RAY H. MILES
Listen to my interview on CBS 19 with Val Thompson: INTERVIEW
Why is Ray Miles running for Nelson County North District Supervisor?
Last year I was very active successfully campaigning in Afton and the rest of North District and throughout Nelson County for our Republican nominees, Daniel Rutherford for Nelson County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Tom Garrett for Congress, and Donald Trump for President. After the elections I was asked if I had considered running for Nelson County North District Supervisor. I spoke with family and close friends who became very excited for me, and told me I definitely have the qualities to be a very good Supervisor. Then as I went about my normal activities I asked people here in North District. Eight out of ten people told me it was time for new blood on the Board of Supervisors. So after prayerful consideration, I put my name forward as a candidate to our Nelson County Republican Committee and on May 4th I became our Republican nominee for North District Supervisor. I plan to visit homes and businesses all along our more than 150 streets, roads, and back roads throughout North District, carefully listening to your concerns so that I can represent you well. I am asking for your vote on November 7th to become our next Supervisor from North District.
What is Ray Miles’ position on the issues here in Nelson County?
The Role of Government: As a conservative who subscribes to our Virginia Republican Creed, I believe in slimmer, thriftier, less intrusive government. Mr. Tommy Harvey says he is conservative. But over the past three decades while Mr. Harvey has served as North District Supervisor, many of those years as Chairman of the Board, Nelson County government has not become slimmer, thriftier, nor less intrusive, rather just the opposite. As your next North District Supervisor I plan to do all I can to reverse that trend and to rally much more private sector involvement and investment to meet county needs.
The Role of a Supervisor: The main job of a county Supervisor is NOT to bring wealth and prosperity to himself/herself and to his/her extended family. It is to serve alongside the other Supervisors making wise decisions to ensure the health, safety, and general welfare of all the people of Nelson County. The Commonwealth of Virginia established County Boards of Supervisors, and in Nelson County the people of his/her district elect each Supervisor. We have five districts in Nelson County, and therefore five Supervisors on the Board. Three Supervisor positions are up for election this November – East, Central, and North. Supervisor seats belong to the people, not to the individuals who sit in them. Each election is a brand new inspection of those running for office to select the best person for the job. I believe this year’s inspection shows we need some “new tires.” I am asking you to consider my qualifications and experience and to elect Ray Miles as your next Supervisor from North District.
New Blood on the Board of Supervisors: Eight out of ten people in North District say we need new blood on the Board of Supervisors and I agree with them. We need new ideas, new energy, new people. I have lived in Virginia for 13 years, and as of this summer three of these years I have lived here in Afton in our North District. I have plenty of fresh new ideas, and am full of new drive and energy, and I am asking for your vote to make Ray Miles our next North District Supervisor on November 7th.
The Legacy of Mr. Tommy Harvey: We all love Tommy and Diane Harvey, and we thank them for helping so many people though their businesses, through the fire department, and through Tommy’s service on the Board of Supervisors the past 32 years. However, he has retired from leading the fire department, he has made it public that they want to sell their business, and eight out of ten people in the Afton area say it’s past time for Mr. Harvey to retire from the Board of Supervisors. If elected as your next North District Supervisor, I promise to make a motion that the Board acknowledge Mr. Harvey’s years of service, and that the Board reach out to the then retired Mr. Harvey anytime we require a sense of history about previous Board decisions. I will also make a motion that we have Mr. Harvey act as honorary emeritus Supervisor to hand out diplomas at the graduation of his grandchildren or great grand children from our schools if he so desires.
Core Competency of a Leader: Throughout my life I have proven that I am able to identify and rally community wide private sector expertise and financial support to achieve clearly defined and mutually agreed upon community goals. This is the core competency of a good leader, and therefore of a good Supervisor.
Rockfish Valley: According to the recently published Rockfish Valley Area Plan, residents want to maintain the rural character of Nelson County while having managed development, they also want easy access to amenities, local foods, and reliable internet. I grew up in Talleyville in the Brandywine River Valley in the 1960s-70s, which in many ways was very similar to the Rockfish River Valley here in Nelson County. I share our rural values and I do not wish to bring the city ways into the county. I do want to reach out and cooperate with neighboring Augusta County to renovate Rockfish Gap so that the hotel atop the gap once again enjoys a waiting list to stay there, and perhaps there could be several outlet shops where local businesses can sell their products, as well as nice places to eat and a place to refuel for both tourists and local residents. I also would like to create a Rockfish Valley Welcome Center along route 151, soon after entering Nelson County as you come south from route 250, perhaps a replica of a one room school house, with all the area brochures and information easily available inside. Some days over 700 vehicles per hour travel along route 151 through our adorable Rockfish Valley, but visitors and even our local residents are unaware of the many happenings along these main roads and all of our back roads. I want to create the Rockfish Valley app which everyone can use on their smart phones to find out all of the latest specials at our businesses, the daily sports events, as well as local lodging, church activities and so forth. I believe our high school students could easily put together this app and then keep it up to date using their community service hours. Any proceeds could go toward our schools or toward upgrading sub-standard housing. In fact with all of my initiatives and ideas, I do not wish to raise taxes nor utilize taxes to accomplish them, rather to rally and inspire private sector investment and involvement.
