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June 7, 2019

Angela Smith joins race for commissioner of revenue

Angela Smith of Warrenton will face the winner of next week’s Republican primary — Eric Maybach or Carl Wiberg — in the Nov. 5 general election.
What makes a strong community is the people that will step up and really keep it vibrant and good. So, I’ve always looked, one way or the other, to seek how I could play a part in it.
— Angela Smith
Angela Smith
• Age: 57

• Home: Warrenton

• Office sought: Fauquier County commissioner of revenue.

• Party: Independent.

• Work: Realtor, Piedmont Fine Properties, Warrenton, 2018-present.

• Experience: Owner, Stone Ridge Events Center and Savory Fare Catering, 2013-March 2019; general manager, Fauquier Springs Country Club, 2007-13; owner, Legend’s Events Center & Catering, 2004-07; owner, Legend’s restaurant, Warrenton, 1990-2004; executive director, Fauquier Chamber of Commerce, 2000-04; Scheulen & Patchett PC, accountant, 1986-1990.

• Organizations: Member, Fauquier Chamber of Commerce, 1990-present; member, Warrenton Rotary Club, 1992-present.

• Education: Bachelor’s degree, accounting and finance, James Madison University, 1983; Fauquier High School, 1979.

• Family: Husband, Mark; he has 3 children from a previous marriage. Ms. Smith’s previous marriage ended in divorce.

• Hobbies: Exercise, reading and travel.
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Staff Journalist
The Fauquier native has no doubt that decades of local business experience and public service make her the best candidate for the Fauquier County commissioner of revenue.

“I’ve been pretty vested in the community over the years,” Angela Smith, 57, said of her decision to seek the position. “I’ve served the (Fauquier) Chamber of Commerce, the Warrenton Rotary Club.

“I’ve served on various committees for the Town of Warrenton and county government.”

A deep understanding of the community and a working knowledge of how government operates also have prepared her for the commissioner’s job, said Ms. Smith, who has owned and/or managed several hospitality-related businesses and overseen staffs of 20 to 100 people.

A political independent, the Warrenton resident on Tuesday submitted the required certificate of candidacy document to the county registrar’s office to get on the ballot.

Republicans Eric Maybach of Warrenton and Carl Wiberg, who lives near Opal, also seek the commissioner’s seat. They will vie for their party’s nomination in the Tuesday, June 11, primary. The winner will face Ms. Smith in the Nov. 5 general election.

The Republican nominee and Ms. Smith hope to succeed Ross D’Urso, who in February announced he will retire at year’s end. A Republican, Mr. D’Urso won his first four-year term in 1995. He worked as deputy commissioner five years before that.

The commission of revenue’s position would allow her to put relevant skills, knowledge, experience and education to work for the county in a new way, said Ms. Smith, a Realtor with Warrenton’s Piedmont Fine Properties.

“The commissioner of revenue does require a strong background in accounting and finance, a strong understanding of real estate and an ability to manage a fairly large staff and budget,” explained the former accountant who earned a bachelor’s degree in that discipline and in finance from James Madison University in 1983.

“What makes a strong community is the people that will step up and really keep it vibrant and good. So, I’ve always looked, one way or the other, to seek how I could play a part in it.”

With a staff of 22 and a $1.5-million budget, the Fauquier commissioner of revenue’s office maintains tax assessment records and provides a range of financial services, including revenue forecasting, to county government.

Ms. Smith first considered running for commissioner in February, soon after Mr. D’Urso announced his retirement.

She probably would have pursued the Republican nomination but business obligations at the time precluded that, the candidate said.

“It was always in the back of my mind” to run for the office, Ms. Smith said. “And, quite frankly, I was keeping my options open. But, I wanted to make sure in fairness to me and the taxpayers that my (real estate) transactions that I was doing got squared away.”

Postponing a decision to run also would permit her to assess the caliber of candidates for the job, before taking the plunge, she said.

“It’s helpful to know if there’s somebody that’s just a no-brainer for the positon,” Ms. Smith said.

In her view, Mr. Maybach and Mr. Wiberg fall short of that mark.

Mr. Maybach works as a business center manager in Herndon for Regional Acceptance Corp., a Greenville, N.C.-based company that provides automobile loans through dealerships. 

Mr. Wiberg has as served as real estate appraiser with the Loudoun County commissioner of revenue’s office for the last five years. Before that, he did appraisals for Danville-based Wampler Eanes Group from 2008 to 2013.

Neither candidate has a college degree.

“I think both candidates are good people and certainly have the best interests at heart,” said Ms. Smith. “I don’t think Wiberg is familiar with the local area. . . . I don’t know that (Mr. Maybach) has the breadth of experience and background.”

