District 3 supervisor incumbent seeks second term
Speaking to a crowd of supporters and luminaires of the Republican Party, Ned S. Creasey of Maidens, incumbent District 3 supervisor, officially launched his reelection campaign on the Goochland Courthouse Green on Saturday, July 16.
Creasey said, as he did four years ago that, especially on the local government level in Goochland, there is a serious disconnect between the citizens and the decision makers. He repeated his promise to listen and ask questions before making decisions on county matters.
He said that he has worked hard to bring common sense and accountability to Goochland government whose past operations he characterized as a shell game. He promised to continue working to improve county governance. “There is still lots to be done,” said Creasey. “We’re headed in the right directions, let’s keep that on track.”
Creasey then dropped a bombshell by stating that he had just been diagnosed with cancer. He said that he is determined to beat that and serve the citizens of District 3.
Both soft and plain spoken, Creasey surprised many people when he handily won his first election four years ago running against an incumbent and a newcomer after a late entry into the race. He worked hard to win that election by talking, and more importantly, listening, to District 3 citizens. Those who underestimated Creasey did so at their peril.
The 2007 election included the infamous “Signgate” episode when supporters of Creasey and District 5 contender Pat Turner received menacing letters from county zoning officials demanding removal of large campaign signs from prominent locations. It is believed that about 18 of those letters were sent to citizens while only one complaint was received by the county.
To this day, the origin of the list of targeted signs remains a mystery. When those displaying signs refused to remove them citing first amendment rights and fuzzy language in the county sign ordinance, the county backed down. An investigation into the matter after the election yielded fuzzy results. Hopefully, there will be no such nonsense this year.
Since taking office, Creasey has been vilified and demonized for his refusal to go along with the status quo and demand answers to embarrassing questions. In early 2008, Creasey was forced to file Freedom of Information Act requests with the former county administrator to obtain access to documents that should be readily available to a supervisor.
Creasey’s inquiries into the operations of the Goochland Public Utilities Department pulled the first thread that eventually unraveled a carefully woven web of what was, at best, abysmal mismanagement of county financial affairs. Following the hasty “retirement” of the previous county administrator, Creasey sought and received removal of the former county attorney and a full audit of county fiscal operations.
Indeed, Creasey’s public demand for the immediate termination of the former county administrator was rebuffed only a few weeks before increasing pressure led to that official’s precipitous decision to take early retirement. Creasey was at the forefront of all investigations into the pernicious dysfunction of Goochland government. He aksed many embarassing questions about the financing and construction of the water and sewer lines in the Tuckahoe Creek Service District.
He’s not done yet. At the July 5 supervisors’ meeting, Creasey made a formal request of the county attorney to ascertain the cost of pursing legal action against the auditors who seemed to have overlooked a few thousand things while overseeing county fiscal matters for at least a decade.
Ben Slone, Chair of the Goochland Republican Committee, said that 2011 is the most important year, a watershed year, in Goochland elections. Slone said that he expects the GOP to field 14 candidates for local office this year. That includes the first endorsements for school board candidates by Republicans. School board candidates are forbidden by state law from running with a specific party.
Other speakers included Lee Ware of Powhatan who will be representing the western part of Goochland in the 65th District of the Virginia General Assembly. Ware, a teacher is also a former Powhatan supervisors and chairman of that board—guess they rotate— so he is quite familiar with the challenges faced by local government.
Bill Janis, who represented all of Goochland in the 56th District until this year’s redistricting, asked those present to recall what Goochland government was like four years ago.
“Ned brought commonsense, accountability and transparency to Goochland government,” said Janis. “He brought sound judgment and a steady hand to his duties as supervisor and worked well with fellow Republican Rudy Butler (District 4) during the treasurer crisis.”
There are two kinds of people in public office, said Janis, those who want to be somebody and those who want to do something. “Ned,” he said, “is clearly the latter kind. He wants to be a watchdog, not a lapdog; a workhorse, not a show horse.”
Janis enumerated Creasey’s long history of community involvement including the American Legion, Boy Scouts and especially life membership in Goochland Courthouse Volunteer Fire-Rescue Company 5 as an active rescue provider. This is one of the most basic and vital forms of public service and undoubtedly gave Creasey valuable insights into the needs of Goochlanders.
Democrat Alan Tucker will oppose Creasey in November.