misc. Order Books. We have terminals for use by the public coming into the office as well as a fee based web-access system for working from the home or office. (This is paid for by the users of the web-access system with no cost to the County). This has been accomplished with two deputies; the chief deputy with 19 years experience and the second deputy with over 10 years experience. This is an ongoing process that is worked on almost daily.
The Clerk’s duties include filing of all criminal and civil cases and following them through the process until ended. This includes assisting the Judges with all courtroom proceedings.
Also the Clerk’s duties include financial management of the office, trust funds, numerous handgun permits and other duties too numerous to mention.
Clarke County deserves a competent, courteous, up-to-date Clerk’s Office and if re-elected I will continue to keep the office as efficient and modernized as possible for the benefit of our citizens.
Maral S. Kalbian (I)
Education: Handley High School, B.A. Smith College, M.A., University of Virginia
Past Offices Held: N/A
Current/ Previous Work Experience/Positions Held: Historic Preservation Consultant
Recent Volunteer Experience: Clarke County Historical Association (vice-president); Clarke County Library Advisory Council; Mount Hebron Cemetery Board of Managers; past or current member of numerous committees including: Clarke County Public Schools, St. Bridget’s Chapel in the Field, Belle Grove, Berryville Main Street, and the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.
Honors/Awards: Thomas C. Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia- Candidate Training Program, 2015; Clarke County Historic Preservation Commission, Certificate of Merit, 2015 (Clarke County Historic District Driving and Walking Tour Brochure), 2013 (Images of America: Clarke County); Carroll H. Henkel Award, Preservation of Historic Winchester, Inc., 2009 (for Knowledge and Promotion of Historic Tax Credits); Excellence in Preservation Award, Shenandoah Preservation League, 2001, Stewart Bell, Jr. Award, Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society, 2000; Ben Belchic Award, Preservation of Historic Winchester, Inc., 2000, Artie Award, Shenandoah Arts Council, 1999 (Frederick County, Virginia, History Through Architecture); and Ben Belchic Award, Preservation of Historic Winchester, Inc., 1991
People have asked me why I am running for Clarke County Circuit Court Clerk. I am doing it because I love Clarke County and I believe deeply in our potential to move forward in ways that preserve our rich heritage while embracing modern technology to advance into the future.
Clarke County has been my home for 28 years. My husband and two children were born and raised here. My professional career has focused on promoting Clarke’s diverse history. By documenting and preserving historic structures and collaborating with my fellow Clarke County residents, I strive to make this community better and stronger.
I know my opponent well, admire her spirit and attitude, and applaud her 52 years of dedicated service. The friendly and helpful atmosphere she has created in the Clerk’s Office will continue when I am elected. As a historic preservation consultant based in Clarke, I have spent a lot of time working with public records in Clerks’ Offices throughout Virginia.
I have noticed how Clarke County is behind the rest of the State in information technology and techniques. Most of the modernization my opponent has implemented is mandated by the State of Virginia for all Clerks’ Offices. As we move further into the 21st century, additional progress must be made if we are to keep current with the rest of the Commonwealth. We must also better protect our valuable historic records, while making them accessible. I believe this can be done using innovative, grant-funded, cost-saving techniques.
The Clerk of the Court is one of the most important elected County offices. For this reason we all need to take seriously who we select for the next 8-year term. I bring to the position a fresh perspective, a deep knowledge of the County, business proficiency, and skill at interfacing with government agencies. I also offer a 5-point plan for modernizing and increasing the efficiency of the Clarke County Clerk’s Office:
Deliver superior customer service and enhanced public document access to all Clarke County residents
Capitalize on available Virginia grants to modernize technology
Streamline communications with other County departments
Implement electronic record storage technology to make all Clarke County public records easily accessible
Preserve and protect Clarke County’s historic records for future generations
Implementing my plan will save Clarke County taxpayers time and money. Many of the upgrades I envision can be funded using available State grants. These enhancements will enable our information, including valuable historic paper records, to be utilized in a faster, safer, and more open manner.
That is good for all of us.
Thank you for your consideration and I ask for your vote on November 3rd.
Candidates for Board of Supervisors,
Berryville District: Mary Costello Daniel(D) and Thomas W.
Mary Costello Daniel (D)
Education: James Wood High School (1986); University of Virginia College of Arts & Sciences (Bachelor of Arts, English 1990); University of Richmond, T. C. Williams School of Law, Juris Doctor 1993)
Past Offices Held: Council of the Town of Berryville, Representative of Ward 3 (2007-present) ; Chair, Police & Security Committee (2012-Present); Vice Chair, Budget Committee (2010-Present); Utilities Committee (2007-2010); Clarke County Planning Commission (1999-2007)
Current/Previous Work Experience/Positions Held: President & Managing Attorney, Daniel & Hetzel, Attorneys at Law, PC (formerly known as The Daniel Group); Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney, City of Winchester, Virginia; Associate Attorney, Hobert & Kerr, PC
Recent Volunteer Experience: Rotary Club of Frederick County; Clarke County Educational Foundation, Inc., Blue Ridge Legal Services, Inc.; DG Cooley Parent Teacher Organization
Honors/Awards Received: Paul Harris Fellow (Rotary International); Presidential Citation (Rotary International); Respect for the Law Award (Winchester Optimists Club); Whos’ Who Among American Law Students; Dean’s List (University of Virginia); Golden Key National Honor Society (University of Virginia)
As a resident of Berryville and Clarke County since 1996, I appreciate the unique quality of life available to all who live here. As wife, mother, and businesswoman, I believe that it is important to preserve the things that make Clarke County a great place to live and raise a family. As a member of the Board of Supervisors, I will use my experience from the County Planning Commission and the Berryville Town Council to address the needs of all Clarke residents and businesses. I will work to keep taxes low while maintaining a high-quality public education system, supporting public safety efforts, and ensuring public services are managed efficiently and effectively. I am prepared to meet the expectations of the Berryville District as we find solutions that are good for Clarke County.
