Candidate Review and Endorsement Process
Once PNK2030 started reviewing county documents, it became obvious the best way to directly affect the county’s future was to support “the best athletes” in their run for county elected offices. And this (2019) is an election year which did not give the Partnership much time.
To begin, PNK2030 paid to have a listing of the elected county offices – and their salaries/compensation – published in the local newspaper, the Chronicle. As best we can determine, this has never been done before in New Kent County. In fact, the county’s website did not even include the two elected seats we have on the Soil & Water Conservation District Commission. That advertisement asked folks who were interested in running for elected office to contact PNK2030 for an interview session. A month later, we ran a second advertisement which included the same information.
Nearly all candidates who underwent the qualification process (essentially obtaining a minimum of 125 signatures of New Kent County citizens who were registered to vote – and whose signatures were subsequently verified by the County Registrar) did contact the PNK2030 Governance Committee. And interviews were scheduled over a period of two months. Interviews lasted 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Prior to the interview process beginning, PNK2030 developed a specific list of questions selected to stimulate discussions and draw out their views on our concerns, such as good governance and how they would participate in the process of running the county. We were interested in how inclusive they would be – their responsiveness to citizen concerns – their belief in transparency and equal treatment of all county citizens. We wanted to hear their thoughts about citizen groups like PNK2030, and whether they could work with and integrate volunteer groups of citizens in the process of county governance.
At the end of the interview process, the PNK2030 Governance Committee briefed the PNK Chairman and the entire Executive Committee on their recommendations to endorse selected candidates. EXCOMM members agreed with the selections and the roster was announced at our first public Community-Wide informational meeting. We continued to introduce our selected candidates at each subsequent community gathering.