16 September 2013
William Quarles (D) is challenging incumbent Lee Ware (R) to represent citizens in the 65th District of the Virginia House of Delegates. The 65th District lies east of Rt. 15 and consists of Fluvanna’s Columbia and Fork Union districts. The Fluvanna Review sent the same questions to both candidates. Below are their answers.Quarles
1. What have you done to help Fluvanna in our floundering business climate? We are a bedroom community with very little business base.
Quarles: Like many rural communities, Fluvanna has struggled through the recession to establish a solid, enduring business base. If elected, I want to help local leaders and citizens of Fluvanna create an atmosphere where businesses new and old thrive. This would include working closely with the Fluvanna Chamber of Commerce to establish economic incentives for businesses to locate to the county. I would also make it my mission to improve the long-term sustainability of businesses by investing in business-related education and the infrastructure of existing commercial centers. Unfortunately, many residents of Fluvanna are unaware of what their current representation has done for them on the business front.
2. Getting water to the Zion Crossroads area has dominated economic development talk in Fluvanna for at least 10 years. What would you do to help Fluvanna in that quest?
Quarles: Getting water to the Zion Crossroads area has been a constant issue for the people of Fluvanna. Although this is primarily a local issue, there are ways that the General Assembly can assist with upgrades to the infrastructure necessary for providing water. When elected, I will work with county officials, the board of supervisors and interested organizations and individuals to determine exactly what the needs are and how we can best support the county’s plan.
3. What are your recommendations regarding the water issues in Fluvanna?
Quarles: None of the proposed solutions to the county’s water issues have stuck, but the needs of the people are too great to continue doing nothing. When elected, I will make sure that I am always available to discuss these concerns with a critical and pragmatic eye, and then do whatever can be done at the state level and within the House of Delegates to help solve this problem. While this is primarily a local issue, as your delegate, I will advocate on your behalf to move this process forward. When I served as the chairman of the Goochland Board of Supervisors, I often found that out-of-the-box thinking was the key to solving complex problems just like this one.
4. Why should someone vote for you? What are your credentials?
Quarles: I’m asking for your vote because I think that you deserve better. You deserve a delegate that will advocate for common-sense policies, not an extreme social agenda. I began my career as a public school teacher in Richmond and Varina, and I’ve spent the last 30 years working as a supervisor and instructor of nuclear chemistry at North Anna. I served on the Goochland Board of Supervisors for eight years, including three as chairman, and currently serve as Vice President of the Goochland Education Foundation. Now, I’m running to give you a say in the General Assembly.
5. What is your vision as to the role a state delegate plays in helping people at the county level?
Quarles: A delegate must meet, see, speak with and get to know his or her constituents on a very personal level. They are called to hear your stories, internalize your grievances and make it a point to listen to the issues that matter most to you. A delegate is the people’s conduit, and as such, it is their job to be your voice in the legislature. If they are willing to put people above politics, it is my firm belief that a dedicated, hard-working, common sense delegate can be a force for positive change in any county.
Del. Lee Ware answered the questions in this manner:
Your questions numbered 1, 2, 3, and 4 allow for a combined answer, as follows:
The principle service that a legislator provides to local communities is to ensure that the state maintains a stable, as low-as-possible rate of taxation and spending to foster both business development and fiscal well-being – and opportunities, for individuals and families.
The state government’s foremost responsibilities are to provide for a quality public education (including college), safe and effective public transportation systems, and the public safety, i.e., enforcement of the laws, etc.
Thankfully, the House of Delegates has, for many years, paved the way in each of these respects. For example, Virginia remains one of the top three states in which to operate – or to begin – a business, thus fostering job-creation for Virginians – and tax revenues for state services. As a ranking member of the Finance, Commerce & Labor, and Agriculture, Chesapeake, & Natural Resources committees, I have cast hundreds of votes to help us achieve these objectives. (By the way, for all of our diverse industries, agriculture, including forestry, remains the principal engine of our private-sector economy.) That the state just concluded the fiscal year with a healthy surplus testifies to the legislature’s – and the Governor’s – prudent stewardship of the public purse.
Without question, the nationwide economic recession of recent years has dramatically affected the state’s ability to assist localities in capital investment. Water-line projects such as that proposed for Zion Crossroads are, while largely a local responsibility, eligible for some state assistance. My decade-plus contribution to fiscal policy for the Commonwealth, coupled with my delight in assisting local officials throughout the 65th District, has resulted in funding for a water-line project in Goochland and development of a new state park in Powhatan – both this past year. For Fluvanna I cooperate with Del. Rob Bell, who represents the western portion of the county, in numerous ways in the House to further the county’s best interests.
It bears remarking in this vein that, unless the federal government reins in its outrageous deficits, Virginia, and all the states, will find it increasingly difficult to share fully in funding projects for localities. What happens – or does not happen – in Washington, D.C., has serious, immediate repercussions for Richmond, that is, for Virginians’ state government, and what the state must bear from Washington all too inevitably impacts our counties, too.
My service in the legislature began in 1998. In the fifteen years since, I have been endorsed by virtually every major voters’ association, such as Farm Bureau, and by leading business groups – such as the National Federation of Independent Business. More important, owing principally to my attempt to respond to every constituent’s and every locality’s request for assistance with a state program or agency, I have been re-elected by the voters every two years. I pledge to continue, and to expand upon, this demonstrated record in asking voters to re-elect me to the House this November.
6. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream and why?
Quarles: My favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla, because vanilla ice cream mixes well with all the other flavors. You can create endless varieties!
Ware: Ice cream? Mint chocolate chip.
To find out more about each candidate visit their websites.