On September 17, 2013, Charlottesville Tomorrow and The Daily Progress co-sponsored a candidate forum for the two candidates seeking election to the Rio District seat on the Albemarle Board of Supervisors.
The incumbent is Republican Rodney Thomas who is seeking a second term. The challenger is Democrat Brad Sheffield. Four of the six magisterial district seats on the board will be determined in the November 5 general election.
About 45 local residents came to the Woodbrook Elementary School to hear the candidates respond to questions posed by the sponsors, the audience, and each other. Read this article for complete coverage by The Daily Progress. The audio podcast is available in the box at right.
- 00:04:55 -- Rodney Thomas
- 00:07:00 -- Brad Sheffield
SEVEN MODERATOR QUESTION TOPICS
1. Describe a part of local government that would benefit from increased city and county cooperation and that you would make a priority.
- 00:10:23 -- Sheffield
- 00:12:12 -- Thomas
2. Please describe your past experience that qualifies you to be on the Albemarle Board of Supervisors.
- 00:14:40 -- Thomas
- 00:16:02 -- Sheffield
3. Do you support the construction of the Western Bypass of U.S. 29? Why or why not?
- 00:17:25 -- Sheffield
- 00:18:50 -- Thomas
4. Name one specific area of the county budget that you are concerned about and why. Do you think it deserves more funding or less?
- 00:21:05 -- Thomas
- 00:23:38 -- Sheffield
5. If real estate tax revenues increase, should Albemarle lower its property tax rate? Why or why not?
- 00:24:57 -- Sheffield
- 00:26:30 -- Thomas
6. How would you describe the challenges and opportunities facing Albemarle County’s rural farms, fields, and forests?
- 00:29:07 -- Thomas
- 00:31:28 -- Sheffield
7. Business leaders and social service agencies have told the Albemarle Board of Supervisors that new investments are sorely needed in the area of early childhood education. Will you make pre-K education and quality childcare a priority and if so how?
- 00:33:30 -- Sheffield
- 00:34:44 -- Thomas
AUDIENCE QUESTIONS -- 00:36:11
- How will you support affordable housing in the urban ring for the people who work and live there?
- What have been your experiences with Albemarle County Public Schools and where did your children attend school?
- I am a single person living in a 1-bedroom apartment at Abbington Crossing. My water bill is figured using the RUBS method. My average bill for 6 months has been $52.00 a month. Would you eliminate or make more equitable that method of calculation?
- In 2000, VDOT measured 58,000 vehicles a day on U.S. 29 between Hydraulic and Rio Roads. That number was down slightly to 56,000 in 2010. What is your perception of traffic conditions on U.S. 29 and what do you propose as solutions to ease congestion?
- How do you feel about the county board passing resolutions and proclamations?
- Now that we have three CAT bus routes at Fashion Square with a fourth to be added in January, what suggestions do you have for encouraging "discretionary" riders - those with cars - to use public transit?
- The county has done a great job through community policing and using empirically proven programs in the jail, to reduce our prison population and recidivism. As of today, there are 331 inmates in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. If elected what will you do to give these inmates opportunities to thrive in our community?
CANDIDATE ASK EACH OTHER QUESTIONS -- 00:58:43
CLOSING STATEMENTS -- 01:07:38