Posts Tagged ‘BoS’

Direct Mail Only Works With Good Data

January 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Patrick Ruffinni makes an interesting point about the values of primaries over conventions in terms of identifying voters. He does this in the context of next Tuesday’s special election for Fairfax’s Board Chairman. 

I’ll be out of town, so I requested an absentee ballot, which came in the mail yesterday. That same day, I got a hand addressed piece of AB Chase mail from the Fairfax County Democrats, along with one anti-Herrity mailer from the DPV and mail from a third party candidate running on a platform of low taxes.


What’s wrong with this picture? Two mail pieces from Democrats, one a hand-addressed AB chase piece. One from an independent low-tax candidate, who for all I know, could be a Republican (we don’t have party listed on our ballots for county offices — causing confusion if you don’t have a sample ballot from your county committee).

Why do I get more Democratic mail than Republican mail? On a couple of occasions, I have availed myself of the opportunity to help select the Democratic nominee when we had no contested primary. But I have also voted in Republican primaries, including the extremely low-turnout VA-8 primary last year.

The bottom line: There is no reason that as a past primary voter who is a supervoter in both primaries and generals should not be getting Republican mail. I also got very little GOTV mail from Republicans in the general election last year — though I did get robocalls from John McCain in the primary.

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Conservatives in Action in local politics

January 30, 2009 Leave a comment

From SWAC Girl in Augusta County we have a great example of conservative action at the ground level. Activists are speaking out against outrageous increases in assessments (in some cases over 50%) that will lead to de-facto tax hikes if rates are kept at the same level. 

This is sort of organized action and the sort of citizen reporting we need in Shenandoah County.

Accountability in Strasburg

January 21, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s not every day that you get representatives who actually want to see where they’re making mistakes and having issues. From Strasburg, we here that Mayor Tim Taylor is instituting performance reviews for councilmen. From the NVDaily:

“I think feedback’s important,” Taylor said Thursday. Though the council has shared comments and issues during work sessions, he said, its members have never before been asked to complete “any formal-type document like this.”

The three-page performance evaluation asks the council members to reflect and comment on their individual roles and responsibilities, council meetings, committee meetings, the support of the town staff and the mayor’s performance. He has asked the council to return the evaluations to him by Jan. 30.

“It’s almost as much for me as much as it is for them,” said Taylor, who has served on the council since 2003 and as mayor since July. The council’s four newest members — Robert Baker, Richard Redmon, Justin Ritenour and Carlyle Swafford — have been on the panel for about six months now, he said, and are likely ready to “reflect back” on their experience so far.

“I think it’s good to do this now,” he said, with the council being as “young” as it is and Taylor being new to his position. “I’ll probably look at doing it on a yearly basis.”

Taylor plans to meet one-on-one with each of the council members to discuss their evaluations, he said. He will compile all the comments and look for similarities, he said, and “use that information as a foundation to see if we can improve.”

If he hears the same remarks on an issue from six of the eight council members, he said, then that’s “something we need to look at.”

A great idea for a locality where accountability and trust is unfortunately lacking. Many blog readers may remember that Strasburg has upended its entire elected council over the last four years due to many public concerns about openness and transparency. If only county government could do the same….

Send in the Candidates!

January 19, 2009 Leave a comment

It’s already nineteen days into the year and, so far, we have no word on candidates for the Board of Supervisors. Three positions are up this year  (Districts 1, 4 and 5) and so far there’s no word from the incumbents or from any potential challengers–publicly at least.  Sharon Baroncelli is rumored to be facing an inter-party challenge from businessman Joe Wobbe, and Dennis Morris, should he run again, is said to at least be facing realtor and entrepreneur H.B. Sager, most likely as an independent. No word from District 1, but Dick Neese will likely seek re-election. On the House of Delegates front, Todd Gilbert is expected to run again without opposition. 

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