In November, we will elect people to every office in Goochland County: Senate, House of Delegates, Board of Supervisors, School Board, Commonwealths Attorney, Treasurer, Commissioner of Revenue, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Sheriff, and Director of the Monacan Soil and Water Conservation District. We have a Republican running for every seat except for Sheriff and one of the two Directors of the Soil and Water District.
Before 2011, this county was a huge mess. The Treasurer was sent to prison. The Administration was full of employees that were not performing properly. Our debt, had it been rated, was worse that the City of Detroit. Good old boy backroom deals were the norm. There was little transparency, and our schools were mediocre. Then, Goochland Republicans recruited excellent candidates for most of the offices, and won every race we ran. Winning is good, but only if you do a good job once elected.
And, a good job we have done, so far. The Treasurer’s Office is squared away with a very efficient staff, (and not wiring funds to people in foreign countries). We have cleaned up the Administration personnel to a great extent. We restructured our debt and have a AAA debt rating with Standard and Poor’s. We were the first county in Virginia to put the County’s checkbook online. Every official public meeting is streamed online. We hired a new superintendent of schools, and our schools are now at the top, or near the top of most measurable categories of comparison in the state. Taxes have not gone up. Leaders of other counties have asked our elected officials how we did it. I would say we have one of the best “before and after” pictures to show off; except that the “after” is not static. We must still keep moving in the right direction. This work will never end. Complacency will cause us to slide back to where we don’t want to be. We, the citizens, must keep our elected officials under a microscope and never assume that just because we Republicans elected most of them, than we can just turn them loose to “do the right thing” They need guidance.
The two most important races we face this year are for Commissioner of Revenue, and Clerk of the Circuit Court. The vestiges of the “good old boy Goochland” are not all gone. We have outstanding candidates for both these offices: Buddy Bishop for Commissioner of Revenue, and Keith Flannagan for Clerk of the Circuit Court. Buddy and Keith each have websites that I hope you will visit. If you have a question for them, call or email them, or arrange a meeting with them. Ask the hard questions and press them; that will only make them better.
Since these are the only contested races, there is a risk of people not turning out to the polls like we have in the past. Goochland has the best turnout record in Virginia. Let’s not let that slip. Let’s not throw away our chances to continue to improve our county government. Please stay involved, and help get Buddy and Keith win those offices so they can do the work we need doing. Thanks.