A retired Navy master chief and a sitting School Board member are competing for Stafford County’s Garrisonville District supervisors’ seat, being vacated by Republican Mark Dudenhefer at the end of his current term.
Independent candidate and 16-year county resident Bart Randall, said his experience on the county’s Planning Commission and his current role as its vice chairman will help him improve and advance Stafford County.
Independent candidate and 16-year county resident Bart Randall is running for the Garrisonville district seat on the Stafford Board of Supervisors. He said his experience on the county’s planning commission and his role as its vice chairman will help improve and advance Stafford County.
“I think I have the leadership skills necessary to help move the board in a way that will move the county forward with regards to infrastructure, economic development and Smart Growth,” said Randall.
Democratic candidate and business technology consultant Pamela Yeung said her background in business, science and technology, along with her experience since 2018 as a county School Board member, gives her the edge over her competitor. She currently serves on the county’s school board.
Democratic candidate and business technology consultant Pamela Yeung said her background in business, science and technology, along with her experience since 2018 as a county school board member, gives her the edge in the race for the Garrisonville seat on the Stafford Board of Supervisors.
“My children are grown,” said Yeung, a 30-year Stafford resident. “I want to continue the path and serve as a supervisor.”
Randall, who spent his Navy career in the nuclear field and now works for the U.S. Coast Guard, said one of the biggest issues impacting the Garrisonville District is overcrowding in elementary schools. He said the next school to be built in the district isn’t planned until 2026.
“We’ll be redistricting and putting trailers in most of the schools before our next elementary school is built,” said Randall. “I will leverage funds to build schools in right locations to get them to normal levels to give kids a much better education than they are getting now with trailers, a lack of teachers and overcrowding.”
Yeung, who is in favor of extending Metro rail service to the Stafford area, said one of the biggest problems in the district is infrastructure. The Garrisonville District covers the heavily populated area immediately west of Interstate 95 between State Route 610 and Courthouse Road.
She said when county supervisors approved a 540,000-square-foot DHL distribution center near Courthouse Road and an Amazon distribution center on Centreport Parkway, those decisions placed additional strain on an already fragile road network. Both projects are expected to bring additional traffic to the region, including delivery trucks.
“We need help from VDOT to help move the traffic down to Richmond,” said Yeung. “We need to expand [U.S.] Route 1. We need to take a look to see if we can get some of these cars out of the way and maybe introduce a central bus service for seniors and employees that go to the VRE or commuter lots.”
Randall said as an independent, he’s able to work across party lines to meet county goals and the needs of its residents. He said running as an independent will help him look at the right and wrong of an issue, “not the right and left,” he said.
“I will try to work across party lines on the things that I think are right, regardless of which party may or may not agree with the process for that particular policy,” said Randall. “It may impact our decision today, but it doesn’t impact our relationship for future policy discussions.”
Yeung said her efforts on the school board and in the community have demonstrated her ability to achieve success. Yeung said she organized the Juneteenth celebration event at Pratt Park four months ago that brought together the community and small businesses.
“I felt around the time of Black Lives Matter, there was so much tension and anxiety and we were already COVID-stricken, I felt there was a need to come out and bring the community together,” said Yeung. “I pride myself with my multicultural background that will come in handy to build relationships.”
Both candidates favor affordable housing for first responders, educators and other lower-income workers, to help keep them close to their homes and their jobs. Yeung said she will bring VDOT, developers and real estate agents to the table to address future construction plans, as well as community needs and concerns.
“It’s a crisis,” said Yeung. “We need to balance the existing properties, green space and our environment with the need for the housing that our teachers and our firefighters need. We cannot have sprawling development with no plan.”
Randall said affordable housing should be built in the county’s targeted growth area close to Interstate 95, where county services are readily available.
“The last thing I want are new developments to sprawl into the rural areas,” said Randall. “We have got to find a niche, whether it’s through condos or smaller townhouses, we have got to find a way to provide that type of housing for our workforce. We don’t currently have a plan to ensure that’s available.”
During her tenure as a School Board member, Yeung said she also served on the technology advisory and capital improvement plan advisory committees, as well as the finance and budget committee, where she said she worked to help retain qualified teachers. She also served on the county’s Telecommunications Commission.
“I’m a relationship builder. I have a proven record of delivering for our schools,” said Yeung. “I think that I will be the best Board of Supervisors member that will put Stafford families first.”
Randall said he will not only work hard to improve relationships between supervisors, but he also wants to improve relationships between supervisors and the county’s School Board.
“We have a toxic relationship with the School Board,” he said. “I want to focus on fixing that relationship.”
James Scott Baron: 540/374-5438