Fincastle supervisor says Ruhl’s statements untrue
I am writing this letter to correct gross misstatements made in the letters to the editor in last week’s Fincastle Herald, and is now being broadcast across social media in a last-ditch effort to sway voters as we approach Election Day.
In his letter in support of the Independent candidate for the Fincastle Board of Supervisors seat, Charles Ruhl stated that the county is “$119 million in debt.” His statement is intended to lead the reader to believe that the county has borrowed this amount of money. This statement is not true. In fact, the county’s most recent audited financial statements show that the total amount of the county’s borrowings is $74.8 million. This balance is comprised of the following:
Construction of the new Colonial Elementary School – $19,780,000
Firefighting Equipment, a remaining school loan and debt premium costs – $3,680,683
Remaining balance on Jail Construction Costs – $9,935,000
Remaining balance on James River High School renovations – $5,525,000
Multiple School Building Renovations – $5,088,950
Greenfield Industrial Park Expansion – $3,240.000
Planned construction of a new County Courthouse – $27,550,000
Total – $74,799,633
Mr. Ruhl’s comments are intended to imply fiscal irresponsibility on behalf of the board. This, too, is untrue. The county works with financial advisors to carefully plan any potential financing, and to ensure that appropriate debt limits are maintained. For fiscal year 2024, debt payments comprised 5% of the total county and school budgets. The county holds a bond issuer Aa1 credit rating, and its debt level is in line with, or less than, comparable Virginia localities. This board has performed its duties and met its obligations in a fiscally responsible manner, all the while keeping taxes low (as he notes in the final sentence of his letter).
The county’s financial statements are subject to annual independent audits, and these independent auditors, in their associated reports, consistently commend the county’s fiscal management. In addition, for the past 16 years in a row, the county has been recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and has received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.
The amount of the county’s borrowing to support county services and facilities, and ultimately what level of services is appropriate, is a fair topic for public debate. Misrepresenting the facts for partisan promotion of a candidate is inappropriate and deceitful.
The Fincastle District needs a pragmatic and dedicated leader to protect our fiscal strength, with a proper mix of development and diversification of our tax base. That leader is Brandon Nicely.
Additionally, the Valley District needs to re-elect Dr. Mac Scothorn to continue our tradition of fiscally responsible county management.
Please join me in supporting Brandon Nicely and Dr. Mac Scothorn on November 7.
Fincastle District Supervisor
Vote for Obenshain to change the status quo
Botetourt County is in need of change of the status quo of runaway development as well as the lack of transparency from the Board of Supervisors. Please join me on November 7 and vote for Don Obenshain, Board of Supervisors, Fincastle District. Don will support common sense development, the farming community, and better communication with Botetourt residents in the Fincastle District.
Pamela F. Obenshain
Obenshain is voice of reason, responsibility
Dear citizens of the Fincastle District: This coming Tuesday, November 7, you will have the ability to change the course of history for Botetourt County when you vote for Fincastle District supervisor. The choice is clear. Do we vote to add more to the county’s $119 debt? Or do we vote the voice of reason and responsibility? Do we vote for the candidate who has been a part of this fiscal irresponsibility or do we vote for Don Obenshain?
Bring government back to the people with Obenshain
Many of us are frustrated with the current political environment, to say the least. We’ve discovered that it doesn’t seem to matter whether there’s a D or an R behind the candidate’s name anymore, no one seems to represent the voters as we have elected them to do. The politicians seem more beholden to their party than to their constituents. Now is your chance to do something about that.
The Fincastle District has a candidate who is refreshingly independent from these parties and the influences that come with them. He has promised to listen to the people and make himself available to hear our concerns. That is a breath of fresh air compared to what we have currently, since most citizens can’t even contact their supervisor and expect to hear back. And if you’ve ever attended a Board of Supervisors meeting, you’ve probably experienced the disdain they often show for the citizens. They’ve forgotten that they work for us and not the county administration that has gotten consistently larger over the last 10 years and seems to be making the decisions themselves instead of letting the board that the people elected do so.
Most of us moved here because we love the rural atmosphere and don’t want to live in a crowded environment, and we are losing that. If we don’t turn things around soon, it may be too late. Coming from someone who has seen this happen in other places where I’ve lived, I can’t turn my back and ignore it. Let’s keep Botetourt rural!
If you want to bring the government back to the people, please vote for Don Obenshain for Fincastle District on November 7. He is extremely qualified for this position, having a diversified background in business, psychology, and farming, among other experiences, and genuinely cares about the people and the future of Botetourt County. He has promised to encourage responsible growth but to curb the out-of-control development that we are currently experiencing, much of which originated while his opponent was on the Planning Commission board that approved the Gateway Crossing plan.
Don is not a part of the current establishment and will listen to his voters and do what’s best for us, not the county administration, who has a vested interest in growing itself. If you want more information, please contact Don and he’ll be happy to discuss his plans with you.
Reader supports Obenshain for Fincastle Supervisor
We have wasteful spending in our county. As the taxes pile up, we are supposed to just accept that along with all the secretly and poorly planned development that they say is good for the residents. How do they know what’s good for us, they never ask us, they appear to listen at public comments but still vote for what the people don’t want. Just look at Daleville!
The only way to get this under control is to change our county supervisors. That’s why I have been supporting Don Obenshain for Fincastle District supervisor! He is common sense, does the right thing and is all-in for the people in Botetourt County.
Don’s opponent has never voted “No” for anything and his largest financial supporter is a developer. I’ll leave that up to you to figure out.
Vote for Don Obenshain for Fincastle District supervisor November 7.
Alderson supports Nicely for supervisor
I am writing this letter in support of Brandon Nicely, as he runs for election to the Fincastle seat on the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors.
Brandon is the Republican nominee for this seat, and he is experienced in the operations of local government. He currently serves on the county’s Planning Commission and has been dedicated to other public service activities for many years, specifically serving on the board of the Botetourt County Education Foundation to help support our students. Brandon is a farmer and small businessman who understands the issues we face in northern Botetourt County with aging population and infrastructure, and he will work with the rest of the board to develop actionable strategies to meet the needs of the future.
I am proud to endorse Brandon, and I encourage everyone to vote for him for him on November 7.
John E. Alderson