Livingston Supervisor Greg Benton Will Not Seek Reelection
At the April 9th Board of Supervisors meeting, Livingston Supervisor Greg Benton stated that he would no longer be seeking reelection. Later, he told the Free Lance-Star that the sPower Special Use Permit application process took its toll on him and contributed to the decision not to run. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Mr. Benton's service to the County. There were often times I disagreed with Mr. Benton's votes, but no supervisor over the last 3 1/2 years gave the Spotsylvania citizens more insights into his decision-making process than him. No supervisor held more townhalls than him. I was also struck by his dedication to engage with the population on controversial issues - calling a townhall for the SPower project, which exposed him to those against the project. He also made efforts to speak to citizens on social media and answer their questions. The citizens may not have liked his answers, but answers they did receive and that should mean something in the current political climate.
Mr. Benton pushed for the County and Schools to conduct compensation studies to address employee pay issues. He has acknowledged that this process did not fix the issue as much as he would have liked, but I give him credit for trying to address a growing problem in our community.
Mr. Benton opposed the Franklin Crossing Assisted Living Facility off Route 2, because the plans called for transferring traffic burdens from an affluent community to a less affluent one.
Mr. Benton demonstrated courage by being open-minded to tax increases to ensure that County services were maintained at a level the community expects. If this page has been, from time to time, critical of Mr. Benton, it's because he opens himself up to greater scrutiny by speaking his mind more regularly than most of his peers.
I don't know if the sPower project will be a good thing for the County. I do know it took courage to go against such a vocal opposition in his own district and that his quest for facts, evidence, and holding the developer accountable showcased perhaps some of his finest moments as an official.
Mr. Benton had his shortcomings as any official does, but at the same time - he might have been the closest version of a citizen representative we had in Spotsy. He made decisions with what seemed to be a disregard for political considerations and his political future. We certainly would benefit from more of that sort of independence. Therefore, as Mr. Benton moves toward becoming a private citizen again, I take this time to thank him and wish him well.