Liz Palmer of Ivy has entered the race for the Albemarle Board of Supervisors seat for the Samuel Miller District, challenging Duane Snow, who has held it for one term.
Palmer made her announcement on the front steps of the Albemarle County Office Building in Charlottesville on April 11, where she was introduced by her campaign manager, Sally Thomas, who held the seat for 16 years—a winner in a write-in campaign in her first election in 1994—before retiring in 2010.
Palmer, a veterinarian, got involved in civic affairs when she became interested in county water supply issues and stream health and became active in Albemarle County Service Authority planning.
Thomas said Palmer’s career has shown that “she has a soft side and is used to dealing with crises in pets’ lives,” but “she has a hard facts side, too. She dug into our water and sewer systems and saw what we were allowing to happen to our mountain streams.” Palmer joined the League of Women Voters and, working as a citizen, “revised our water supply system,” Thomas said. She praised Palmer, who was eventually appointed to the county water board, for her diligence in getting command of facts and policies.
Palmer said her goals are “supporting excellence in our schools, natural resource protection and maintaining public trust. I intend to hike from one end of the Samuel Miller District to the other knocking on doors and learning from the voters what they see as the key issues to be addressed by the Board.”
She said she has heard from parents already who are worried about school sizes and the effects of growth on them. Redistricting, changing school attendance zone boundaries, and school additions are choices confronting the western Albemarle schools.
Palmer credited citizen concern with producing a legacy of intelligent and effective public planning in Albemarle. “This planning and protecting, which I intend to emphasize, is essential not only to our quality of life, but also for the robust economic vitality of our county,” she said.
“I have a background of being an ordinary citizen activist. I know the frustration of feeling that officials are not listening, or watching decisions being made that seem based on ideology instead of the best interests of Albemarle citizens. Public trust can’t be taken for granted, but an elected body must constantly prove that it is paying attention to citizens and thinking for the good of both present and future generations. I won’t forget what it feels like to be a citizen in the audience. Public trust is the glue that binds our democracy and renders government functional and efficient. Any decision worth making can be made in the light of day.”
She said she will posting statements about her positions on issues on her website, Lizpalmerforsupervisor.com so that citizens can familiarize themselves with her views.
Retired James Madison University professor of finance Brooks Marshall is volunteering as her campaign treasurer.