For about 34 years, Ms. Smith has had a varied business career in Fauquier. Among other things, she worked as an accountant for a Warrenton firm; started and owned a restaurant; and, started and owned an events center and two catering businesses, which she later sold.

During that stretch, Ms. Smith also worked as the county chamber of commerce’s executive director and the Fauquier Springs Country Club’s general manager.

Additionally, she serves on the regional board of Moorefield, West Va.-based Summit Community Bank, which has a Warrenton office.

Because of her broad background, she understands the commissioner of revenue’s work, the candidate said.

“I’ve been on the other side of the commissioner of revenue’s desk for a number of reasons — agricultural easements and land-use (value taxation), appeals of (real estate) assessments and taxes,” Ms. Smith said.

At the same time, she doesn’t “pretend” to know everything about the office.

Still, she believes her on-the-job “learning curve is going to be fairly doable, in that I understand most of the players,” Ms. Smith said. “And if I don’t know the answers, I’m pretty sure I know who does.”

Jack Mallam, the sales and services vice president of Warrenton-based Puffenbarger Insurance and Financial Services, plans to vote for her.

“Angela’s got a great combination of education and experience — as a business owner and a citizen — to see things from all sides,” said Mr. Mallam, who met Ms. Smith through the Warrenton Rotary Club about a dozen years ago. “One of the things I’ve always admired about Angela is that she just takes a very pragmatic, solution-driven approach to things.”

“She doesn’t lose sight of the end goal. She’s very good at getting people to work together.”

All independent candidates have until 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 11 — when Democratic and Republican primary elections will conclude — to submit all required documents to appear on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300.
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Stacie Griffin · June 10, 2019 at 10:08 pm
What a great opportunity for our county! Angela Smith is an ideal candidate with a proven background, the right qualifications and knows how to lead teams. She genuinely cares about Fauquier County and works well to bring everyone together.
Jim Griffin · June 8, 2019 at 6:07 pm
"She never sticks to one thing for any length of time"

Really?

6 yrs: Owner, Stone Ridge Events Center and Savory Fare Catering, 2013-19;
6 yrs: General manager, Fauquier Springs Country Club, 2007-13;
17 ys: Owner, Legend’s Events Center & Catering, 2004-07;
Owner, Legend’s restaurant, Warrenton, 1990-2004;
4 yrs: Executive director, Fauquier Chamber of Commerce, 2000-04;
4 yrs: Scheulen & Patchett PC, accountant, 1986-1990.

Stayed in college 4 yrs, graduated, worth whatever value you assign to accounting for an assessor, plus she's on the board at the bank and has decades with the Chamber and Rotary.

Like Rover 530 writes, choice is good.

I will not vote in the primary, but if I did I'd choose Wiberg because he's experienced at assessing. As regards Maybach, he is surely a fine person volunteering for public service, but his employer's reputation is less than stellar:

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/finance/regional-acceptance.html
Town&Country; · June 8, 2019 at 3:46 pm
Alrightythen, I have to agree. Don't know Ms Smith but the article alone sounded so arrogant. All I can remember is Legends moving from the big restaurant then to Lee Street and then no more. As far as college degrees, Fauquier County hired a guy for Budget officer in the mid nineties only because he had his masters degree from UNC over a county employee who applied and had the experience but working on a degree. County's 97 Budget was based on a 400K property for sale (it had been sold in 96 so that 400k long gone) and missed a $2.5 million transfer to capital fund. So the Budget of 97 was nothing but bs. So that is what that college degree got this county. Btw if I remember correctly they hired the original applicant without a degree who found these mistakes. Maybach and Wiberg have fought a hard and civil race stating their experience. Based on this article I could never support Ms Smith!
ALRIGHTYTHEN · June 8, 2019 at 9:03 am
ScATterBraiN comes to mind when I think of Angela Smith. She never sticks to one thing for any length of time. And really? Because you don't have a college degree that makes someone unqualified? Sounds snobbish to me. Insincere. Cold. And trust me when i say she will know all of your business. Mr. Durso was conscientious of that but it kind of feels like it would be a conflict of interest for Ms. Smith. And those businesses of hers? All failures. But wait....squirrel. You'll see. The Maybach name has been in this town a long long time but I don't know this particular Mayback. Mr. Wiberg has the experience, albeit in a different county. Still, I would rather see someone with the pertinent experience vs someone looking to put another knotch of experience in her cap.
Rover 530 · June 7, 2019 at 5:53 pm
Great news! Angela is a solid fixture in the Fauquier community and is a well-respected businesswoman. I will vote for her. Glad to have a choice in November. I don't know who Maybach and Wiberg are and never heard of them before this year. Not sure if they are really qualified for the job.
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