County Plans: Our 2002 Nelson County Comprehensive Plan needs to be updated using the latest population and other statistics, along with incorporating the recent Rockfish Valley Area Plan, and the upcoming 29 Corridor Study, and with a focus on also identifying all of the key non-governmental entities (churches, businesses, civic organizations, foundations), to encourage far more private sector involvement and investment to reach county wide goals.
Sub-Standard Housing: One percent of our Nelson population perished in Hurricane Camille, and everyone pulled together and rebuilt. But did you know that about three percent of Nelson residents still live in sub-standard housing with several of the following conditions: incomplete plumbing, incomplete kitchen, leaky roofing, inadequate insulation, and so forth. I pledge that any salary or remuneration I receive as Supervisor, I will pay any tax that is due, then I will contribute the remainder toward upgrading sub-standard housing, with emphasis on the needs of our elderly, our handicapped, and our families with school age children. I look forward to partnering with Habitat for Humanity, with our community leaders and our schools, with our churches and civic organizations, with our businesses, and with interested individuals until every resident who so desires has their sub-standard housing upgraded. I have already identified a local person in North District who is well known in our community and is willing to serve as advisor for identifying the truly needy and to help organize the upgrading of sub-standard housing, one home at a time until all the needs are met. I will do all I can to inspire and assist our four other Supervisors to do the same in each of their respective districts.
Broadband Internet: Currently there are between 300 and 400 connections to the county-owned broadband high-speed fiber internet. The 2018 budget envisions helping another 100 connect. At this rate it will take decades to connect all the homes and businesses in Nelson County. In my opinion the county will not be able to afford to continue to subsidize half of the connection costs using tax payer money and to amortize the other half by acting as bank for the subscribers. In addition, the provider making the connections is currently only able to complete about three (3) connections per work day. If elected as your next North District Supervisor, I will propose and solicit much more private enterprise to complete our Broadband Internet. This will mean considerable adjustment to how the project moves forward.
Our Schools: We have four public schools here in Nelson County, two elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school. I went to public school, and so did my two children. I turned out fine, and both of my children ages 19 and 23 are now working and paying their bills as they pursue further education at college when they are able and have an interest. I pledge to help any way that I can to assist our public schools toward achieving excellence in every aspect, so that in the near future Nelson County schools are listed in the overall top five in the state of Virginia. I do believe that in order to develop the next generation of civic leaders from amongst our youth, we need to allow students to fulfill their community service through helping a political campaign of their choice if they so desire. We also have two private schools here in Nelson County, both of which are in Afton, as well as a number of home schools. I believe in school choice and some form of vouchers, unfortunately our current Governor keeps vetoing these measures passed by our Virginia legislature. I look forward to our next Governor signing school choice into law. School choice creates competition which is a positive thing and is at the core of the success of our American experiment. As a step toward local school choice in Nelson County, on day one as our next North District Supervisor, I plan to make a motion that each student who is a Nelson County resident studying toward an approved program of study at Afton Christian School, or at North Branch School, or at a home school, receive from Nelson County an annual $1000 toward their schooling with the details to be worked out with cooperation between the Nelson County School Board and the private school or home school.
Our Farms and Woodlands: Across the street from where I grew up were our local middle school and our Shellpot Creek, surrounded by woodlands and the neighboring Hoyer Farm. I support preserving our Nelson County farms and woodlands so that the next generation can continue our rich forestry and agricultural history.
The Pipeline: I understand that so many of our Nelson County residents are fully against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and that they surely do not want it to pass through Nelson County. I am informed that three years ago our Board of Supervisors voted against the Pipeline, and I’m glad they have taken measures to keep the public informed. But our current Board of Supervisors failed to write a response to the recent Pipeline environmental study before the April deadline. I did write a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in response to the December environmental impact study. My 03-26-2017 letter is available upon request. In summary, I long for the full use of alternate renewable energy, until then our nation needs the electricity that will be produced with this natural gas. Therefore I urge that the Pipeline comply with all laws, that the Pipeline go where it is wanted, that legal easements be obtained with the landowners, that landowners be properly compensated, that the most modern safety measures be used to protect our people and our environment, that they use local materials and labor, that if the Pipeline goes through Nelson that our county be allowed to have several qualified people approved by our Board of Supervisors to inspect the project during and after construction to ensure the health, safety and general welfare of our people, that all Pipeline construction site plans be made public, and that they cooperate closely with VDEQ and VDOT who in turn should keep our Nelson County Board of Supervisors fully informed.
