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Races start to form for supes, school board seats / May 10, 2021

Candidates for seats on the Halifax County Board of Supervisors and School Board have four weeks remaining to submit their packets to ensure their name is on the ballot this November. The candidate filing deadline is Tuesday, June 8 by 7 p.m.

Voting Registrar Heather Harding stated on Friday that she has received some of the required paperwork from Board of Supervisors chairman Hubert Pannell and Thomas Lee. Lee is seeking a seat on the Halifax County School Board in Election District 3, which is currently held by Sandra Garner-Coleman. Pannell also represents ED-3.

Garner-Coleman has filed to run for re-election, said Harding, and “has completed her paperwork and has been officially certified to be on the upcoming ballot.”

Jeff Francisco is not seeking re-election to the Board of Supervisors in ED-2. Larry Roller, who currently serves as board tiebreaker, will be running to fill Francisco’s seat.

“If Roller is elected, a special election will be added to the November 2022 ballot to fill the tiebreaker seat,” said Harding.

Elections for Board of Supervisors and School Board will take place in Election Districts 2, 3 and 6.

With many business ventures to tend to, Jeff Francisco said he wants time to focus more on new projects for the county. He’d like to create a professional agriculture event center at the fairgrounds and help bring in a meat processing plant, to cite a few ideas.

“If I shoot a deer, I would like to be able to have the meat processed inside Halifax County,” he said.

In addition to being a real estate agent, Francisco owns and operates All Occasion Transportation. He also is one of four owners who launched the local brewpub in South Boston on Saturday, The Factory Street Brewing Company.

“I think [Larry] Roller will do a great job,” said Francisco.

Currently, there is only one contested race — for School Board in ED-3, now represented by Garner-Coleman.

Thomas Lee will be joining the contest for the same seat. Election District 3 spans an area that takes in Meadville Elementary and Sinai Elementary.

“I’m running for School Board as a way to continue serving the community,” said Lee who worked as a law enforcement officer in New York for over a decade.

His interest in the local political process was sparked when he became an election board official.

“I wanted to know who is running and what their platform was,” said Lee, who has worked every election since 2010.

“I want to help find more ways to connect kids to one another living in Halifax County and to keep them living here,” said Lee.

Lee expressed that he brings many skills to the table, including his time worked as a gang officer, hostage crisis intervention, but most importantly, his listening skills.

“I have the ability to listen to parents, teachers, and students. As well as sit with the school administration to help bridge the gaps,” said Lee.

“We need to look to the future of the district and where it is going. Technology and science labs need to reflect the education for the twenty-second century. There needs to be a good stadium to play ball. There needs to be room in the budget for sports, recreation, and the arts,” said Lee.

“Most importantly, the teachers need good pay and the ability to captivate the student,” said Lee.

“The pandemic has shown that parents are average teachers and the teachers must love to teach overall,” said Lee.

Lee supports the construction of a new high school, as well as the possibility of merging older elementary facilities, “if in fact they are bleeding the budget.

“Going forward, by merging schools and staff, we need to see, less is more,” said Lee.

Lee expressed there is plenty of work to be done, and sees Sandra Garner-Coleman as an ally.

“Whatever the common goals may be, it is for the betterment of the children,” said Lee.

Lee said he introduced himself to Garner-Coleman at a recent COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Meadville Elementary School and relayed he was running for the same school board seat.

Lee was born and raised in Brooklyn, a borough of New York City. He is the youngest of 12 siblings, with eight brothers and three sisters. He earned bachelor’s degree in Business Law from NY Technology College and began working for the United States Postal System. Five years later he joined the ranks of New York Police Department and a year later took a position with the New York Sheriff’s Department where he served 14 years, 1986-2000.

Moving on, Lee became a private investigator and was hired by Sony where he helped escort famous musicians internationally. This led Lee to a bit acting role in the 2018 Marvel film, Black Panther, in which Lee plays a shaman in the fictional country of Wakanda.

After filming of the blockbuster was completed in Atlanta, Lee moved to Vernon Hill in January 2017 to live with his wife, Michele Marrow, after they were married in December 2016. They have two daughters from previous relationships, Hamidah and Fana.

Today, Lee is a certified loan signing agent with The Notary’s Pen. His wife, Michele, was a former substitute at Meadville Elementary, but currently she tends to the care of her elderly parents.

“I travel to the door of who needs my assistance to help them with deeds, titles, and power of attorney,” said Lee, adding he covers a hundred mile radius.

If you would like to contact Lee he may be reached at 434-470-0376 or via email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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just what we need on the school board a yankee that moved down here to try and tell us how to do things better. People should only vote for county natives to hold political office.

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