LANCASTER—A local organization, Friends of Lancaster County (FOLCVA), believes several issues of major significance to county citizens are at stake in the November 7 election, including the future of the county’s children and whether 21st century jobs are in the future for the Northern Neck.
To help keep the public informed, FOLCVA and the Lancaster Community Library are sponsoring a candidates’ forum at 7 p.m. October 12 at the library, 16 Town Centre Drive, Kilmarnock.
Local elections will include seats on the board of supervisors and the school board for Districts 1 and 5. Incumbents for all four offices are not seeking another term, so all the candidates are new, reported FOLCVA president Charlie Costello.
District 1 candidates running for supervisor are George R. Bott IV and Jack D. Larson. They are seeking to replace F.W. “Butch” Jenkins Jr. who is retiring after 24 years. Candidates for school board are Carl E. Failmezger and Katherine Lee Keith, who are running to replace Bob Smart who is not seeking re-election.
In District 5, Robert S. Westbrook, current school board chairman, is running unopposed to replace B. Wally Beauchamp, who is retiring after 20 years on the board. Candidates for school board to replace Westbrook are Lara Mills Brown, Margaret S. Socey and Carolyn W. Young.
Marlon S. Savoy is running unopposed for Commissioner of the Revenue, to succeed George E. “Sonny” Thomas who has retired from that office after 21 years.
Among issues of current interest, according to Costello, are the school board has recently proposed a multi-year, $70-million project to replace Lancaster high and middle schools, which are more than 50 years old and obsolete, and to renovate Lancaster Middle School up to modern standards as an elementary school.
Some candidates also propose seeking high-speed fiber-optic internet for the entire Northern Neck, especially the rural areas, he said.
Advocates for new schools and faster internet say these will encourage young families with children to settle in the Northern Neck and businesses that depend on the internet to move here, stimulating county population and job growth, added Costello.
All but one candidate have indicated they will participate in the forum, he said. Each candidate will be given equal time to speak and answer questions from the audience without opposing candidate(s) present in the room. All candidates will be urged to remain for the whole event so they may meet the attending citizens.
All citizens are urged to attend without regard to District.
“Your thoughts and concerns are important to all, especially the successful candidates as they assume their critical duties for us,” said Costello.