Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Election stuff

So it looks like I opened the floodgates by getting the comments back on.

I do post every press release I receive about endorsements. I just happen to get more of them from the Republican side.

I’m intrigued by the idea of an online forum. I’ll have to figure out the easiest and/or best way to do this, or if it would be possible at all. In the meantime, why don’t you share some questions you want answered? These would only be for the supervisor candidates.

And you will get a chance to hear from the candidates next month in two upcoming forums sponsored by the Spotsylvania NAACP, the Spotsylvania Education Association and the Spotsylvania Citizens Roundtable for Political Action:

  • Oct. 19:candidates for the Sheriff’s race and the Board of Supervisors races
  • Oct. 26 School Board candidates and those running for Commissioner of Revenue.

Both events will be held from 7-9 p.m. at  the Marshall Building.

And, if you live in the Courtland District, don’t forget about the town hall meeting tonight, hosted by Supervisor Jerry Logan. It starts at 6:30 pm in the auditorium of Riverbend High School. If you can’t make it tonight, there will be a second meeting Oct. 17, 7 p.m. at the Harrison Road Community Center.


  • Anonymous

    1. Spotsylvania has laid off a lot of teachers resulting in increased class sizes even in elementary schools.

    Do you favor smaller class sizes in elementary school and if you do, do you support tax increases to pay for them?

    2. – do you believe that Spotsylvania should have 24/7 county-wide coverage for FEMS?

    If you do, how would you pay for it?

    3. – If Spotsylvania has designated areas for new growth via designated higher-density, mixed-use growth – how would you fund the roads and transit needed to serve that increased development?

    4. – Spotsylvania currently funds schools with about 70 million dollars in local money.  While the State and Federal government require that their funding be spent only on core academic education – the local contribution has no such restrictions.

    Would you support a line item budget showing how local tax money is spent in the schools?

  • Anonymous

    5. we often hear that Spotsylvania should be more business friendly.

    what are the areas that you believe we are not business friendly in and what would you do to improve?

    6. What kinds of new jobs do you think we should attract to Spotsylvania?

    Specifically – do you believe we should try to attract more govt jobs and more govt contractors jobs to Spotsylvania or should we target non-govt jobs?

    what areas of non-govt economic development should we pursue?

  • Anonymous

    6. I-95 is being studied for both HOT Lane tolls north of us and other kinds of tolls south of us.

    what is your position on widening / improving I-95 and how it would be funded.

    Do you support tolls …or taxes.. or what other method?

    7. Spotsylvania is studying a possible new interchange (or an upgrade of the current) at Massaponax.

    Once the study is completed and FHWA specifies the required design – how would you fund the construction of it?

  • Anonymous

    want more?  I’ll give it a rest and let others weigh in…

  • Steven Thomas

    Larry, the issues in those questions are not bad, but if you keep phrasing everything as if you REALLY want a tax hike, as if someone who’s been drinking water for hours and couldn’t go to the bathroom REALLY wants to pee…. that’s a nonstarter.

    This is what makes me suspicious about the forums coming up, since one of the groups has already endorsed against 1/2 the candidates. Why would the non-endorsed attend? The questions are not likely to be straightforward.

  • Anonymous

    if you think that – then have at re-wording them but the intent was to ask questions about needs and how we meet the needs and certainly increased taxes are not the only way and certainly there is a finite limit to what we can afford anyhow.

    But these are questions that those who aspire to lead the country should show they are willing to deal with.

    as far as who is invited or not invited to a forum – I totally agree… that’s why I’m disappointed that C500 and the bloggers forum folks have left the scene…

    but we have an opportunity to still have a forum here… of sorts…

    so have at the questions yourself.. but I’ll insist that we actually deal with things like schools and infrastructure and jobs in terms of whether our economic development should be counting on govt or govt contracting for our Spotsy “jobs” strategy (it’s an honest question).

  • Steven Thomas

    An online forum would be very positive Amy. Whatever way you guys choose to do it.

    And printing everything from everyone seems very fair to me. There have been 6 rounds of endorsements- C-500, SEA, Wittman, Cantor, Bolling, SCRC. I am sure more are coming.