Our Streams, Ponds, Lakes, and Rivers: I am an amateur angler and fisherman. I have enjoyed fishing at most of the publicly available places as well as some private locations throughout our wonderful Rockfish Valley. I have fished the Rockfish River all the way to the James River, and have fished the James all the way to its headwaters. I believe there is room to further develop our beautiful Rockfish Valley and all of Nelson County into a freshwater fisherman’s dream, and to dovetail this with all of our available lodging and hospitality locations throughout the valley and the county. So I plan to network with everyone to work toward that goal. I ask for your vote on November 7th.
Why is Ray Miles the best person for North District Supervisor?
Having grown up in the Brandywine River Valley, I have values matching our rural Rockfish River Valley. At age 56, I have the education and experience and am ready to fulfill the duties of Supervisor, and if called upon to serve as Chairman.
My son and I have hiked to the top of Humpback Rocks. I have eaten at nearly every local eatery in Rockfish Valley, ask me my favorites and I’ll be glad to tell you. I love driving what I call the Rockfish Loop, 151 south, then west on Beech Grove up past Wintergreen Resort, then north on the Blue Ridge Parkway, then east on route 6 Afton Mountain Road back to 151. I am an Associate member of the Rockfish Valley Volunteer Fire & Rescue, helping at the mud bogs, or bringing water and coffee to the fire & rescue personnel at the site of an emergency whenever I can. I have enjoyed volunteering at our community Thanksgiving at the fire hall and at the annual Bethlehem Village. I attend Hebron Baptist Church on Sunday and have spoken there about world missions, and am scheduled to speak there on Fathers Day, Sunday, June 18th. I attend and participate in the bus ministry of Piney Mountain Bible Chapel on Wednesday evenings and plan to help with their Saturday program for children and youth this summer.
Raised near Valley Forge, I learned first hand the history of our beloved and courageous first President George Washington, a Virginian. I cherish our Declaration of Independence penned by Thomas Jefferson, a Virginian. I believe in the rule of law, in the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and in our U.S. Constitution, including the Bill of Rights penned by James Madison and influenced by George Mason, both Virginians. Freedom of Religion as we know it, which I hold dear, began on this earth here in Virginia and has now spread nearly everywhere across the globe. I have always had a fondness for Virginia. My uncle served in the Navy and was stationed in Norfolk, so as a child my mother would bring us to visit our cousins and we would usually enjoy Virginia Beach or other places throughout Virginia. So you could say, I am a Virginian deep in my soul.
I spent my career in community service doing non-profit humanitarian and missionary work here in the USA and within 33 countries around the world. I’ve also been an entrepreneur in lawn care and landscaping amongst at risk members of society. So public service as a Supervisor is not an intimidating next step for me. However, it is indeed an honor, a privilege, a calling, and a responsibility that I take very seriously. I humbly yet confidently pledge to do my utmost to make Nelson County proud.
Having done major fund raising, door-to-door sales, door-to-door evangelism, and door-to-door political campaigning, I will have no hesitancy visiting our local businesses and individuals, as well as our charitable and civic organizations, rallying private sector support for various county initiatives. My experience as an insurance agent and registered representative has equipped me to be able to understand the complicated financial decisions facing Nelson County. My experience managing both profit and non-profit multi-million dollar projects has prepared me to carefully work together with our four other Supervisors on the annual county budget.
Based on my chemistry degree and my construction experience, I can understand and will be available to watchdog the Pipeline if it comes through our county. My public school attendance, my bachelor and master degrees, my youth ministry experience, as well as my teaching and school administration experience at both the college and graduate school levels, all allow me to understand the issues our students face, and to interact well with Parents, with our School Board and with the School Administration. These also equip me to advocate for our private schools and our home schools.
With four years experience as an Information Technology IT Administrator, I have learned the principles to be able to understand our Nelson County Broadband Internet needs, and I plan to solicit far more private enterprise solutions to move our county wide high speed internet connections forward more rapidly.
I am familiar with Roberts Rules of Order and am well aware of the decorum and mannerly disposition expected of a Supervisor or Chairman of the Board. I am ready to serve as our next North District Supervisor, and if called upon, to serve as Chairman. I plan to be readily accessible by phone, by email, and by appointment in person whenever needed.
Lifelong and longtime residents of Nelson County endorse me.
In my current work at Zenith Quest we constantly face the unknown and solve difficult situations to achieve business success. I believe this, together with all of my other experience, equips me to be ready to face the unknown situations that will be the responsibility of the Board of Supervisors to solve together with our entire Nelson community. My work supervising the construction of our 84,000 square foot warehouse and distribution center has allowed me to get to know many of our county personnel on a first name basis. I believe I have shown that I can work smoothly with everyone in the various county offices, and I look forward to doing so as our next North District Supervisor. So I am asking for your vote on November 7th.
Any Questions? Call me at 434-996-5213 or email: RayMilesforSupervisor@gmail.com