Thursday, May 19, 2011

LTE: Candidate Tracy Pyles offers reasons for seeking re-election to August Board of Supervisors

[Editor's Note: Tracy Pyles is supervisor of the Pastures District of Augusta County. The real estate assessment issue in Augusta County began in 2009. The staggered terms issue came up in May 2010.]

To the Editor:

I have decided to seek a fifth term as Pastures supervisor. I had considered running for Commissioner of Revenue because I believe a change is in order and because many people encouraged me to do so. But I enjoy the work of supervisor and think the November elections will result in a more responsive Board.

I am encouraged by the possible election of three excellent candidates. David Karaffa in Beverley Manor, Dr. Kurt Michael in the Wayne District, and Dr. Marshall Pattie in North River all bring impressive resumes. They have each demonstrated a capacity and desire to learn, as well as enviable self-achievement. In discussions with each, I found fellow students of government who have sought first to understand the issues and then had the ability and creativity to propose effective solutions not handed to them.

Each, I believe, understands that the flawed reassessment of 2009 was an avoidable error that, for the county's good, should have been aborted. And it needs to be replaced as soon as possible, not maintained longer, as imposed by my fellow board members. (We know now that while our property values increased an amount equivalent to $17,000 per person, the rest of the state had reductions of $4,000 per capita. The problem lies in understanding that our pretend paper wealth will mean fewer real dollars being returned from Richmond for Augusta County schools.)

I also believe these men will support changing our election cycles from "all at once" to more sensible staggered terms. The existing board would not even support a public hearing on staggered terms. Self-preservation trumped public input and more frequent voter critique.

I will be running as an independent. It better reflects who I am and is how local elections really ought to be. I hope I have earned another term and hope to personally ask each of you in Pastures for your support in the coming campaign.

Tracy Pyles

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