Washington politicians do not have to listen to constituents. Virginia politicians stay out of site on off election years, but local county supervisors make...

Washington politicians do not have to listen to constituents. Virginia politicians stay out of site on off election years, but local county supervisors make decisions that matter to you immediately. They can be convinced by their constituents on how to vote, and you can reach them by phone and actually talk to them, not an aid.

But you have to vote, you have to know the issues, and you have to vote. Supervisors and School Board members are elected every four years so you may want to do a little homework and find out how they stand on the issues.

This year there are not many choices. There is no opposition for Supervisors in Bermuda or Matoaca districts. Voters in the Village News readership area, have a choice only in Dale District.

There is a little more competition in Matoaca and Dale districts for School Board, although Bermuda does not have a voter choice for School Board, while Matoaca and Dale districts both have some competition, tougher completion exissin Dale with possible landslide in Matoaca.

For the next three weeks in the Village News readership area, you can get a feeling about what the candidates stand for; whether they are unchallenged incumbents or knock-down, drag-out competitors. On this and the following page, the same question will be asked of four Supervisors, opposed or not. The same approach is repeated for potential School Board members.

All of the Constitutional offices are uncontested: Circuit Court Clerk, Wendy S. Hughes; Commissioner of Revenue, Joseph A. Horbal; Commonwealth’s Attorney, W. W. “Billy” Davenport; Sheriff, Karl S. Leonard; and Treasurer, Richard A. Cordle.

Four candidates are running for two seats as Soil and Water District Directors: David E. “Dave” Adkins, Carey Lynn Allen, Margie Davis, Rudolph H. “Rudy” Hull

Should the School Board have total control over their budget and spending and without oversight or approval of the Board of Supervisors?

john-erbachJOHN ERBACH (DALE)
First, I do not believe state law would permit the Board of Supervisors to completely relinquish their budget authority in this way. Regardless, oversight is always appropriate to ensure good stewardship of the public’s resources. The School Board, however, is often in a better position to understand the needs of the schools. Accordingly, it is the School Board’s duty to effectively communicate these needs to the Board of Supervisors and justify the resources requested. The solution is a working relationship between the Board of Supervisors and the School Board. If the two governing bodies work well together, then this is not an adversarial form of oversight but a partnership that best ensures responsible funding of our public education system. I bring to this position the skills necessary to foster cooperation and consensus between the two boards.

michael-jackson1MICHAEL JACKSON (DALE)
School Boards in Virginia are independently elected governing bodies and as such have control over their budgeting and spending operations. School Boards have no taxing authority in Virginia, that responsibility rests not in the hands of the county’s Board of Supervisors. With this relationship set in statutory code by the Commonwealth, it is imperative the two elected bodies forge a cooperative working relationship. I believe that a cooperative relationship starts with transparency, a word which this current school board has not fully embraced.  It is also my belief that after November 3 ,if given the privilege by the voters to represent the Dale District on the Chesterfield County School Board I, Michael Jackson, a certified fraud examiner and a trained accountant, will help ensure transparency and fiduciary oversight of tax payer resources entrusted to the school board.

School boards do not have the authority to tax in Virginia. The Board of Supervisors has the authority to set the tax rate and control the resulting revenues. Once they decide what portion of the county revenues they will appropriate to the schools their authority in theory ends there. The school board has line item control of the budget.

rob-thompsonTotal control, without oversight or approval of the Board of Supervisors” isn’t on the table at all based on the Chesterfield County Charter. The BOS has always had the responsibility of overseeing school spending and the School Board has the responsibility for running the School system which includes school construction. In general, the BOS goes along with what the school system requests, with the understanding that the schools will try to bring a balanced budget and reasonable spending proposals. The repeated issues of  lack of transparency, poor management and shoddy record keeping by the administration within the area of school construction has led to the BOS taking a larger role by creating a joint oversight board. The School Board should continue to ensure that corrective processes are put in place and ensure personnel accountability to keep these issues from happening in the future.

The School Board and Board of Supervisors must work together developing budgets and spending taxpayer dollars. Budgeting and spending cannot be done in isolation as the Supervisors hold the taxing authority while the School Board best understands the priorities and needs of the school system. We have seen the benefits of both boards working together over the last four years through additional local funding to support K-12 education. There is still more work to be done to improve K-12 spending and accountability models at all levels of government.