Mineral election features new faces

Posted on Monday, March 31, 2014 at 9:00 am

Two newcomers are hoping to make their presence known when Mineral voters head to the polls on Tuesday, May 6.

Longtime residents Doswell “Tex” Pierce, 72, and Michelle Covert, 55, have both filed for candidacy for Mineral Town Council in the upcoming Mineral General Election. Both will look to fill one of the town’s six seats, as council members serve four year, non-staggered terms.

Michelle Covert has been involved in various committees in the town since moving to Mineral in 2004. As a current member of Mineral’s Planning Commission as well as serving as the chair for the Board of Zoning Appeals, she said the time feels right to tackle a position on Town Council.

“I think I’ve shown a dedication to working with the town in a variety of capacities,” Covert said.  “I have enthusiasm, and perhaps a fresh vision that I can contribute.”

Covert said her campaign’s focus is two-fold: improve town infrastructure and attract more businesses.

Based on her time spent as a member of the Mineral Town Improvement Committee from 2005 to 2008, Covert said residents have a strong desire for improved crosswalks and walkways throughout Mineral. She added that small improvements, such as curb cuts, can improve both the safety and attractiveness of the town.

It’s that type of improvement that she hopes will draw new businesses to the area. Though she was wary to say that all incoming businesses should be approved, Covert said that companies that match the community’s needs would boost not just the economy, but morale as well.

“I think we need to open ourselves to all businesses that are interested in coming,” Covert said. “I’m not saying we should accept every business, but we should consider them. Frankly, having more businesses come draws more business because people have more hope.”

Covert felt the two problems she hopes to address go hand-in-hand because of the cause-and-effect they have on one another.

“If we bring in more businesses, we’ll have a more lively, commercial area,” Covert said. “It’ll create a larger tax base to contribute to the infrastructure we need to work on.”

For Doswell Pierce, the idea of running in the upcoming election was conceived only recently. Though he has no prior experience serving on a town council, he said the lessons and responsibility he developed during his five years in the Army, as well as his 21 years at the North Anna Nuclear Power Station would work to the town’s benefit.

Already a frequent attendee of the monthly Mineral Town Council meetings, Pierce said he favors creating a more inviting and informative atmosphere for residents of Mineral.

To read the entire story, see the March 27 edition of The Central Virginian.

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