James City County Berkeley District Supervisor and Board Chairman Mary Jones plans to run for reelection this fall, which means a repeat of the 2007 race that Jones won by fewer than 100 votes.
Jones, a Republican, said, “four years ago, I was elected to the Board as a fiscal conservative who would promote responsible growth management and economic development. Today, James City County has earned a AAA bond rating without raising taxes, new residential approvals have been limited to fewer than 100, and our economic climate is among Virginia’s best.”
Jones has served as the Vice Chairman of the Board in 2009 and 2010, and she served on the Planning Commission from 2005 through 2007. Jones ran against Democrat Carlton Stockton in the 2007 election, winning by 84 votes.
Jones said that since she was elected in 2007, the county has cut taxes, eliminated the storm water fee and stopped annual real estate reassessments “that had become an unfair system of guaranteed yearly increases in property tax bills for our homeowners.”
Though the county has seen some rough years recently, “the County now balances its budget by asking government to tighten its belt, instead of asking taxpayers to pay more,” according to Jones. “We reduced the number of county employees, limited the growth of government spending, and have made County government operate more efficiently, all while dramatically increasing customer satisfaction.”
Improving the county’s business-friendly climate has been a high priority for Jones. “We inherited a county government with a reputation for being hostile to business,” she said. The Board decided to follow recommendations made by the Business Climate Task Force, revamped the Economic Development Authority, and responded to the needs of existing businesses, which all helped turn things around in the county, Jones said.
“The results speak for themselves, as James City County has a stronger economy, providing greater opportunity and a higher quality of life for all residents.”
She listed strengthening the tourism economy and keeping education and public safety a priority as other goals she has worked on achieving over her last four years.
“I have also been a staunch and unyielding defender of the private property rights of all our citizens,” said Jones. “I worked to stop unfair condemnations in Ironbound Square and Forest Heights, and to halt overreaching government restrictions on the rights of private property owners.”
Jones lashed out at “partisan detractors,” saying that “any objective examination of the circumstances of the last four years clearly reveals that the vitriol, hyperbole, and personal attacks have been very one-sided.
“My focus has always been to put the County on a positive course and a sound financial footing. We have done so over the loud and continuous objections of those who want larger and more expensive government at every level.”
Though Jones’ home was set for foreclosure sale last fall, the sale was stopped after Jones’ husband filed an injunction. Jones still lives in her Jamestown Hundred home, and she stressed her continued residency in the Berkeley District since 1997 in the press release sharing her reelection bid.
Had she and her fellow Republicans not won a majority on the Board, “County spending would be millions of dollars higher with many more employees and taxpayers would be picking up the tab,” Jones said. “Our AAA bond rating would be out of the question and businesses would still look elsewhere for opportunity.”