WV Elections 2024

#163-Interview with Michael Mood-Republican Candidate for County Commissioner-Middleway District

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Mike’s Candidacy for Middleway Commission Seat
Richard and Mike discussed Mike’s candidacy for the Middleway District County Commission seat in Jefferson County. Mike shared his background, including his 28-year residency in the county, his family life, and his experience in running a business. He expressed his desire to promote business growth in the county, aiming to provide local employment opportunities and increase the tax base.
Promoting Local Businesses and Agriculture
Richard and Mike discussed the promotion of local businesses, with a focus on farming and tourism. Mike shared his conversations with vineyard owners in Loudoun County who expressed interest in expanding to Jefferson County but were deterred by high bids on land from solar companies and housing developments. Mike indicated that this is an opportunity the county should pursue, as it could attract younger generations and offer alternative income sources for aging farmers. He suggested the development of vineyards, equestrian centers, and wedding venues on farmland as a way to support local farmers and promote tourism.
Discussing Prosecutor Matt Harvey’s Efforts
Richard and Mike discussed the recent efforts by prosecutor Matt Harvey to remove commissioners Krouse and Jackson. Mike expressed his opinion that this was an overreach, stating that the problems stemmed from the lack of collaboration between the commissioners. He also criticized the decision to impose a large bond on the sitting commissioners, which he believed was excessive.
Improving Jefferson County’s Election System
Richard and Mike discussed potential improvements to the election system in Jefferson County. Mike supported the current system, which requires voters to show identification and suggested periodic renewal of voter registration to ensure residents are still living in the county. Richard mentioned his concerns about the registration process, particularly the practice of registering people at the DMV without verifying their citizenship or residency. Richard also raised concerns about the Biden Administration’s efforts to register ineligible voters.
Concerns Over Heavy Tax Burden and Transparency
Richard expressed concerns about the heavy tax burden on county residents, particularly the 77% of taxes that go towards public schools with little transparency. He also voiced issues about property taxation, especially for seniors. Mike responded by highlighting that the increasing construction of houses is a significant strain on the tax base, with about 77% of tax revenue going towards education and the remaining towards county operations. Mike suggested focusing on business growth to attract more tax-paying entities and reduce the load on residential taxpayers.
Business Growth and Solar Project Concerns
Mike emphasized the need for business growth and believes that any tax incentive to attract local small businesses should be short-term incentive. He opposed the current rollout of large solar projects, citing the need for better regulation, increased setbacks, and more involvement from the community. Mike also expressed concern about the impact of these projects on property values and the environment. Richard and Mike agreed on the need to find an alternative solution that would benefit the farmers and the community.
EMS Resource Allocation and Risk Concerns
Richard and Mike discussed the allocation of EMS resources in their county, particularly in relation to the Blue Ridge Mountain Fire Department. Mike shared his concern about the current situation, stating that the lack of ambulance service in certain areas, like the mountain and Middleway, has put residents at greater risk. He suggested that they should have staffing at Middleway and on the mountain. Mike also mentioned that the county’s decision to own the ambulances had negatively impacted the situation, and he pointed out that their rapid response unit, staffed by volunteers, had saved two lives in the past three months in the Middleway district
Improving Emergency Services and Business Growth
Mike discussed the need for better staffing and response times for emergency services in the mountain region, stating that the ideal location for an ambulance to the Mission Road substation, although that station lacks facilities for 24 hour staffing. He highlighted the importance of proximity and quick access for effective emergency response. Mike also differentiated himself from his opponent by emphasizing his focus on finding solutions to community problems through listening to all perspectives and prioritizing business growth to strengthen the county’s tax base.

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