Friday, October 9, 2009

Debate – Elswick and Goodman separated by greenways – video

Holini Davis WDBJ7

Ed Elswick - Holini Davis WDBJ7 - Sarah Goodman

Ed Elswick (R) and Sarah Goodman (D) debated at Bent Mountain Elementary School Thursday night. They are running for the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Windsor district. Elswick defeated incumbent Joe McNamara in the Republican primary.

Holini David with WDBJ7 moderate the forum. Written questions were also taken from the audience.

Both Elswick and Goodman agreed on many things. Elswick made clear and repeated several times that Roanoke County has wasted taxpayer’s money on amenities like the recreation center and  greenways. He remarked that on all his interviews for endorsements each asked if he supported funding the greenways. Elswick is adamant about government being involved in only the necessities. He said he “doesn’t expect to get any endorsements” saying that he didn’t believe that telling them what they wanted to hear was being honest.

Elswick is retired from GE in Salem with 31 years of cost control experience. He stressed that they never made their decisions on where to locate a plant based on quality of life.

Elswick said that “he is beholden to no one … am I a radical?” He closed with a commitment if elected “not to extend the scope of government beyond basic services.”

Goodman on the other hand believes strongly in quality of life amenities. She believes that businesses look for culture and outdoor activity as a means of retaining and enticing skilled employees. Goodman said she would work for the regional initiatives to connect the county greenway with those in the surrounding localities.

Goodman is a real estate agent with schools, economic development and jobs are other parts of her platform.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2009, Politics, Roanoke County Politics, Video

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Comments (14)


October 9th, 2009 at 11:16 PM    

In listening to this video and also attending this debate—my observation is that; both candidates did okay in their performance on Thursday’s debate between Goodman and Elswick on Bent Mountain—Goodman however appeared to be by far, the weakest candidate, she looked like a scared rabbit, the entire time she was presenting her side of the issues—Green-ways and Explore Park control, were the only 2 issues I could see that these two disagreed on–
However, Elswick had the confidence ( a good acting job, or for real, not sure on that one–? He appeared to have a much broader base knowledge of the the issues facing Roanoke County.Goodman, just knotted her head, in agreement—and kept saying,the public schools should be the top priority for the Roanoke Co. Supervisors——well everyone knows the importance of keeping good schools in the County—nothing new about that-
The negative on Elswick was, he can come across as very arrogant, and sounds like he intends to be a viligent “watch dog” on all County endeavors and keep tabs on all employees of the county ( especially those that are responsible for spending tax monies)—-checking out every Contact that comes before the board, etc… hardly a doable task—–he needs to get away from that “middle management” mentality, and be more open to work with others for the good of all of his County constituents.

He apparently is pretty open about his close relationship with Charlotte Moore, and Butch Church,( both democrats) so, Elswick, a true Republican, it could not be??
Thats okay—but maybe Elswick should have run as an independent-because that is what he really seems to be…radical, maybe that too–he is giving Roanoke County officials/employees, a real fit down at “city hall”!
maybe that is a good thing, but maybe not—probably should have waited until after the election–I bet he hasn’t made too many best friends these past 3-4 months!

The election, will not be close, Elswick will win in double figures—-but the democratic candidate, Goodman, is not a true test for him—she will beat herself—Elswick should just sit back, and take the next 3 weeks off-

Another quick observation, where were the Republican supervisors, Altizer, and Flora—they were no where to be seen—sure not supporting a “united GOP front”??

Thom Ryder

October 10th, 2009 at 12:19 AM    

I know that Mr. Elswick, although a nice person, did not have the breadth of knowledge on civic matters that Ms. Goodman possesses when my organization, the RCEA-PAC, interviewed both. Goodman, far and away, understood the complexities in providing a public school education program in these challenging financial times. For that reason, she received our endorsement.


October 10th, 2009 at 12:58 AM    

I was not aware of your organization endorsing Goodman, but I am not surprised either—after all she is public teacher, in Roanoke County Schools—I would think your nature inclination would be to “endorse’, one of your own, so to speak–
Now, I am wondering what other groups, pacs etc, have endorsed either Elswick or Goodman—I think I recall Mr. Elswick stating Thursday night, that he received “NO” endorsements from anyone, he had interviewed with??
if this is the case, I am now wondering why?
Elswick said he didn’t spit back to “them” what they wanted to hear—“no “political correctness” comes from me– Elswick quote)—
If anyone else is out there, and has some personal knowledge, of how these so called endorsement interviews went, I would like to hear back from you—
Ed Elswick is certainly not a political correct type of candidate—-he ran as a Republican, and is aligning himself with the democrats—-
He has some guts, I can tell you that!
Win or lose, a lot of folks will either love Mr. Elswick,( a lot) or passionately dislike him, that’s for sure!

ed elswick

October 11th, 2009 at 2:42 PM    

I’m glad you all came to the debate–please come to the next one at Back Creek rescue squad on 10/19. Valeries’ commenst, and the video, should have covered more of the important items we discussed.

If I appeared arrogant it may be because of my passionate belief that we need more citizen input on county matters. I will pursue that with good comprehensive survey. Being upset about some of actions may make my speaking appear to be arrogant–my neighbors will not say that about me.

