Journalist to run for IOW board seat

Published 8:13 am Friday, May 8, 2009

ISLE OF WIGHT—JoAnn West Hall has announced her intention to run for the Hardy District seat on the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors.

Hall, a 53-year-old resident of Smithfield, is a journalist who has worked at several newspapers, including The Tidewater News.

“Our county has so many positive things going on, particularly considering today’s economy, and we need to work hard to ensure that we retain the high quality of life that we enjoy so much here in Isle of Wight,” Hall said.

Hall will run against the incumbent, James Brown Jr., who also serves as the chairman of the county board. Brown confirmed Thursday by telephone that he would seek re-election.

June 9 is the qualifying deadline for the election, which will be held Nov. 3. Neither candidate is required to declare party affiliation.

According to a press release from her campaign, Hall is concerned about government spending, voter redistricting and employee morale within the county government.

On the redistricting issue, Hall said she would like to see the county increase the number of seats on the Board of Supervisors from five to seven.

“Isle of Wight’s population has increased dramatically in the past decade and would seem to justify additional voter representation on the board,” she said.

Hall said recent resignations and lawsuits involving county employees indicate there are personnel issues in county government which she said needed to be dealt with promptly and effectively.

“These issues have been in the headlines far too long,” she said. “It’s time for the Board of Supervisors to determine the problems and find the answers.”

A native of Ivor, Hall has lived in Isle of Wight County for more than 20 years. She lives in Morgarts Beach with her husband, Mark, and their three children. She attended Southampton High School, Meredith College in Raleigh, N.C., and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in mass communications.

Hall began her career in journalism at age 16 with a summer job at The Tidewater News. She later worked as a reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Virginian Pilot, and the Daily Press, and was also the news editor of The Smithfield Times.

Hall served as the public information officer for Isle of Wight County Schools from 2000 to 2006, and is currently the host of the local television talk show “Smithfield Today with JoAnn Hall.”

Hall is an active member of Trinity United Methodist Church. She also serves on the Superintendent’s Advisory Council for Isle of Wight County Schools and volunteers with the Christian Outreach Food Pantry and the Isle of Wight Arts Center. She is a former member of the Luter Family YMCA Board of Directors and Smithfield Kiwanis Club.