Miriam Riggs of Cashville has announced her candidacy for the District 7 seat on the Accomack County Board of Supervisors. She seeks to replace Laura Belle Gordy, who is retiring. Miriam has lived in Accomack County for over 40 years, where she has worked as a self employed designer and business person, and raised her four children.

Over the years, Miriam has been outspoken on a number of issues facing Accomack County, including rapid subdivision development in the agricultural zones, enactment of wetlands protections for the seaside watershed, management of storm-water runoff, and increased regulation of industrial poultry operations.

“All of these issues have a common theme and that theme is water. While promise of economic development is always a popular goal, it is imperative that the sole groundwater aquifer for our locality is protected so that one industry such as industrial poultry does not monopolize the resource. We need to ensure that tourism, aquaculture, conventional farming, and the real estate industry are also acknowledged as vital drivers of Accomack’s economy. We need to protect waters along our Atlantic coast by speaking in opposition to offshore drilling so that the research and development at the Wallops Spaceport may continue its major role in supporting our economy.”

“I like the wisdom of having a broad and diverse economic base so that if one industry has a setback, there will still be opportunity for other industries to support our citizens. I place a high value on education, the new public library, and good internet access. Also it is crucially important to leave room for up and coming innovators, such as renewable energy and organic farming to become established in our county.”

While working several years at WESR back in the early 1990s, Miriam enjoyed the connection to the community which that radio station provided. She became News Director, and reported on many supervisors meetings and important issuess in Accomack and Northampton counties.

“Even my experience as host on WESR Swap Shop provided a deeper connection to the community which has helped me understand and appreciate the diverse social networks of the Eastern Shore. It enabled me to assist others in many unexpected ways, whether it was collecting donations for a family who had lost their home in a fire, or helping others sell farm equipment, or even home grown produce.”

Miriam has served as a volunteer on the Boards of Directors of Citizens for a Better Eastern Shore, the Eastern Shore Artisans Guild, Save Our Shore, and Central Green. In 2006, she co-organized “Friends of Broadway Landing” to work with State and local officials in re-establishing public access to the Chesapeake Bay at an overlooked public right of way. Miriam served on the Citizen’s Stakeholder Committee to provide input for county zoning updates during the 2008 work sessions to revise Accomack’s Comprehensive Plan. She is currently active on the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Council. Her ongoing professional work includes exhibit design for the Barrier Islands Center, and restoration of a Virginia Historic Landmark house near Eastville. She has a BA Degree from Old Dominion University.

“Serving on the Accomack Board of Supervisors would be an honor for me. It would be a valuable opportunity to make a long term commitment to my home county which has supported me for so long. I am ready to do the hard work of learning and researching the issues, so that I can guide this community toward a productive and promising future.”