Fluvanna BOS Candidate Forum

By. Bryan Rothamel, Field Officer

PALMYRA — The four vying for two spots of the Fluvanna Board of Supervisors participated in a cordial candidate forum last week.

The forum, put on by the Fluvanna Chamber of Commerce, had each candidate answering eight questions plus opening and closing statements. The questions varied from why each is running to infrastructure to what each candidate wants at the end of the term.

Columbia District

elizabeth franklinElizabeth Franklin and Mike Sheridan are both running as independents for the Columbia District.

Franklin sees herself as a highly experienced candidate because of her time following the supervisors the last few years.

“I don’t think anyone running has the grasps of Fluvanna issues as I do,” said Franklin.

Sheridan believes it is time to ‘restore the trust in leadership’ of the mike sheridan credit Fluvanna Reviewsupervisors. He mentioned his history as a coach to help find compromises and forge the government together as a unit, especially in working with the School Board.

“We have to find a way to get things done here,” said Sheridan.  When it comes to school funding Sheridan, a school teacher, described the issues with current pay structure.

Sheridan said, “We have to find a way to help the teachers. I live with it every day.”

In other answers, Franklin mentioned that the classrooms couldn’t be ‘robbed’ anymore. In the direct question about school funding, she responded, “The trick is we have to look at all the things we are spending money on.”

Rivanna District

In the Rivanna District, Republican nominee Rick Kelly is against independent candidate Tony O’Brien.

“I am supposed to ask questions and that’s what I’ll do,” said Kelly who also announced he will not take the supervisor salary.

O’Brien sees how Fluvanna has grown over the past 20 years and how that has effected the county services.  “We have grown. We have grown substantially. We have pushed our core services to the limit,” said O’Brien.

When it comes to balancing the tax base, Kelly said the county needs to plan Zion Crossroads.  “We need to study this issue, we need a plan,” said Kelly. He also rejected the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission studies and warned a plan with Aqua is not officially done.

O’Brien says infrastructure is critical in economic developmtony obrienent because other counties offer services including water. He said businesses will not relocate in Fluvanna if the county is “not competitive in terms of the service we offer to the other counties.”

In four years, Kelly wants to see the budget process giving everyone a little piece of the pie, but noted the pie is only so big. “Everybody gets a little bit of everything that want,” said Kelly.

O’Brien’s vision of what will happen in four years if he is elected is the long discussed economic development is finally started.

Closing statements

The candidates closed the less than two hour forum with two minute statements.

Franklin again brought up her history of attending meetings, “I believe I’m one of the best prepared supervisors to take that seat.”

Sheridan discussed his hopes to improve the county, “We want this county to be the best county in Virginia for us to live.”

Kelly wants to see creative ways to solve the county problems, “There are a lot of things going on out there but we have to look. I don’t see that now.”

O’Brien closed that the county has made continual mistakes with Zion Crossroads, “Do nothing isn’t going to change the mistakes of this county.” He continued, “We need leaders that are willing to take a few risks. If we do nothing, we get nothing.”

The election is Nov. 5. Don Weaver (Republican nominee) is running unopposed for the Cunningham District.


The Free Enterprise Forum’s coverage of Fluvanna County is provided by a grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® and by the support of readers like you.


Bryan Rothamel covers Fluvanna County for the Free Enterprise Forum.

Photo Credits: Candidate Websites, Fluvanna Review (Sheridan)

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