Letter to the Editor: We’re not better off now than


Four years ago, I was the Republican nominee to represent Shenandoah County’s 4th District on the Board of Supervisors. I was defeated in the general election, as Cindy Bailey received a plurality of votes in a three-way race.  It is the duty of all candidates to accept the will of the voters, and I have.  Four years on, however, I have to ask Shenandoah County a question first asked in 1980 by one of my political heroes, Ronald Reagan. “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”

As a county, I think our answer is a categorical “no.”

We now have two non-accredited schools, including one in the fourth district; Ms. Bailey refuses to fund the School Board’s priorities or even tour the schools.

Our Board of Supervisors is known for dysfunction, incivility and personal drama. Ms. Bailey refused to do any committee work for her first two years in office.  She famously called one of her fellow supervisors “a joke” in open session. She was part of an illegal attempt to seize the board chairmanship, which ultimately wasted over $10,000 of taxpayer dollars on legal fees. She and her colleagues blocked a re-finance of the RSW jail, something Warren’s Board of Supervisors embraced unanimously,  that would have saved the jail $4 million, and taxpayers about $50,000 a year.

Direct costs aside, these shenanigans have other consequences. The last four years have seen a lot of economic development – in counties that surround Shenandoah.  Our county is perceived as politically unstable, and unwilling to invest in itself; this drives businesses and residents away.

Like most successful businessmen, Karl Roulston is a practical problem-solver, with little patience for bickering or drama. I believe a supervisor who signs hundreds of private sector paychecks on the front will be more credible to businesses than one who has mainly signed government paychecks on the back. Karl has brought economic development to the county as a private citizen; he will do even more as a supervisor. If we elect him, we will have a better answer to Reagan’s question in four years than we have today.

Steve Shaffer, Woodstock