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O’Brien wins Rivanna supervisor seat

Tony O’Brien (I) has won re-election tonight (Nov. 7) to the Rivanna District seat on the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors over challenger Darrell Byers (R).

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Zion Crossroads water system design finalized

Supervisors contribute money toward Aqua legal fight

The room burst into applause when the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the final design of the Zion Crossroads water and sewer system at its meeting Wednesday night (Nov. 1), clearing the way for the project to go out for bid.

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Byers, O'BrienThe only contested race for the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors unfolds in the Rivanna District, where challenger Darrell Byers (R) is taking on incumbent Supervisor Tony O’Brien (I) for a four-year term to represent Lake Monticello.

Supervisors Mike Sheridan (Columbia) and Don Weaver (Cunningham) are running uncontested.

The Fluvanna Review asked the candidates the following questions.

Tell us about yourself: your education, work experience and family life.
Darrell Byers: I am the son of Mary and Donald Byers. My mom was the associate pastor at First Baptist Church in Covesville, Va., and my dad is now retired from the Albemarle County Police Department (ACPD) where he was a detective. I am a graduate of the National Criminal Justice Command College. Being a servant leader was instilled in me from a very early age. I have been serving the community for 18 years as a law enforcement professional. Also, over the years I have volunteered for numerous community activities mostly focused on shop with a cop, mentor with Y.E.S. (Youth Empowered for Success) and I performed fundraising for the Special Olympics. I currently serve as a police captain for the ACPD. My wife, Lisa, and I have lived in the Rivanna District for 15 years.

Tony O’Brien: I grew up overseas and moved to the U.S. just prior to starting high school. I have lived in Virginia since. I graduated from the University of Virginia (U.Va). I started my IT services firm, Helix, 20 years ago and I employ 12 people. I have not looked back since.

My wife and I moved to Lake Monticello 17 years ago with a toddler in hand, now a Fluco graduate who is a first-year student at U.Va. My full integration into the vibrancy of the community began five years ago, when the chaos over the potential mothballing of the new high school and the deep budget cuts proposed led to a public hearing with over 600 attendees. As our daughter, Bella, was about to enter the new school, after having spent many of her years at the elementary and middle school being taught in trailers, I attended the hearing. There I saw 70 residents speak passionately about the impact of the cuts on the schools and on other county services and nonprofits the county had traditionally supported. Despite the outrage the Board proceeded with an eight-cent cut below the advertised rate.

I began studying and advocating for the county to set forth a true commitment to a long-term water solution. Elections were around the corner and when Joe Chesser decided not to run, I reached out to him and asked for his advice and support for my candidacy. 

What qualifies you to be a supervisor?

O’Brien: I believe that leadership is the art of listening and finding long-term solutions, backed by commitment, drive, creativity, and educating oneself on challenges and potential solutions while building consensus.
Political leadership also means being willing to make the tough calls, and to do what is right and not what gets you elected or re-elected. If you cannot keep your promises, you are doing a disservice to your constituents. I have worked hard to follow this path throughout my career, and especially over the past four years as I recognize the responsibility the voters have entrusted upon me.

Byers: I have 18 years as a leader in the public sector. I am a local government employee and police officer. I have worked my way from the ground up to a senior level, where I now serve as the Blue Ridge district commander. I am well versed in the issues of staffing, scheduling, budgeting and working within the constraints of the budgets handed to our department from our local leadership.

In my role as captain, I currently oversee roughly a third of the patrol operations within the ACPD. My leadership skill set, coupled with the ability to build consensus among people by finding common ground and working for the greater good, and the earnest desire to affect change, qualifies me to be a supervisor.

Name one program, service or budget for which you will pursue increased funding, and tell us why.
Byers: Of course I would work with the sheriff’s department, the School Board and fire and rescue to make sure we are allocating the proper amount of funds for their needs. We must ensure that resources are going to the classrooms and that we are delivering effective law enforcement to all citizens of the county. We must certainly ensure that the funds that have been allocated are being used effectively, so that we can reduce taxes and attract more business ventures to the county. Obviously, we need to look at all the needs of the county and ensure that those needs are being met. I would also work with the private sector to see if we can create incentives to revitalize some areas of the county and ensure that these areas have the appropriate resources to meet the needs of all of the citizens. I’m concerned about Columbia and I would like to see a more comprehensive economic plan for growing the economic base in that area so that it contributes to the overall success of our county’s economic goals.

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MapResidents of Fluvanna County will head to the polls Tuesday (Nov. 7) to select local and statewide leaders for the next two to four years.

Voters from all five of Fluvanna’s precincts will vote for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

Term limits prevent Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) from running for re-election. Vying for his four-year spot in the governor’s mansion are current Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D), Ed Gillespie (R), and Libertarian Cliff Hyra.

Running for lieutenant governor are Jill Vogel (R) and Justin Fairfax (D), while current Attorney General Mark Herring (D) and John Adams (R) vie for the attorney general spot. Lieutenant governors and attorney generals also serve four-year terms.

There are no referendums or constitutional amendments on the ballot this year.

But the five voting districts in Fluvanna face distinctly different races when it comes to local elections. Several spots on the Board of Supervisors and School Board are up for grabs.

Rivanna District
The Rivanna District encompasses much, but not all, of Lake Monticello. The district is entirely composed of Lake Monticello homes.
Current Rivanna Supervisor Tony O’Brien (I) faces a challenge from Darrell Byers (R).

Current Rivanna School Board representative, Chair Carol Tracy Carr, has chosen not to run for re-election. Vying for her spot are Tyler Pieron (I) and Shirley Stewart (I).

Rivanna belongs to the 58th District for Virginia representation. Current Delegate Rob Bell (R) faces a challenge from Kellen Squire (D). Delegates serve two-year terms.

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Town halls expose concerns about Lake pool design

The Lake Monticello Owners’ Association (LMOA) recently unveiled its concept drawing for the community's new $900,000 pool complex, but not everyone is pleased with the proposed design. At two town hall meetings in late October, residents raised concerns about safety, usability, and the project's timeline.

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