In Virginia, Boards of Supervisors govern counties and each member is elected to a four-year term. Prince Edward County’s Board of Supervisors has eight members, one for each district. In District 1, the Farmville District, incumbent Supervisor E. Harrison Jones is being challenged by Peter Gur.

Jones has served in the position for just one year. He won the seat in 2022, in a race that was also against Gur. Before losing that election, Gur had been serving as the interim supervisor. He was appointed to the position earlier that year, when the elected supervisor resigned.

Collectbritain designed a questionnaire based on more than 200 responses we received to a voter survey. Gur returned answers, Jones did not.

Tell us about the economic situation in your county. What would you as a supervisor do to address the major economic concerns of your constituents?

Peter Gur: The Prince Edward County economy is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The major economic concern of my constituents is the high inflation rate. I will:

  • Attract new businesses.
  • A Dollar General store will come to Kingsville, and a Wawa store will come to the corner of Commence Road and Farmville Road.
  • Keep the county real estate tax low.
    • Cumberland County — $0.75 per $100 of assessed value
    • Charlotte County — $0.62 per $100 of assessed value
    • Buckingham County — $0.55 per $100 of assessed value
    • Prince Edward County — $0.51 per $100 of assessed value
    • Appomattox County — $0.63 per $100 of assessed value
    • Nottoway County — $0.48 per $100 of assessed value
    • Amelia County — $0.38 per $100 of assessed value
    • Lunenburg County — $0.38 per $100 of assessed value

Editor's note: In Gur's original response, the majority of the real estate tax rates he provided were incorrect. At Gur's request Collectbritain has updated the figures in his response to match the rates provided on each respective county's website. Nottoway County rates were for 2022 because the 2023 rates were not available on the county's website.

E. Harrison Jones: No response provided.

What sort of development, if any, would you like to see in your county?

Gur: Prince Edward County increased its real estate tax rate from 0.47% to 0.51% to help renovate the Prince Edward County Elementary School and apply for permission to use the Sandy River Reservoir water. Prince Edward County Elementary School will get $35 million from the 0.01% property tax increase.

On August 30, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to choose Scenario 3 among 4 options to renovate the Prince Edward County Elementary School. The total cost will be $43.5 million. Prince Edward County Public Schools will apply 20% of the project amount from a state grant, which is $8.7 million. It is ready for the bids. The project is expected to complete in 2025.

The county doesn’t own the water from the Sandy River Reservoir. However, if it doesn’t get permission from the state, any other agency can apply for its permission. The county uses the 0.03% real tax increase to start the procedures. Prince Edward County intends to supply cheap and drinkable water to the Piedmont Geriatric Hospital, in Nottoway County, Nottoway Correctional Center, and the Town of Burkeville for a very long time in the future.  

Data Center: Prince Edward County spent $1.9 million to study and purchase 280 acres of land just off Persimmon Tree Fork Road, where two major Dominion Energy transmission lines, 230 KV and 115 KV, merge. It would need to purchase the remaining 200 acres of land from the same owner to construct the data center. It would generate 30 jobs and high tax revenues.

Broadband expansion: See next question.

Jones: No response provided.

Voters have asked about broadband internet access and speeds in Central Virginia. What is the situation in Prince Edward County and can the Board of Supervisors do anything to help?

Gur: Prince Edward County, Cumberland County, and Lunenburg County together applied for and received a $10 million grant from the federal government and a $5 million grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Prince Edward County itself contributed $2.1 million. Kinex Telecom started the broadband installation at West 3rd Street in Farmville last December. For phase I, Kinex built almost 290 miles of fiber in Prince Edward and Lunenburg counties. Now it moves to southern Cumberland County for Phase II. Eventually, it will move back to eastern Prince Edward County. It is estimated that it will take three years, to complete in 2025.

Jones: No response provided.

Central Virginia counties have commissioned studies that show climate change will have devastating effects on agriculture and flooding in the coming decades. What would you as a supervisor do to prepare?

