Archived Story

Local, state officials seek re-election

Published 10:18am Friday, April 5, 2013

BY STEPHEN H. COWLES/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Playback58@gmail.com

ISLE OF WIGHT—It’s been a pleasure to serve, said Hardy District School Board member Herb DeGroft. So much so, he’s seeking another four years, which could be his third term if elected.

In addition to DeGroft, the seats expire at year’s end for school board chairman Robert Eley of Carrsville, and county supervisors JoAnn Hall for Hardy and Rex Alphin and Carrsville. Furthermore, Del. Roslyn Tyler, D-75th, and Del. Rick Morris, R-64th, have each confirmed they’re seeking another two-year term.

DeGroft was elected to the board in November 2005, and served as an appointed member from 1995-1999, according to county school website.

“After having endured six of eight years in a little hell on earth, these last two years are especially enjoyable,” said he. “The board is now dealing with issues, and not hung up on personalities.”

DeGroft’s not yet heard of any competition for his seat, but welcomes the challenge.

“The more the merrier,” he said, adding his campaigning won’t really get started until September because it’s closer to the Tuesday, Nov. 5 election date.

DeGroft lauded School Superintendent Katrise Perera’s goal of getting Isle of Wight County students as prepared as possible for the 21st century work world.

“I’ve really enjoyed with working with chairman Robert Eley,” he said. “He’s been a good member.

As of Thursday, Eley said he doesn’t know yet if he’ll run.

“It’s been an enlightening experience,” he said. “I found out a lot of things I never knew.”

Eley said he first came on board through appointment in December 2010, and then elected to finish a term in November 2011.

Victoria Lonsdale, assistant registrar in Isle of Wight, confirmed that Eley, DeGroft and Alphin have all picked up their packets. She’s not yet seen Hall, the supervisors’ chairwoman, but did say someone from her district has come into the registrar’s office. The deadline to turn in paperwork is 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 11.

Lonsdale added neither Windsor nor Smithfield would have elections, which take place every other year.

Franklin Registrar Jennifer Maynard said Commissioner of Revenue Brenda Rickman and Treasurer Dinah Babb’s offices are up for election this year.

Peggy Davis of Southampton Registrar Peggy Davis said as far as she knew, there’s no local elections in the county. But she added that confirmation is still needed from Richmond.

Tyler, who’s been serving since 2006, said she’s picked up the paperwork to file for her fifth term. Her district includes Sussex, Surry, Southampton, Lunenburg, Greensville, Dinwiddie and the southern part of Isle of Wight. Part of Franklin and all of Emporia are also in the territory.

“I think we’re beginning to get some economic development in Southside Virginia,” she said. “From previous years, Southside Virginia was an area that the state didn’t recognize as far as economic development.”

Del. Tyler pointed to business progress in the way of Enviva and the repurposed International Paper in Southampton and Isle of Wight counties, respectively, as well as Dominion Power in Brunswick County and growth in Greensville and Sussex counties.

“I want to continue that progress of bringing jobs and educational opportunities to Southside Virginia,” she said.

“I’m going to run again,” said Morris, who’s said he’s already turned in the paperwork for his second term. “There are just so many things not completed or just getting started. We’re just getting the ball rolling.”

Consolidation of services, cooperation between local governments, helping to reduce expenses in government operations, and making a positive impact on business environments are a few examples he gave.

Morris’s district includes parts of Sussex, Surry, Southampton, Prince George and Isle of Wight counties, as well as portions of Suffolk and Franklin.

He said that the “gratification of helping others” is another major incentive for him to run again. Morris added he’s already talking to people about what need to be done in his district.

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