Three apply for IOW School Board

Published 8:24 am Friday, December 3, 2010

WINDSOR—Three men were nominated Wednesday to fill the vacant Carrsville District seat on the Isle of Wight County School Board.

Robert Eley, Ben Rideout and Tim Bradshaw will be considered in closed session during the School Board’s Dec. 9 meeting, Chairman David Goodrich said.

The seat became vacant when Kenneth Bunch resigned Nov. 18 and was subsequently appointed to the Board of Supervisors to fill the seat vacated by Phillip Bradshaw.

All three nominees pointed out their business and community work to the School Board during a Wednesday night meeting.

“As a lifelong resident, I am not only passionate about economic future of our school system, but also the quality of education we provide,” said Eley, who attended schools in the county and has served as president of the Windsor Youth Foundation.

“With a diversified background, I feel like I could bring a fresh point of view to the board,” he said.

Rideout said he is active on a number of committees in the county, including the Southern Development Committee, which he chairs, Isle of Wight County Beautification Committee, Isle of Wight County Crime Prevention Council, Isle of Wight County Commission for the Aging and Camptown School Memorial Park Board.

He said the public should be consulted before decisions are made.

“Any money that’s spent in this county is money of all the residents, and I don’t believe in making a decision or casting a vote until you’ve consulted with the people in your district,” said Rideout, a county native who graduated from Windsor High School.

Bradshaw, who is the founder and chief executive officer of the Franklin-based website development company Insercorp LTD, didn’t grow up in Isle of Wight, but said he always considered Carrsville his home.

“Growing up in the military, you don’t really have a home,” he said. “But I always considered this place my home and when I moved from Richmond, I decided to make this place my home.”

Bradshaw, who served on the county’s fair committee and is treasurer for the Asian Association of Hampton Roads, said his business experience would be valuable as a member of the board.

“I’ve learned through business how to take a limited budget and make it work,” he said.

The new member will likely be appointed at the Dec. 9 School Board meeting, Goodrich said.

“We will attempt to have the clerk of courts there that evening so that the person can be sworn in and take part in the meeting,” he said.

Hardy District member Herb DeGroft questioned if it would be fair to ask the new member to vote on issues at that meeting without any background on the issues.

“If the person does not feel comfortable participating in the meeting, then that’s certainly their prerogative,” Goodrich responded.

The newly appointed board member will serve until the position is filled through a special election as determined by the circuit court.