I will get no major endorsements–all whom I interviewed with seemed to want county money for their cause and my frank answers didn’t suit them. I knew what they wanted to hear but will always be honest.

My interviewing county personnel started 2 years ago–before I decided to run for the office. I simply wanted to knwo how our money was being spent–specifically for the rec center. County employees have shown themselves to be competent and very cooperative, as has Clay Goodman.

The greenways issue, being capitalized on by my opponent, needs explaining. I said more about it than Valerie noted and am not against them–they are great but have limited use outside of the area they are in. You need to know where I come from-Gypsy moths destroyed thousand of acres of trees and are headed to neighborhoods in the valley. Explore park was given away. Concurently, we do greenways. My opinion is that the moth problem should have been addressed and that Explore park is way more important than greenways–both are good, and can be done, but to ignore major items and concentrate on one makes little sense to me.

I intend to speak for citizens and have been to thousands of their homes to ascertain their opinions.

You are correct, Thom, politically speaking I should probably shut up–can’t though it bothers me too much.

Ed Elswick


October 11th, 2009 at 10:50 PM    

I attended the Goodman/Elswick debate, last Thursday, it was okay, but from reading this Roanoke Free Press article, one likely could come to the conclusion, that Sarah Goodman,came out the winner,and brought home the “blue ribbon”. The Free Press article strongly emphasized Goodman’s views on education and the importance of Greenways—but Elswick had a lot more important issues, he talked about too—they were not reflected in this article i.e. leased revenue bonds,used by the County, so the constituents do not have the option to vote on major Roanoke County projects, e.g. the 32 million dollar Recreation Center, just to name one of them.

In this article I also didn’t see reference made to Elswick’s statement,and possible solutions on our consistent rise in our property taxes? Even though, our houses values have dropped considerably. The assessments keep going up and up.

Elswick researched and found the fact that Roanoke County has the second highest % of real estate taxes in the State of Virginia??

Goodman to my knowledge, never addressed any of these important issues—granted her stand on public education is important, but Ed Elswick indicated that his position on public education is one his top priorities too.
When Goodman was asked about her opinion on, if the County was over-regulated, her answer was, ” I am not sure what “over regulated means.”—She is running for a Board position, and she doesn’t understand the importance of local regulations??
I am asking that the Free Press be more comprehensive and balanced, in their coverage—they should get a second chance, the next debate between Elswick and Goodman will be October 19th, at Back Creek Fire station.


October 14th, 2009 at 9:38 AM    

I am aware that both candidates interviewed or answered the questionnaires for the RCEA, the Business Leadership Fund and the Sierra Club. My understanding is that Ms. Goodman has received or will be receiving the endorsement from all of these groups.


October 14th, 2009 at 10:45 AM    

Elswick definitely has turned some heads—-he states that he didn’t answer the questions of these so called “funds or organizations groups, the “politically correct way”—just spitting back to them, what they wanted to hear—in order to get their endorsements.

I have no problem with Elswick’s position on this issue at all. It appears,the so called value of these type of groups, ( to a political candidate, anyway), is to gain the candidate’s support, by endorsing them, and thus giving them money—and in turn, the candidate “votes” their way in issues that affect these type of funds or groups.

Sounds like they have taken lessons from Congress—-and we know what a mess that situation is in…

Elswick has his own opinions and beliefs, and is NOT afraid to stand by them,and speak up for them, even if it means he may lose some votes and “group” endorsements. He is very expressive and open with these opinions and his intentions to follow thru with them, if he is elected.

I would call that passionate and determined—-at its best.

I would say, we need more of these kind of transparent politicians—locally , statewide, and nationally.


October 14th, 2009 at 10:48 AM    


I am not familiar with the group,”The Business Leadership Fund”—can you elaborate on exactly what this group is, and what purpose they serve?



October 14th, 2009 at 10:59 AM    


Prominent local business people make up this group. Their endorsement, along with the others, show that Ms. Goodman can foster relationships with a broad range of people and groups.

Kay-your comments need to have the disclaimer that you are part of Mr. Elswick’s campaign committee.

Boards set policy and hire key people to set and implement procedure. What Mr. Elswick is proposing far oversteps the board mandate. Lack of understanding of the board/county administration relationship will grind any progress to a halt.

Yes, our assessments are high…..but would you sell your house for the assessed value? No, most people think their houses are worth way more.


October 14th, 2009 at 12:56 PM    

First of all, currently I am NOT a part of Ed Elswick’s campaign group. I have not be involved in that, since August of 2009.
Yes, I have attended debates,and have written my personal opinions on this Board of Supervisors race. However,I have not done any active work for the Elswick campaign Committee in the past 3 months.
I do agree on Elswick’s stand on some issues, that are important to me. I also feel strongly, I have the right to express them in an open forum.
To address the other issue you mention– can you explain to me the board/county administration relationship, and how what Mr. Elswick is proposing would over-step the Board mandate?
Can you also tell me what specifically it is that Elswick is proposing, that you state, will not be effective, and why?

Thanks, Kay

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