The assistant director of the JAUNT paratransit agency has declared he will seek the Democratic nomination for the Rio District seat on the Albemarle Board of Supervisors

“We’re all fortunate to call Albemarle our home, but there’s one thing that is certain,” said Jaymie L. “Brad” Sheffield. “Growth is occurring all around us.”

Sheffield, 39, first came to the area in 1999 in order to attend the University of Virginia, where he received both a bachelor’s and master’s in urban and environmental planning.  Since then, he worked in Florida and Georgia before returning to the community in 2008 to work for the Renaissance Planning Group.

“I’ve spent the last 14 years developing the skills that allow me to understand what the county is going to face and how to make certain decisions,” Sheffield said. 

Sheffield said he would bring planning expertise in order to help ensure that the community’s quality of life does not deteriorate as more people move here. He pointed out that around 15,000 people have moved to Albemarle in the last ten years.

“Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity, and that means we have to meet our challenges head on,” Sheffield said. “We should make sure we are making smart, balanced decisions about how our community grows, and make sure we are paying attention to how it is impacting our natural resources.”

Whoever is elected in November will be voting on the long-range transportation plan next spring. Sheffield said he is not ready to announce what specific projects he would support.

However, Sheffield said he would like to invest in what he called “secondary corridors” to help alleviate traffic congestion.

Sheffield lives in Belvedere with his wife Christi and their two daughters. One attends Jackson-Burley Middle School and the other attends Agnor-Hurt Elementary. 

If elected, he plans to continue at JAUNT.

“That perspective and experience, as well as the ones I’ve gained in other private and public positions, will allow me to enhance what I can bring as a Supervisor,” Sheffield said.

At his campaign announcement Tuesday, he had the support of several former co-workers as well as neighbors.

“I’ve seen him active within our community doing good things within our neighborhood,” said Nick Laiacona. “He’s somebody who opens conversations and is able to talk to people and engage them.”

If nominated, Sheffield will face Republican Rodney Thomas in the general election. Thomas defeated David Slutzky by 2,650 votes to 2,349 in 2009.

There are two other campaigns for the Board of Supervisors this year.

In the Samuel Miller District, Republican incumbent Duane Snow is seeking election to a second term. One Democrat, Liz Palmer, has announced she is seeking the nomination to challenge him.

The Albemarle Democratic Committee has not yet scheduled a mass meeting to nominate candidates.

In the Jack Jouett District, school board member Diantha McKeel is mounting an independent bid to succeed the retiring Dennis Rooker. He opted not to seek a fourth term

The Albemarle Republican Committee has yet to announce candidates for the Jack Jouett seat, and have yet to schedule a mass meeting to select their nominees.