by Gene Marrano
Incumbent Cave Spring District Supervisor Charlotte Moore wants to serve a second term, while Carla Bream seeks to become Commissioner of the Revenue in Roanoke County. Both are making their formal announcements this week.
Bream, a Roanoke Star-Sentinel contributor in the past, is also prominent on the local Republican Party scene.
Bream is president of the Roanoke Valley Republican Women, on the board of directors of the Virginia Federation of Republican Women and is on the executive committee for the Roanoke County Republican Committee. She announced her bid for office on Tuesday, at the Roanoke County Administration Building.
“I have never met [incumbent] Nancy Horn, but I do know how her office works and how it should work. I have talked to many county taxpayers over the last few weeks and they are happy to tell me about their dissatisfaction with her office,” said Bream about why she feels the Commissioner of the Revenue office can be taken back from Horn, a three-term incumbent elected as a Democrat.
“The inability to phone file [when removing a vehicle from personal property taxes], the fact the phones are never answered and messages are not returned and more [are issues],” said Bream, who espouses “good old fashioned customer service.”
Horn said she is ready to defend her department’s work. “I have a wonderful staff,” said Horn, who manages about 15 people. “I’m ready and able to serve another four years.” She first assumed the commissioner’s position when her boss, Wayne Compton, passed away suddenly.
Bream was supported at the podium by other locally elected Republicans, including State Senator Ralph Smith, Salem delegate Greg Habeeb and Roanoke City Sheriff Octavia Johnson.
Bream, who has two degrees from Virginia Tech and runs a marketing firm, has “lots of business acumen,” according to Habeeb, who added that he is “thrilled any time another grass roots Republican leader steps up.” Bream was a precinct captain for Habeeb when he ran for the delegate’s seat vacated by Morgan Griffith.
Bream said her staff – if she is elected this fall – would answer the phone within three rings; “no more 10 option automated systems,” she declared. The candidate said she had heard a common theme when sounding out people about a possible run for Commissioner of the Revenue; “the citizens of Roanoke County really wanted to see a new face in office this year.”
Meanwhile Charlotte Moore, elected as a Democrat in a Republican-leaning district four years ago, will formally announce July 1 that she is seeking reelection, this time as an independent. Moore, a realtor and owner of a landscaping company, has made protecting the environment one of her major issues since taking office. She’s also learned to clarify her positions, leaving no room for other interpretations, hoping to avoid controversy.
Moore likes Roanoke County’s green building team, which requires new public buildings to be energy efficient, and the RC Clear citizen’s committee, which is also promoting a green agenda to the public. Moore would like to see a constructive debate on the issue of windmill farms, like the one proposed for Bent Mountain, before the Board of Supervisors votes on that project.
Stormwater management is another issue the county needs to focus on, according to Moore, who would like to see more underground culverts used to divert water, and fewer retention ponds. She is pleased that the South Peak (formerly Slate Hill) project appears to be moving forward again. Ten thousand trees are now being planted on that hill, according to Moore. The county gave South Peak developer James Smith a long term tax break in return for infrastructure improvements he must make, a move Moore supported with her vote.
“There are still some things I want to accomplish,” said Moore, who acknowledges the “different ways,” each of the supervisors goes about making decisions. She wants to keep “pushing for more economic growth,” and wants to find a way to keep young people here. Moore has two children herself, one in the Navy and the other in the health care field. “We need to focus on [business growth],” said Moore.
Several local citizens will speak on her behalf at the announcement, emphasizing that voting for the person should take precedence over party lines. Several Republicans are interested in running for the Board of Supervisors slot in Cave Spring as well. As for her decision to run as an independent, instead of as a Democrat, Moore feels she must lead by example.
“Local government should be non-partisan. I believe that,” said Moore. “Some people believe they should be partisan no matter what level [of government]. We should focus on issues.” So far no Democrat has announced a run for Moore’s seat. “One term is really just the beginning of the learning process,” said Moore, who wants to “stay focused on what the citizens want,” if returned to office in November’s election.