I know Brad Rykal. He lives down the street from me. He’s a truly kind and decent person. I know he cares deeply about our community. I’m glad he’s running for White Hall supervisor, and I think he’s running for the right reasons. If he wins, I’m confident he’ll do the job honorably.
But as much as I enjoy any spot on the ballot where I can feel warmly toward all of the listed candidates, I strongly support Ann Mallek in this election, and I’d encourage you to do so, too.
I’ve heard neighbors say that Ann’s out of touch. But when I first got paired up with Ann for a canvassing shift back in 2019, she astonished me with her detailed, granular knowledge of what was going on in our district, down to the status of specific curb cuts in obscure streets in Old Trail. Knocking doors with her again in late summer this year, watching her talk with my neighbors about their concerns and frustrations, I was impressed once more by how much she appreciates and understands the challenges Crozet is facing, and how hard she’s been working to address them. Even when VDOT pulls funding or inflation drives up estimated construction costs or one of a hundred other outside aggravations arises that the Board of Supervisors can’t snap its fingers and magically fix, Ann keeps plugging away. She doesn’t give up.
When COVID hit, VDOT funding for a crash-preventing, traffic-jam-alleviating traffic circle at 250/Rockfish Gap near Mechum’s Trestle evaporated. But Ann kept calling. She followed up again and again for 18 months until VDOT reinstated the funding. Ann says the project is fully funded and gets under way in early 2024.
I’ve also heard my neighbors accuse Ann of being in developers’ pockets. That doesn’t square with the Ann Mallek who, in early 2022, emphatically urged me to make sure everyone in our community knew how important stream buffers were, and how bad it was when developers tried to pipe over streams to build more units. She told me this, specifically for wide public distribution, months before the Montclair fracas hit the newspaper.
I understand folks’ concerns about growth and traffic. I’m confident that Ann does, too—and that she’s never stopped working to address them. I think government is hard, with a lot of moving parts. I appreciate public servants who prioritize getting things right over doing things fast. That’s Ann’s self-described approach to the job.
You can greatly like and respect the challenger in an election, but still believe that the incumbent has earned your continued confidence. I’m confident in Ann Mallek—in her knowledge, experience, and clear-eyed tenacity. I don’t have to take anyone’s word for it. I’ve seen it up close and personal. I hope you’ll reach out to Ann, speak to her yourself or attend one of her community forums, and see that for yourself.