A special election on Nov. 5 will decide the successor to former Scottsville Supervisor Christopher J. Dumler, who resigned on June 5, two years before his term would have expired.
“This is a really exciting day because I’ve known Jane for a long time,” said Del. David J. Toscano, who introduced Dittmar to the assembled crowd at the Albemarle County Office Building.
“I got to know Jane when I was mayor of the City of Charlottesville in the early nineties,” Toscano said. “At the time she was running the Chamber of Commerce. It was really interesting to see her approach to problem solving and her willingness to reach out to people.”
Dittmar, 57, has lived in Scottsville for 15 years and in the area for 35. She served as president of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce for 9 years and now operates her own mediation firm, helping litigants resolve their disputes in local courts.
“To be able to have a mediator on the Board of Supervisors…wow, that’s really terrific,” Toscano enthused. “It’s a six-member board, so you’ve got to get four votes. Getting a supermajority requires a lot of skill and talent, and boy, she has it.”
Dittmar promised to draw on her experience as a mediator to bring greater collaboration and transparency to the county government.
“There will be no so-called midnight votes when I am supervisor, and mark my words on that,” Dittmar said, alluding to the infamous 2011 vote to reintroduce the Western Bypass. “The people’s business needs to be conducted in a transparent and accountable way.”
Using her background as a small business owner and Chamber president, Dittmar also aims to create economic growth in her district.
“When I’m supervisor, we will find a solution to the Scottsville Tire Factory vacancy,” Dittmar pledged. “We will continue to stimulate tourism and agribusiness, which is very essential in our district and in the whole county. And when we build, we will build outside of the rural area.”
Supporters believe Dittmar’s personal experience as a mother could help her address another important county issue—public education.
“Jane has six children and has spent a lot of time in the various county schools like Brownsville, Stone-Robinson, and Western Albemarle. She knows a lot about public education,” Toscano said.
Beginning tomorrow, Dittmar is taking her campaign on the road. She hopes to find out what Scottsville District residents’ concerns are, as well as secure their support.
“I’ll be starting in the southern jewel of Scottsville, and traveling up to those who live around Cale Elementary School,” Dittmar said.
“I’ll [visit] those who live around Monticello High School, those who live down that beautiful road that Monticello and Michie Tavern and Ashlawn are on, and of course, those in my area, which is the Stone-Robinson district quite to the north.”
Last month, 10 candidates contended for an interim appointment to the Scottsville District seat vacated by Dumler. On July 10, the board chose William “Petie” Craddock, a former planning commissioner.
Craddock will serve until after the November special election, at which point the winner will be sworn in and take office immediately.
The deadline for all candidates, including independents, to qualify for appearance on the special election ballot is August 16.