  • Anonymous

    yepper.. we have scads of endorsements and we don’t even know their positions on the questions that I have posed… which I believe are questions that most taxpayers would like to see answered – not the PR positions on their websites.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s add another question for the candidates:

    Do you believe that the county should NEVER use eminent domain for infrastructure like roads, schools, water/sewer?


  • Steven Thomas

    C-500 already endorsed too. I totally agree that it will be good to see the candidates side by side answering questions. My only issue is to have a neutral forum. And one where one of the hosts has already endorsed is not likely to be neutral.

  • Steven Thomas

    I’m not sure we don’t know their positions. I feel like I know almost all their positions- but I spend an inordinate amount of time with, or listening to, all the candidates. Hearing them side by side would be more helpful. 

  • Anonymous

    we not talking about political operatives here.. we’re talking about the people who will vote…

    do they know the candidates comparative positions on specific issues in Spotsylvania County?

    that would be the purpose of any forum….  

    forums are not for the political players.

  • Steven Thomas

    Hey, I vote! Actually 13 candidates running for office this year in Spotsy hail from my district (Livingston).

    That’s why it’s important to have a neutral forum. Get those guys on stage and ask ‘em questions.

  • Anonymous

    re: “hey I vote”

    Okay.. let’s see you take off that Republican Hat and put on your voter hat and ask some questions that you as a voter want answers to….

    can you do it?  can you take that GOP hat off for a few questions?

  • Steven Thomas

    Larry, that’s a misleading question. I know you don’t believe this, but I actually AM the conservative you see before you, and I vote conservative, period.

    My questions I ask every candidate are:

    -What will you do to reduce waste and ensure accountability in government?
    -Will you work to lower taxes for homeowners?
    -Will you work to lower taxes for businesses and focus on bringing jobs?
    -Can you increase the quality of education, PS and transportation by doing more with less?

    I think in this environment, we have to start demanding government do more with less. Make it more efficient and prioritize. And that’s all levels of government. No exceptions.

  • Anonymous

    I AGREE with you IF you also agree to put the phrase “what would you do SPECIFICALLY’?

    otherwise – they’re just talking points…

    ask SPECIFICS guy..

    your questions are like C500 asking candidates if they support “Smart Growth” or “good govt”

    step up here…  guy

  • Steven Thomas

    Actually, I like to leave my questions a bit more open ended to see what new or innovative things candidates can come up with on their own. There’s so many more ways to skin some of these cats than we’ve discussed to this point.

  • Anonymous

    re: open ended.. nice try but no dice.

    open ended = evasion of issues.

    candidates are ALWAYS free to pontificate at will anyhow.

    specific questions gets to specific issues and specific positions.

    do you support Smart Growth and Good Govt….????

    “innovate” that question…  and what you get is blather and evasion of the real issues.

    ” do you support the use of eminent domain when a county road or school is at issue and willing-seller/willing-buyer has failed to produce an agreement?”

    detail where you think Spotsylvania has erred in using eminent domain and how you would do it differently”

    that question allows PLENTY of innovation but also requires some disclosure about your philosophy as an elected representative.

    do you believe the county should have county-wide 24/7 coverage?

     how would you do that without increasing taxes or would you support a referendum for citizens to decide how to pay?

    We’re looking for non-weasel answers…  on taxes, spending, how to pay for infrastructure and school needs ….including ways other than higher taxes …

    innovate all you want but answer the questions … show how fiscal conservatism differs from tax&spend… but do show how.

    step up here Steve or admit you really don’t want direct  questions.

    A forum of generic questions and answers is a complete waste of voters time….

  • Anonymous

    so we apparently have Steve Thomas answer here on giving    substantive questions to the candidates.. eh?

    apparently conservative versions of questions like “do you support smart growth and good govt” ..are the preferred questions that allow “innovation”.

    Come on Steve – Spotsylvania citizens deserve to know where the candidates stand on specific Spotsylvania issues.. like FEMS, Schools, Roads and development.