Brookland District Supervisor Republican Primary – Benjamin Dessart, Gilbert Wilkerson, Robert Witte

In preparation for Tuesday's primary elections, the Henrico Citizen invited the candidates for every race that impacts Henrico County to answer several questions about themselves. The responses of those in this election who replied appear below:

1. Why should residents of your district vote for you as their party's nominee?

Dessart – As the Brookland GOP Chairman, I’ve had the honor to work with late Supervisor Glover over the years. He taught me this position isn’t a job, a title, or sitting behind a desk. It’s being out in the community and truly listening to needs of the people. I’ve taken Dick’s lessons to heart, and I will work to ensure his legacy of a fiscally responsible Henrico with a supervisor that listens to the people is continued.

2. What would be your top focus as a supervisor?

Dessart – Henrico is an incredible place to live. We have great schools, safe streets, and a government that works for us. But there’s always ways to improve. As supervisor, my top focus would to be accessible to the people and ensure we continue Henrico’s long history of providing quality services.

3. What is the most critical issue: 1) facing your district? 2) facing Henrico? How do you propose to address these?

Dessart – Overcrowding in our public schools is one of the largest issues facing Brookland today. The Board and the people of Henrico have been responsive in addressing these concerns by passing the bond referendum in 2016. This referendum will fund the construction of the new elementary school in the district and build new classrooms desperately needed at Glen Allen Elementary. However, the Board and the Planning commission must act proactively as well. They must take overcrowding in our schools into greater consideration before approving major developments in our community.

In Henrico, there is no denying that the opioid crisis has come to our neighborhoods. Many still believe this is a problem confined to the hills of western Virginia, but the scary reality is that one person in Henrico County dies every week from an opioid overdose. That’s one of our friends, family, co-workers, or neighbors that die every week. Henrico needs to continue to support the efforts underway in our jail to facilitate drug rehabilitation and seek out community partners to turn back the tide of substance abuse in the county.

4. How will you involve citizens in Henrico County government matters?

Dessart – I believe a transparent Henrico is a better Henrico. It’s the job of the Supervisor to ensure the people of Brookland know about important upcoming events and meetings. If nothing else, Brookland deserves to have more informal Town Hall meetings to update the people on the issues important to them and to answer any questions they may have.

5. What's your favorite way to spend a weekend?

Dessart – When I’m not door knocking for the campaign, you can find me kayaking on the James or meeting with friends and family. Dinning at Eat 33 is a classic as well!

6. What personal or professional clubs or organizations are you a member of?

Dessart – I’m a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church, an Eagle Scout from Troop 795 out of Glen Allen Baptist Church, a longstanding member of the NRA, and an Executive Board Member of the Henrico County Republican Committee.

Additional information

Dessart – I’ve always been proud to call Henrico home. I’m running to ensure the next generation is afforded the same opportunities I had growing up here by keeping the Henrico Way moving forward. It would be an honor to have my neighbor’s support and vote in the Republican Primary on June 13th.
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Henrico Public Library wins Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation grant

The Henrico County Public Library system recently won the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation's Library Grant Award, which provides funding, materials and programming from VBCF to help educate citizens about breast cancer.

The grant is given to select libraries in Virginia that apply and is intended to further the VBCF mission to educate the public about breast health and breast cancer. > Read more.

Pet Valu to open in Glen Allen Aug. 26

Pet supplies and accessories retailer Pet Valu will open at 5304 Wyndham Forest Drive in Glen Allen Saturday, Aug. 26.

The store will offer free samples, goody bags, refreshments, raffles and prizes and kid- and pet-friendly entertainment during its first day of business from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. > Read more.

State issues warning about purebred puppy scam

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is warning Virginia consumers about an active fraud involving purebred puppies.

Herring's Consumer Protection Section recently has received a number of reports of consumers entering into agreements to buy a pet with a company they found online, later to learn the website and the company are a scam – and that no such puppy ever existed. > Read more.

Kaine, McEachin to host Service Academy Day

Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) will co-host their Service Academy Day to educate high school students about the service academy nominations process, an honor awarded by members of Congress for students interested in attending a service academy after high school.

The event will take place Saturday, Sept. 16, from 10 a.m. to noon, at Matoaca High School, 17700 Longhouse Lane, Chesterfield 23838. It will provide an opportunity for high school students and parents to learn about the nation’s military academies, a career in military service and the nominations process. > Read more.

Red Cross, Sport Clips offer free haircuts to blood donors

The American Red Cross and Sport Clips are partnering to provide free haircuts to anyone who donates blood or platelets to the Red Cross during September.

Blood donors of all blood types, especially type O negative and O positive, are urgently needed to replenish the blood supply following a critical summer blood shortage. > Read more.

Henrico Business Bulletin Board

August 2017

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VCU's Office of Continuing and Professional Education will offer free events during 3rd Wednesdays at Regency Square. Today’s topic is “Opioids in Virginia.” Experts will talk about current Virginia statistics and what is happening in local communities. They will also review some of the changes happening to address the opioid epidemic, including increasing continuing education for a variety of providers, community resources and training, and treatment resources. Sessions for the 3rd Wednesday series will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Garden Room adjacent to the food court. For details and to register, visit Full text

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