Donna Harlow of Ruckersville eyes Monroe District seat

By Susan Gibbs

Donna Harlow of Ruckersville is down to earth, educated, and running as a write-in candidate for beleaguered David Cox’s Monroe District seat on the Greene County Board of Supervisors.

Donna Harlow

Donna Harlow

A homeowner in the Twin Lakes development in Ruckersville, Harlow holds a Master of Arts degree from Liberty University in Management and Leadership, a Bachelor of Science Degree from Eastern Mennonite University in Management and Organizational Development, and an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science from Germanna Community College in Accounting.

She has a total of 26 years of experience in banking, has been branch manager of Pioneer Bank in Stanardsville for the last 12 years, and is running for Cox’s seat because she was drafted.

“Many concerned citizens approached me about running,” Harlow says. “After hearing their concerns and my own careful consideration I made the decision to run (because) I believe every citizen had the right to address their government with the expectation of being heard and responded to fairly, and the right to be informed.”

Her decision comes in the wake of taxpayer uproar over sitting supervisors making an interest-free personal loan to County Administrator John Barkley, hedging when paperwork relevant to the transaction was called for under the Freedom of Information Act, and finally over Cox’s stifling of protesters by essentially denying them the right to dissent.

(See http://eyeongreene.com/eye-on-the-silver-lining/)

Supervisors’ actions concerning the loan led the Greene County Republican Committee to pass a resolution calling for the resignation of Greene County Administrator John Barkley.

Cox’s squelching of public comment led Megan Rhyne, executive director of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government to point out, “There are constitutional implications for shutting down free speech based on content … The resource would be a constitutional-based lawsuit, rather than public outrage or the ballot box.”

It led Rob Schilling of Charlottesville’s WINA News Radio to predict that Greene’s supervisors will be the “laughing stock of open government advocates nationwide,” and to call for the resignations of Cox and fellow supervisors Jim Frydl and Bill Martin, as well as for the firing of County Attorney Ray Clark.

And it led Harlow into a write-in campaign for Cox’s seat.

She describes herself as a person of good integrity who is also a good listener, an effective negotiator, and a problem solver who makes solution-focused decisions. She wants to “provide the high quality service in an effective and accountable manner that will make Greene a prosperous county with vibrant opportunities where citizens’ rights and freedoms are protected.”

Perhaps more importantly, she says her goal is to, “provide citizen-focused leadership that encourages engagement, clear and better communication, and goal-driven planning and management.”

“The citizens of Greene deserve accountability, internal controls, better communication, and the right to be informed. (Moreover) every citizen has the right to address their government with the expectation to be heard and responded to fairly,” Harlow concludes.

Harlow did not decide to run until all of the scandals started coming to light and by then she was hard-pressed to get all her paperwork together by the August 14 deadline to register her candidacy. Therefore she must run as a write-in candidate, which, in itself, is not a big deal.

According to the Code of Virginia § 24.2-648, write-in votes may be cast on voting equipment for any person whose name does not appear on the ballot as a candidate for the office being voted.

What that means is that Harlow’s name must be typed in. It should be spelled correctly, and if any voter is in need of assistance, either with spelling or typing, he or she is free to ask a poll worker for assistance.

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