Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Republican Candidate Forum

RoxAnne Christley, Joe McNamara, Mike Bailey, Al Bedrosian

RoxAnne Christley, Joe McNamara, Mike Bailey, Al Bedrosian

Monday night, about 75 people came to the Roanoke County Administration Building to hear from the four candidates running as Republicans for two seats on the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors.  The two candidates for the Hollins district are Mike Bailey and Al Bedrosian.  The two candidates for the Windsor Hills district are RoxAnne Christley and Joe McNamara.  Jason Peters is the lone candidate for the Vinton district, the third open seat, and since he has no opposition and no primary, he did not participate.

Voting in the firehouse primary will take place this Saturday, May 11th, from 10:00am to 3:00pm.  If you live in Hollins, you will vote at the Hollins Library on Peters Creek Road.  If you live in Windsor Hills, you will vote at the Brambleton Center on Brambleton Avenue.  You must show proper identification as a resident of either district and pledge to support the Republican winner in the general election on November 5, 2013.

Local residents submitted questions to David Suetterlein, Chairman of the Roanoke County Republican Committee in advance of the forum.  Each candidate was allowed opening remarks and an equal amount of time to answer the questions.  A coin toss determined speaking order.

Joe McNamara (JM), touted his previous twelve years of service on the board and spoke about his eventual loss to Ed Elswick four years ago.  He attended UVA and is a CPA with a degree in accounting.  He stated that during his years on the board he helped balance twelve budgets, as constitutionally required.  During his tenure, the board instituted a combined county/school debt budget payment resolve to help either the county or the schools in tough economic times.

RoxAnne Christley (RC) touted her long volunteer service with many organizations and candidates through the years.  She stated that “what you see is what you get and I always give 110%.”  She said she will always tell county residents the truth and considers herself a Reagan conservative, whereby she wants a citizen government.  She said she has personally reached over 1098 households during her campaign, which shows her hard work ethic.

Mike Bailey (MB) is for small, limited government, protection of your freedoms and property rights, and the support of the free enterprise system.  He chastised his opponent for saying he does not believe in any debt or government restrictions on the use of private property.  Bailey stated that the county must have some debt to be able to function and there also must be some type of restrictions on property or people could just do anything they wanted to the detriment of their neighbors.

Al Bedrosian (AB) said he is a limited government person and has spent a great deal of time knocking on doors to listen to people and their concerns.  He says the county debt is a big problem and that each citizen’s share is $2,100.00.  He called the new South County Library the “Taj Mahal” and feels the county should not have put us in debt with the Greenridge Recreational Center or the library.

Chairman Suetterlein asked the same questions to each candidate.

  1. What would you do to create new jobs and help the free enterprise system? 

AB – Keep taxes low for everyone, don’t pick and choose who gets a tax break.

MB – Infrastructure to attract new business and provide economic incentives as needed.

RC – Lower taxes and less regulation are needed to fill our empty buildings.

JM – I am against incentives, we need to market to unique opportunities.

  1. What would you do to improve education? 

JM – I am proud of our school system, it is one of the best around.  We need low student to teacher ratio.

RC – We need to give the approximately $2 million to the schools instead of spending it on dues, fees and contributions to other groups, which the county does now.

AB – I home school my children and I want to see school choice.

MB – I believe in parental choice and more dollars to the classroom.

  1. Identify a portion of the county expenses that need to be reduced. 

MB – We need to prioritize and then cut.

AB – I would have to look at the budget and prioritize with the help of the department heads.

RC – I know it is a small amount, but I would return the money currently spent on ICLEI dues.

JM – Talk to the department heads and work out a savings deal, wherein they receive back 60% of what they manage to save.

  1. Did you or would you have supported the Greenridge Recreational Center and the Slate Hill (South Peak) development? 

JM – I did not support Greenridge, but I did vote to fund it.  I was against Slate Hill.

RC – The developers of Slate Hill could have funded it themselves and not put the debt on the county.

AB – Greenridge is beautiful, but it is not paying for itself.  That is not the role of government.  As for Slate Hill, we have no right to incentivize private business.

MB – Government should not compete with ongoing businesses.  I would have voted no on Greenridge.  Slate Hill gave away 80% of our taxes for the next 30 years, so no.

  1. Do you promise to vote for a Republican as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors? 

MB – No, it depends on the person.

AB – Yes, I believe in the Republican Creed.

RC – Yes.

JM – I won’t promise, but I would not vote for a Democrat, I would vote for either a Republican or an Independent.

  1. Is there a specific project you would like to take the lead on? 

JM – When I was on the board, the biggest expense was payroll, then benefits.  I think we can control our health care costs by having a wellness coach and I would take the lead on that.

RC – The storm water debacle is coming, so I think we need to have a partnership with the private sector on certain issues so we can use those dollars to pay for storm water management.

AB – The big issue is the growing debt.  I would love to chair going into the community and asking “how do we do this better and lower costs?”

MB – Start with a zeroed out budget and build it up, instead of working off of last years figures and just increasing them.

By Carla M. Bream

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2013, Elections, Politics, Roanoke County Politics

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