Gur: The Appomattox River flows through the county; besides, the county also has the Sandy River Reservoir. The county should be able to deal with climate change.

Jones: No response provided.

What do you think about local law enforcement working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement? Do you think Farmville should maintain its agreement with a private company and the federal government to run an immigration detention center?

Gur: Prince Edward County lost around 1,640 people in the last ten years. Farmville welcomes the ICE facility. It spends money locally and it hired my former student as its nurse. Besides, the local law enforcement never worked with ICE to send any illegal immigrants who are on the street to ICE. All ICE inmates committed felonies. After the Circuit Court judge sentenced the illegal immigrant with a felony, it was the Circuit Court Clerk who told the fellow to go back to the jail to give a blood sample to the FBI or to request the captain to sign a waiver paper. Then, ICE arrested the fellow and took him to the immigration detention center. These fellows will never have freedom again in the US. They are waiting to see an immigration judge. Then, they will be expelled from the United States.

Editor's note: Much of the growth in immigration detention since 2015 has been because the federal government increasingly detained people with no criminal convictions, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. The organization's data also shows that the number of immigrants facing deportation because of criminal-related charges has dropped dramatically. Not all detainees who have been detained at ICA Farmville, the area's private immigration detention center, have committed felonies or immigrated illegally to the United States. Here's more about the facility and who has been detained there. Additionally, the immigrant advocacy group Immigrant Legal Resource Center has tracked the immigration-related actions of local law enforcement around the country. In 2019, they found that the Piedmont Regional Jail in Prince Edward County has limited but not programmatic cooperation with ICE, and has had agreements with the agency in the past.

Jones: No response provided.

Do you support building more solar farms in Central Virginia? What would you do to encourage or discourage such projects in Prince Edward County?

Gur: I don’t support building more solar farms in Prince Edward County. It has many rainy days. I discourage such projects in Prince Edward County.

Jones: No response provided.

What role do you think national politics can or should play in local government?

Gur: The federal government should provide money, such as the Title grants and COVID-19 rescue fund, to help local government.

Jones: No response provided.

What are one or two biggest challenges you see facing Prince Edward County? How would you as a supervisor address them?

Gur: Two historical events have impacted Prince Edward County for a very long time: In April 1865, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee retreated through Farmville. Then, he surrendered his army to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865. The Confederacy was gone with the wind. The Confederate Cemetery in Cumberland mourned: “Faithful unto Death, Confederate Heroes, 1861-1865.”

On April 23, 1952, Barbara Rose Johns, at the age of 16, led a student strike for equal education opportunities at Moton High School in Farmville. At the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education case, the Supreme Court struck down the doctrine of “separate but equal” and ordered an end to school segregation. However, a lady liked to fly an oversized confederate battle flag on the Farmville east entrance at the 3rd Street exit from Interstate 460. At the Board of Supervisors’ meeting, I recommend to “limit up to three flags with the total size of 120 square feet.” My proposal was approved. As a Board of Supervisor, I would address the issue as: “I will provide equality, justice, and offer everyone with an opportunity to find a job.”

Jones: No response provided.

More about the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors

Polls in Virginia close at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, night. The Virginia Department of Elections will publish election results in real time, as they arrive from precincts around the state. To view them, head to this link. These are unofficial results until they are certified. Here's more about how to get election results.

  • Sept. 22: First day of in-person early voting at your local registrar's office.
  • Oct. 16: Deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration. You can also register after this date, and on election day, but you will vote with a provisional ballot, could take longer for officials to count because they will verify your eligibility.
  • Oct. 27: Deadline to apply for a ballot to be mailed to you. Your request must be received by your local registrar by 5:00 p.m.
  • Oct. 28: Voter registration offices open for early voting.
  • Nov. 4: The last day of in-person early voting at your registrar.
  • Nov. 7: Election Day. Here is where you can find your polling place.

Need to know if you're eligible to vote? Here are resources from the Virginia Department of Elections.

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