Clarke County must bring our emergency services and public schools up to the level we need. In order to do this, we must commit to increasing revenue by fostering business growth in Berryville and Clarke County as a whole. My experience as a startup and as a small business owner have proven valuable in assisting clients, friends and others who run their businesses. During my tenure as a Town Councilor, we worked to simplify the business license process. Further, we worked with the Economic Development Authority, the Board of Supervisors, and the Governor of Virginia to make the expansion at Berryville Graphics a reality. Both the Town Council and the Planning Commission provided experience in the importance of home-based businesses and agri-business to maintaining our small town, rural environment. We are well-poised to move into the next decade as an economically secure, top-tier community with high quality public schools.
My experience serving in local government uniquely qualifies me to promote a strong working relationship between the Town and the County for the benefit of all Clarke citizens.
Thomas W. McFillen (R)
Education: Clarke County High School
Past Offices Held: CC Planning Commission, Clarke Easement Authority, Board of Equalization, Clarke County IDA
Current/Previous Work Experience: Contract Project Manager, Dominion Construction, Kee Construction, International Developers, HT Development; Development Planning Director, Stonebridge Golf & Residential Community; Virginia Class A contractor, Carpe Diem CV Inc.; Tour & Fishing guide, River Hawk Tours, Berryville
Recent Volunteer Experience: Help With Housing, Powhatan School, Grace Episcopal Church, Virginia Hunter Education Program Instructor
Honors/Awards Received: N/A
As a resident of Berryville, my wife Robin and I are raising four very challenging daughters. I am proud to call Clarke County home. People come, people go but communities stay! We are all just custodians of our time here and measured only by our contribution to the community as a whole. My goal in this local election is very simple – preserve our character, seek to improve our local government and represent the citizens of the Berryville District fairly amongst a board of my peers. During my extended service on the Planning Commission, various committee assignments and community boards over the past fifteen years, I have developed a working relationship and gained the respect of our Board of Supervisors, County staff and the management team of the Town of Berryville. I am confident I can work within the structure of the Board as a voice of reason, not afraid to ask a difficult question and willing to hear all sides of any issue. There is however one exception, in that I cannot support ideas, policy decisions, text amendments or ordinances that would erode our Comprehensive Plan. It is the basis of how Clarke County developed the successful land plan of this community thirty five years ago and is the mechanism of how we will be able to maintain our character going forward another thirty five years.
Do we as a community have room for improvement, most certainly so. I would like to expand the communication and development of ideas that promotes varying and different agricultural practices and agro tourism. I will endeavor to seek new methods to bring connectivity to the total of our County. I want a nurturing and positive relationship that supports any and all programs undertaken by our towns and villages that promotes business development, ever how small. Ten new businesses, each with five employees is no longer small, it’s a movement!
On a personal level, since walking the front lawn of Clarke County High School as a graduate in 1974, forty plus years has been devoted within the construction and development industry. In receiving a Resolution of Appreciation from the Clarke Planning Commission upon the completion of my term last year, I was noted as wanting to be remembered as a “simple carpenter”. If only that easy. I currently manage a portfolio of commercial projects as a contract Project Manager, responsible to the budgets and scheduling demands of a diverse market.
I would like this opportunity to represent my home, my community and my County – nothing further – nothing grander. I am so greatly appreciative of the support shown to my campaign and promise that I will do my level best to represent the total of our Clarke County citizens if elected.
Candidate for School Board, Russell District: Tom Parker, Jr.
(I, Write-In Candidate) *Tom, as a write-in candidate has been included among the individuals we’ve asked to provide additional details. He is running unopposed.
Tom Parker, Jr. (I)
Education: Clarke County High School; James Madison University; Northern Virginia Community College
Past Offices Held: N/A
Current/ Previous Work Experience/Positions Held: Loudoun County Government/Legislative Aide; Currently self-employed Realtor with Re/Max
Recent Volunteer Experience: Technology Chair, DG Cooley PTO; CCPS CTE Committee; CCPS School Climate Committee; Clarke County Youth Soccer Board; BSA Pack 500
Honors/Awards Received: N/A
I live just north of Berryville with my wife Emily, she is an elementary teacher for a neighboring county. We have 3 children; one at each of the DG Cooley Campuses and the youngest only 6 months old. Clarke County Public Schools will play a large role in my family’s life over the next 18+ years.
As a Clarke County native, it has already played a large role in my life up to this point. If elected, I would focus on improving communication between the school division as a whole and the families that we serve. I also hope to help better inform the community at large of the benefits of a high performing school system. I feel it is incumbent on School Board members to keep those they represent informed on what is happening in the school system.
I would also work to provide more opportunities for our students through expanded career and technical offerings, strategic community/business partnerships, improvements to our gifted and talented programs and focusing on academic success for all students. I would work with school administration to ensure that all of our schools attain and are maintaining full accreditation on the state and federal levels.
I would also like to see STEM education and an expanded use of technology in our instruction at all grades. I would look forward to working with my fellow Board members on fully implementing the newly completed Strategic Plan and putting together a plan that would finally bring the two Cooley campuses under one roof.