This November, in addition to voting for various county officials, residents of the town of Mineral will vote for a new member for town council.
Ed Kube and Michelle Covert are running for the council seat left open when Jessie Shupe resigned in April, after serving for less than a year. Lewis Keller was appointed to fill the seat until the election.
Kube has many years of experience in Louisa County’s government, having served as the county administrator in the 1970s and as a member of the Board of Supervisors, representing the Jackson District for two terms beginning in 2006. He was elected as chair of the board in 2008 and held that role for five years.
“I see a lot of things going on that I feel need to be addressed,” he said. “I’m running because I want more openness, honesty and transparency in the town’s operations.”
One of his proposed solutions is for the council to advertise their agendas in the newspaper like the board of supervisors and Louisa Town Council do. This practice was something that Kube began while serving as a county supervisor.
“You’re not required [by law] to advertise in the newspaper,” he said. “It’s something that you do because you’re interested in letting the public know what you’re doing.”
Kube would also like to see the town promote more economic growth and attract more businesses to the town, and support and promote the businesses that are already in town. One suggestion he has is to hold a business appreciation event.
“You’ve got to promote business to expect businesses to want to be in your community and to continue in your community,” he said. “When you have a small town like this, I think the council needs to be more supportive and promoting different things.”
Covert moved to Mineral in 2004 from northern Virginia. Since coming to town, she has been involved in a number of organizations, including the Mineral Rescue Squad and currently serves on the town’s planning commission and as the chair of the board of zoning appeals.
“I really like this town, and I think that participating helps me integrate as someone who hasn’t been here forever,” she said. “The community provides for me, and if I have the capacity to give back, I have the responsibility to do so.”
Like Kube, Covert also feels that there should be better communication between the town council and the town citizens.
“I’m not as aware [of what’s going on] as I would think I would be, even being on the planning commission,” she said.
She doesn’t agree with Kube’s suggestion of advertising the agendas in the newspaper since the town can’t afford the cost of doing so, but would like to see the town send notices to the citizens, or get an electronic sign like the one at Louisa County High School to display messages about upcoming events and meetings.
Covert also agrees with her opponent that the town should promote and attract new businesses, which again comes back to communication with the town.
“I think a great thing for us to do is to have some kind of committee or forum where business owners can come and tell us what their concerns are,” she said.
Covert wants to see the town take action to repair the water and sewer system.
“Our water system is very old and poor and [has a lot of] patchwork, and I think our citizens have a really high water bill,” she said. “I would like for us to be able to address that in some way that it doesn’t continue to exponentially increase...I know the town is working on it too, but I would like to contribute to that because I think it’s a really important thing to work on.”
For both candidates, the most important goal is to try to improve the town going forward.
“I think that the town council has changed over the years and has become a more forward-thinking body,” Covert said. “We really need a strong council with a vision toward the future...and we need to put more effort into moving forward rather than staying the same.”
The council election will be held on Nov. 5, the same day as the upcoming general election.