By Duane Snow
I am Duane Snow and I am running for re-election to the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors representing the Samuel Miller District. My deep roots as a native-born Charlottesville/Albemarle resident provide me with great appreciation and respect for this area.
I graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Advertising and Business Management. In 1978, I became CEO of Snow’s Landscape and Garden Center and remained in this position until 2003. My wife Rena and I have been married for 46 years and have five children who all attended Albemarle County Schools. We are also fortunate that the majority of our 14 grandchildren live in the Charlottesville/Albemarle area. Through my business and community involvement, I am strongly aware of the needs of our county.
As an Albemarle County representative, I am dedicated to excellence in education and the preservation of our beautiful rural areas. I am willing and available to listen to and represent the people of the Samuel Miller District.
My priorities for the next four years include:
Partnering with the School Board and community to build the additional space needed to educate our students. Our schools are continuing to grow. It is imperative that we all work together to ensure that our children have the facilities and resources that they need. In order to achieve this, we must continue to manage the resources that are available to us.
Continuing to implement the County Economic Development Plan. Prior to 2009, we did not have an economic development plan. Over the last four years, we have researched and developed a plan for our area. We are currently in the implementation phase of our plan, which includes:
Increasing workforce development opportunities to further career-ladder opportunities and higher wages. Supporting our K-12 population, as well as Continuing Education and training programs, to prepare the local workforce for the demands of current and future employers, and working to attract industries and businesses such as bio-science, medical devices, business and financial services, information technology and defense security, and agribusiness/food processing which support and enhance the strengths of our county.
Working to bring Internet and cell coverage to all areas of the Samuel Miller District. Ten percent of our county residents do not have Internet or cell coverage. These residents are not only faced with inconveniences, but with added burdens to their family budget and potential safety and health concerns. Adults lack the ability to correspond by email, efficiently manage a home business and/or potentially perform their job responsibilities, and participate in certain family, community, and more widespread projects. Children face a distinct learning disadvantage concerning their school work and research. Families have the added expense of having to keep a land-line in their home. Our citizens are unable to call for help in case of an emergency situation. Our first responders are potentially slowed in their response time.
The following are steps being taken to help resolve this issue: I have put together a group of professionals and county staff to look at what it would take to get service into the various areas and analyze what the county can do to facilitate the process. I am working with the county staff and the Thomas Jefferson Planning District to search for funding through grants. I have met with many citizens to discuss this issue. I listened to their concerns and solicited ideas from them on how this issue can be resolved.
Following through on the building of our infrastructure. The rebuilding of the Ragged Mountain Dam, one of my goals during my first term, is under construction. On completion, the dam will take care of our water needs for the next 50-plus years. Road projects that have been planned and have funding allocated include: widening of Rt. 29 from the Rivanna River (by Sam’s Club) to the Hollymead subdivision; constructing the Hillsdale Extension from Whole Foods on Hydraulic Rd. to East Rio Rd; putting an extra turn lane onto the Rt. 250 Bypass next to Best Buy on Rt. 29; and construction of the Rt. 29 Bypass. This will extend from Leonard Sandridge Road to Route 29 North, north of the Rivanna River. When completed, this Bypass will eliminate 15 traffic lights and remove large trucks and much of the commuter traffic from our neighborhood streets and commercial shopping areas.
I fully support the construction of the Rt. 29 Bypass. Additionally, I fully understand and agree with the importance of addressing the environmental concerns, avoiding the historic cemetery, and the need to discuss in further detail the landscaping and noise buffer concerns that we all have. As we envision the total completion of the Bypass, we need to remember that the 250 Bypass was completed in several stages during the course of many years. Like the 250 Bypass, there will be future extensions to the Rt. 29 Bypass. Many of the concerns that are voiced today regarding the new bypass are the same concerns that were raised when the 250 Bypass was proposed. Can you imagine the traffic nightmare, economic hardships, and safety hazards that we would have today if we had not moved forward with the 250 Bypass?
My record for the past four years shows my commitment to education, proper management of the county’s finances, creating quality jobs, working to complete our long overdue transportation projects, and protecting our rural resources. My commitment to you for the next four years is to continue to work with our citizens, other Supervisors, and our County staff to continue to make Albemarle County a great community.
To learn more of my vision for the Samuel Miller District, please visit my website, www.snowforsupervisor.com.