Lara Overy running for bipartisan position of Williamsburg commissioner of revenue

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October 30, 2017

11:47 PM

For Lara Overy ’08, the position of the City of Williamsburg’s commissioner of revenue brings her a chance to serve in an elected position while using what she calls her skill set, gained from her academic background and her previous work experience.

Overy also ran for office in 2015 against now-State Sen. Monty Mason ’89. At the time, the two were contending to represent District 93 in the Virginia House of Delegates. They split over education, campaign finance reform and gun control, among other issues. While she lost that election, she’s now running for commissioner of revenue and has been endorsed by Judy Nightengale Fuqua, who has held the position for over 16 years.

“I have always wanted to serve in an elected position,” Overy said. “When I looked at the skill set needed for this job, I saw that I had the skill set needed, and I decided I wanted to run. There was no employee in the office who wanted it and no other experienced person to step in. When I learned what the job was about, I realized I was qualified.”

Overy cites her education from the College of William and Mary as one of many things that makes her more qualified than Ray Armstead, the other candidate for this position.

William and Mary provides a top-notch education; it makes you a well-rounded citizen,” Overy said. “During my time there, I won the Benjamin Stoddert Ewell Award, and it has been ingrained in me to be a public servant.”

“William and Mary provides a top-notch education; it makes you a well-rounded citizen,” Overy said. “During my time there, I won the Benjamin Stoddert Ewell Award, and it has been ingrained in me to be a public servant.”

In her work life, Overy works as the chief operating officer for Compass Wealth Strategies. Prior to this position, she served as the director of development for Thomas Nelson Community College, where she led the development team in securing public, private, corporate and foundation funding. She also serves as the executive director of the Educational Foundation and as the director of development at Tidewater Community College.

In terms of philanthropy, Overy serves on the boards of the Girl Scout Council of Colonial Coast, Young Life and the Lynchburg Parents Council. She has also served as president of the Virginia Symphony Society of Greater Williamsburg and on the boards of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance.

According to Overy, the commissioner of revenue position is not a position that involves changing policy — it is one that is about enforcing policy. The position involves overseeing the collecting of individual income taxes, local business taxes, tangible personal property taxes and determining the locality of residence for citizens of the Williamsburg area.

I’ve spent a lot of time understanding how things work,” Overy said. “From what I’ve heard, the office is run very efficiently. It is well-respected by members of the community and members of the business community. This is not a position that sets policy, but one that enforces policy. It is about making connections quickly, so having someone that has experience in management is so important.”

“I’ve spent a lot of time understanding how things work,” Overy said. “From what I’ve heard, the office is run very efficiently. It is well-respected by members of the community and members of the business community. This is not a position that sets policy, but one that enforces policy. It is about making connections quickly, so having someone that has experience in management is so important.”

Overy said that she does not want to frame this campaign around things she would like to change upon being elected. She said that it is better to have an open mind and listen to the needs of the citizens, since much of the commissioner of revenue’s position revolves around state code.

Additionally, Overy said that her experience with managing staffs, as well as multi-million-dollar firms, has given her the experience necessary for this position. She said that if a candidate who lacked the ability to work with the support staff in the office were to be elected, the processes would be slowed down and citizens would be negatively impacted.

One thing that her opponent, Armstead, has addressed as a problem is that several residents of the City or surrounding areas struggle with determining whether they are citizens of Williamsburg or of James City County. Overy said that while this is not something that she had heard much about from talking with constituents, she would love to educate citizens more about this.

For Overy, this local race is very important, and maybe more important than other races on the Nov. 7 ballot, because whoever is elected will have more impact locally and on everyday policies.

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Sarah Smith

News Editor Sarah Smith '19 is an international relations and gender, sexuality, and women's studies major from Ashburn, VA. She formerly served as Associate News Editor.

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