Letters to the Editor: Ann Mallek Advocates for White Hall

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I want to re-elect Ann Mallek to the Board of Supervisors this November. I want her there because she’s been doing the important work of meeting with the people to listen to their concerns about living in a growth area. She’s the one who kept the County’s promises moving forward—the library, the sidewalks, and the controlled growth. She’s the one who kept rural concerns front and center in this balance. She met with the community dozens of times and listened—I know—several of my students went to those meetings for their citizenship credits, and she heard their ideas—their non-voting constituent ideas. 

Ann is never afraid to take on the difficult balancing act that is Albemarle County—rural and concentrated housing, growth and zoning, school funding and taxes. She’s accessible, she’s hardworking, she understands the issues, and she knows it takes continual diligence and communication to work for a great county. 

Let’s make sure Ann Mallek is re-elected to serve us this November. 

Margie Shepherd
Free Union

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It would be hard to exaggerate the work Ann Mallek has put into her role as White Hall Supervisor since winning her first election in 2007. A few years ago, I wrote Ann about what I considered a too-high posted speed limit on the road by our house. To my surprise, she replied within about an hour, copying the local VDOT office. After study, the limit came down to 35 mph.
This letter strongly supports Ann’s re-election, but it must also discuss her opponent, Steve Harvey, who needs to bone up on the structure of county government and may face a steep learning curve.

On his website he complains about property assessments, which in fact the county assessor’s office, not the Board of Supervisors, independently establishes. He appears to believe that the supervisors decide the city/county revenue split and control the school system; they do not.

Mr. Harvey’s public statements further assert that “many” people fail to start new firms or build first houses because the current board “lacks transparency” and wallows in “cronyism and business extortion” — serious charges that he levels without specifics or evidence. He says many businesses leave and others “lose interest” in bringing good jobs to Albemarle.

Yet federal census data stands this view of Albemarle on its head. New-house permits went up from about 325 in 2012 to 1,100 in 2018. Property values are rising. Population and employment grow. Wages, per capita, and median-household income rise. Business starts have climbed steadily since 2008, and especially since 2015.
Mr. Harvey also attacks Ann on a dead issue, the so-called rain tax, which once caused so much controversy. Back then my farming neighbors understandably opposed charging rural landowners a fee for storm-water runoff from impermeable surfaces. For a time, Ann defended the proposal, but in town-hall meetings and elsewhere she listened conscientiously to arguments against it. In the end, she agreed with its critics. The effects of storm water “are not as equal as the theory assumed,” she said at a pivotal meeting of the supervisors; “people cannot absorb the extra burden.” She and the board dropped the proposed fee for good.

I support Ann’s reelection because she listens and thinks about what she hears. Honest, unselfish, principled yet happy to listen and grow, she always does her best to balance local, immediate interests with the good of the entire public over the long term.

Robert J. Brugger
Browns Gap Tpke

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I have been a resident of Crozet for 30 years and for 8 of those years I was appointed by Ann Mallek to serve as the Planning Commissioner for the White Hall District, which includes Crozet.  Never during any of the years I served as Planning Commissioner or since has there been a time when Ann didn’t fully support the community of Crozet. Ann has been a constant presence at the Crozet Community Advisory Council meetings, providing her experience and knowledge of County government to help deal with the many issues that have faced Crozet. Additionally, Ann always attends the Crozet Community Association meeting, answering questions from citizens who attend.

Ann has been the stone wall that has protected Route 250 from looking like Route 29 North, as well as blocking the busy and accident prone I-64 interchange from development.

It was Ann who has dealt with the disastrous vote by the previous Supervisor that effectively doubled the population recommended in the original Master Plan. If Crozet is to continue to be this wonderful small town in the middle of the beautiful rural landscape of Albemarle County, we cannot take the chance on the unknown and the potential for another vote that could destroy Crozet’s future. Please vote for Ann Mallek.

Tom Loach
Crozet

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You may have seen Ann Mallek out on the campaign trail working hard—with an event almost every night, there are plenty of chances to meet and talk with her. I’d like to say a few words instead about her opponent, so people are aware what is at stake in the election this Nov 5.

Ann Mallek’s opponent seems to be unclear on what the Board of Supervisors actually does; he spends a lot of time speaking about issues that the Board doesn’t decide (he sees nothing wrong with showing our young people we are fine with casually celebrating the imagery of a pro-slavery regime in our schools, but that is a School Board issue) or that have already been dropped (a plan to fund water quality and infrastructure projects by charging property owners for the amount of pollutant-carrying rainwater that flows off impermeable surfaces on their land and into county drains, which Ann actually voted against after exploring the unintended impacts, is dead.)

Her opponent also openly espouses a deregulation platform that would give free rein to developers, when we are still trying to deal with the effects of the last “giveaways” Supervisor we had: Ann’s predecessor allowed developers to build without providing a fair contribution to roads, schools and parks.

Of most concern to me is that her opponent seems to think Crozet has been getting too much attention. But we in Crozet think we need representation on the issues that affect us.  We want to grow, but we want to grow smart: keep our unique charm and character and have basic infrastructure that keeps up with population.

I’d like to urge everyone to bring a friend to the polls Nov 5. We also have a Commonwealth’s Attorney up—Hingeley—who isn’t afraid of tiki torches, and a replacement for Landes’ old seat—Kitchen—who is extremely hardworking and constituent-oriented.

Atieno Bird
Crozet

 

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