Invited to address the Mill Creek South Homeowner’s Association, which had been especially active during the Biscuit Run rezoning process, Kevin Fletcher’s night actually begins when he walks through the door of the Cale Elementary cafeteria 10 minutes before his 7pm address and finds one resident sitting on one of the small, hard, round stools lining both sides of the table. Taking a seat nearby, he begins with an introduction and an easygoing style of banter that leads to the question of who exactly contacted him about tonight.
"I’m terrible with names," the resident says.
"Oh, I’m horrible with names," Fletcher replies, smiling. "Everyone tells me, ‘How do you expect to get elected to an office if you can’t remember names?’"
"You just have to fake it."
"This is the kind of thing I’m depending on, getting out and talking to people. People ask me, ‘How do you expect to be elected if you don’t put out the signs?’" Rare among candidates, Fletcher has refused to display any of the small cardboard advertisements dotting the county’s landscape as the November 6 election nears. "I’m just not going to do it. I hate and despise the little signs."
More Mill Creek residents gradually filter in, one mentioning she is afraid she is going to miss "Bionic Woman" at 8pm. But Fletcher has the night’s TV schedule down pat. "’Bionic Woman’ comes on at 9," he corrects. "’Pushing Daisies’ is at 8, ‘Life’ at 10."
Shortly after 7pm, all nine of the neighborhood attendees—half of them on the association’s board—are seated and ready to conduct their official affairs, starting with a report on the development’s upcoming Octoberfest. Fifteen minutes later, the floor is Fletcher’s.
After explaining that he has been a Scottsville resident for 14 years, he tells them he was at one time the manager of the largest organic farm in Virginia. Then he lays out his reason for entering the supervisor race. "I’m running because I’m really unhappy with my representation," he says. "I do not feel that our current representative represents the true mindset of many people in his district as far as growth and development, affordable housing, traffic. A lot of these issues go unheard from the public, and I want to put an end to that."
He speaks in a soft but confident voice, often using his hands to emphasize his points. "Biscuit Run is fabulous. It is the neighborhood model, what everyone has asked for," he concedes, though notes that "once you look outside [its] 800 acres, there is no plan."
After another 10 minutes, he welcomes any questions. Where will Biscuit Run get its water? "The water will come from Ragged Mountain reservoir, but that has not been approved by the Army Corps of Engineers," Fletcher says. "That is something typical of our county. …The county hopes for the best and plans for the best. They never plan for an unforeseen circumstance."
What about the inevitable increased traffic that Biscuit Run will cause? Fletcher shrugs. "I’m sad to say but they’re probably going to have to do some widening of Route 20."
After another query, the 43-year-old candidate is done. "I kindly ask for your vote on November 6, and please tell anybody if you’re happy with me to also consider [voting for] me. Thank you very much." But his night isn’t quite over.
For the next hour, the neighborhood association covers its normal business. All through it, Fletcher smiles when people laugh, but mostly just has to sit there, enduring the mundane discussion. When the meeting is finally over, he’s offered brief greetings from a few residents, and then heads to his pickup truck. It is after 9pm. At least he will be home in time to watch "Life."
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