Today marks the official filing deadline for the Williamsburg city council May 4 Election. After becoming the first candidate to declare on Jan. 28, Scott Foster ’10 will be joined on the ballot by five long-term city residents.
These candidates all seek solutions to issues facing their fellow city residents; however, only Scott Foster will be an active voice for the student body as a resident student. He has the ability to serve with a viewpoint unifying the two seemingly at-odds populations of Williamsburg: residents and College of William and Mary students. We have a unique chance this semester to help get the first College student in history elected to city council, and we would be foolish to squander it.
The city council needs leadership that promotes community cohesion. Foster will use the councilman position to address issues with inclusive reasoning. To College students: you may feel trapped in a bubble amid exams and research, but you are active members of the community at large. To city residents: as much as the College may feel like a separate entity in town, it is a public institution providing business within the community.
Foster understands this link well from his four years spent as a Williamsburg resident and as a student receiving an education at the College who enjoys his outdoor hobbies in the city. Learn about his experience as a resident student on his website Fosterforwilliamsburg.com.
Voters must lend support to a candidate who can listen to, as well as voice, community problems. Foster seeks to engage in a five-member city council with a unique perspective, and voters will be well served by paying attention to him as he takes the time to listen and talk to them.
Raised in the tight-knit community of Highland, Va., Foster does not underestimate the value of reaching out to those who hold a share in the gains and losses of the community. The Scott Foster for Williamsburg campaign took off at full-speed last month, reaching out to College students and faculty, small business owners, city officials and Matthew Waley Elementary and James Blair Middle School students and faculty. Such a constituent-focused campaign reflects the candidate behind it.
As Zach Marcus ’12 noted in his Feb. 18 Flat Hat column, “For Foster, winning student votes means putting substance over style.” Voters have seen Foster engaging with community members more than they have heard about his positions on city issues. Foster views Williamsburg as a community and seeks to enhance it for all its stakeholders. Marcus’s column printed when Foster was alone on the ballot, before other city council candidates even declared.
The race has only just officially begun. As the weeks progress, more voters can expect to see and hear more from Foster about his positions on issues important to both residents and students. To stay informed without joining Foster at events within the community, voters can use the internet to follow Foster on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. Upon the election’s filing date, with two months left to inform voters, Foster already shows more widespread activity within the community than any of the other candidates.
Foster offers Williamsburg residents and College students a leader that has the passion, integrity and mind to serve a shared community. His dedication is unmistakable, and his love for Williamsburg is unquestionable. Voters must use their right and seize their opportunity to enhance their community when they take to the ballot box on May 4.
Sarah Sibley ’10 is a volunteer with Scott Foster for the Williamsburg city council campaign. E-mail her at email@example.com.