Ed Elswick

My motivation is really nothing more that serving the citizens of the Windsor Hills District and making Roanoke County a better place to live and work.

When I ran four years ago I had a lot of ideas to benefit all county citizens; however, to get items through at least three of the five must support it. I believe The Board of Supervisors will be very different after this election and will support my ideas for improvement. Our county administrator has downsized government because of reduced tax revenues and good leadership. Additional changes can be made to improve the relationship between county government and the citizens. With my experience both as a member of the Board of Supervisor and in the business world and my questioning approach, I will be a vital asset to bring change where needed. I will push again for improvements that will benefit you, the citizens.

WHO SHOULD YOU VOTE FOR AND WHY?

If you value how your real estate tax is spent, want to understand what services are provided, and want someone who will look for ways to save you, the citizen, money I am that candidate. If you want someone who will protect your property rights I am that candidate.

A candidate worthy of your vote should have already been involved in civic activities to make our county a great place to live. I am a member of the Bent Mountain and Back Creek Civic Associations and have been for years.

A good candidate will be for all the citizens no matter in what part of the district they live or to which party they may belong. I am running as an independent although I support many of the conservative Republican Party principles. My job is to represent all people and do what is best for Roanoke County. If you are a Republican, Democrat, Independent or have no political party, I welcome your questions and concerns. After all, you are the citizenry that I represent.

A good candidate will have had some prior experience successfully managing similar organizations or businesses.  I have worked in these areas and am familiar with the finances of Roanoke County.

WHAT SPECIFIC ITEMS WILL I PURSUE?

A good and statistically valid survey of citizen’s opinions is vital. We need to know what you think of county management, improvements you want or special projects you would support. The survey will be very detailed and ask your input on all county departments. It will also show citizens what percentage of an average tax bill that goes to every department. Potential capital projects and their costs will be listed so citizens can decide if the project is affordable. Services and their costs will also be listed. Do we provide services that are not important to citizens? I tried to have a survey initiated, and the survey was not approved by Board consensus. One stated, "We might not like what we hear." I want to hear. I am here to represent you, and your input and involvement is important.

I want to stress my support for Roanoke County Schools. We have a highly respected school system and employees who work very hard for the students in Roanoke County. The Board of Supervisors’role is committing local tax revenue to the Roanoke County School Board. The School Board makes all other decisions. In the past four years, I have always voted for the school budget and for needed capital projects.

I want to review all current and future ordinances in light of the influences and motivations of Non-Government Agencies (NGOs). Are there ordinances that are unnecessarily difficult and expensive, which might prevent businesses from locating to this county? We need to review their impact on property rights. "The true foundation of republican government is the equal right of every citizen in his person and property and in their management." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1816.

We need to be very budget conscious.  I do not believe there should be any more lease revenue bonds. We have had one in my four years on the board, and I voted against it.I voted against it not because I am against libraries but because I believe that general obligation bonds with a public vote strengthen transparency and accountability. It is our money we are obligating.  We are currently AA+ bond rating which is very good. I would like to see us reduce debt and gain a AAA Bond Rating, which would encourage businesses to come to Roanoke County.

We must object every time unfunded mandates from state and federal government are forced on us. The complete burden cannot rest on local governments. We should resist and pursue legally if it is unconstitutional.

We need to look at items in our budget that can be cut. Many are nice extras, but all need to be reviewed in light of the economic times. Is there justification for take home vehicles? Are there charitable contributions that can be consolidated for improved efficency? We need to get citizen input for priority. We need to be able to justify what we spend to you. It is our money.

I will work hard for you. We in Roanoke County need to attract jobs and the businesses that create them. We need to have a government as streamlined as it can be and see if we can lower the tax burden for citizens and businesses. That is what I will try to do.

Ed Elswick: Principles Before Politics

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