Bea LaPisto Kirtley joins Board of Supervisors race

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Bea LaPisto Kirtley is running for the Rivanna District seat on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. Photo by Norm Carter Bea LaPisto Kirtley is running for the Rivanna District seat on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. Photo by Norm Carter

Standing on a stepstool behind a podium marked by her campaign sign, a former Bradbury, California, city councilor of 20 years was the second person to announce her run for the Rivanna District seat on the Board of Supervisors.

Bea LaPisto Kirtley said addressing the “critical lack of broadband coverage” in Albemarle will be a priority if she’s elected. That echoes the top concern of Jerrod Smith, her only known opponent, who announced last week.

At her announcement that drew a crowd of about 30 people, the Keswick resident of 12 years also emphasized protecting natural resources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and supporting and preserving the county’s many family farms.

Two growth areas, Pantops and U.S. 29 north, are in the Rivanna District. LaPisto Kirtley said they should be “developed thoughtfully” with attention paid to regional transportation issues, because growth can overburden critical infrastructure like roads and highways. She also advocated for better public transportation, which would reduce traffic and carbon emissions.

“How do you make things happen?” she said. “By listening to what the community needs and serving the residents as a strong voice for action, being innovative, and working with others. If you can’t work together, nothing gets accomplished.”

In her career, LaPisto Kirtley served as a teacher, principal, and then a director for the Los Angeles Unified School District, where she was responsible for 24 elementary schools. Locally, she has volunteered with CASA, which provides advocates for children in foster care, for four years and fundraised for nonprofits such as Hospice of the Piedmont.

“I will be both accessible and attentive,” she said, adding that her strengths are listening, being a hard-worker, being “adept at identifying workable solutions, and getting things done.”

Supervisor Liz Palmer attended LaPisto Kirtley’s campaign announcement, but said she hasn’t endorsed any candidates yet.

Said supporter Mary Miller, “I know her to be a powerhouse, and better than that, she listens to people. I have never seen her fail to get the job done.”

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