Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Some Supervisor Recap

This election cycle has been put to bed, though the particpants will likely be partying late into the night across the county and over in the City at the Loupassi residence, who thanks to Chesterfield voters will be the next Delegate to represent the 68th in the General Assembly.

Dan Gecker in Midlothian did what he needed to do and won virtually every district. Turnout in the District was 11,682 which is 31% of electorate compared with some 21,907 that voted in the 2006 cycle across the District. Gecker managed to increase his % over the 2006 campaign in large part due to the growth issue. His saw increased support in 503 Midlothian, 504-Robious and 507-Salisbury which bit into where incumbant Don Sowder had secured his victory last year. Gecker earned 6,624 votes to Sowder's 5,058.

While it was no surprise to this blogger, Marleen Durfee and a grassroots with a Utube campaign took the Matoaca seat rather handily from to very familiar names in Chesterfield, Mark Tubbs (R) and Bill Hastings (D). Hastings did very well and won Ettrick, Matoaca and Beach areas but could not expand on those while Mark Tubbs won the areas of WintersStore, Winterpock, and Evergreen.
Ms. Durfee however, would take the larger voting areas and secure her victory by winning some 7 polling areas and in some cases rather handily. Som eof her larger areas were Woolridge,Tomahawk, and Bailey Bridge where she earned over 600votes in each area.

This was the one race that I think the outcome was unexpected. The incumbant, Kelly Miller (R) lost to his challenger Mr. Holland (D) and only managed to secure 3 polling areas in the District. Miller, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, would win Buelah, Falling Creek, and St. Lukes. Both candidates were even in Salem Church, but Holland would win 8 polling areas over Miller to become the new Supervisor of the Dale District.

Clover Hill:
Art Warren in a romp

In one of the better races in terms of true grit campaigning (thats knockin on every door folks) Dorothy Jaeckle(R) succeeded in her bid against Ree Hart (D). I will follow with the polling data later.


Chesterfield County has gone from a Board of Supervisors of 5 Republicans to a new Board now as of 2008 one with 2 Republicans (Warren, Jaeckle) 2 Independents (Gecker, Durfee) and one Democrat (Holland)

I don't know about you but it sure would be nice to have at least 1 AT-Large member going into 2008 but who knows maybe by 2010 with the census coming we will be increasing our number of Board members to at least 7 maybe 8 from 5.

Right now, each memeber represents about 60,000 residents but of that number the polling shows only about 18,000 residents per member actually vote in any given election cycle.


Andrea Epps said...

I think the new board will bring an interesting dynamic to Chesterfield. I also think that in four years, the masses that didn’t vote in certain districts will have seen their taxes rise enough to get them back to the polls.
What is going to be essential, in Dale especially is the Planning Commissioner. Dale is a diverse district and the commission’s role is going to be extremely important when looking at the new board.
The meetings will be lengthier as I predict the light system will vanish, which would be a good thing.
I’m glad this cycle is over and at the end of the day, regardless of the board Virginia is still a Dillon Rule state. I think that will prove to be the most interesting dynamic these individuals will face, and I wish each of them luck living up to the promises they made.

Anonymous said...

I also wish each of them luck living up to the promises they made, which will be difficult under any circumstances, especially with a mandate of roughly 30%.

The mortgage industry has already put the brakes on residential development, so the Board can tread lightly for while as it gets its feet on the ground and condsiders long term policy for growth that will be needed sooner than they think, like yesterday.

Anonymous said...

I am worried about the influence of the Northern Virginia Democrats and taking over the leadership in the Senate. Fairfax ideology is not aligned with that of most of our county. They know this. I fear we will be left behind in the funding game as this blog has referenced recently.
We need to be concerned about getting state road funding increased, but I wonder just how much of a priority this will be for the new Senate.
We need to start looking to ourselves now and plan on not getting a single penny over the 6.43 million per year. That will be the true test of our new Board.
Hard choices and hard solutions.

Andrea Epps said...

The previous comment is well noted. I wonder how much influence our representatives at the state level will have. I don’t know, but I don’t think it will take long for the new board to adopt its first transportation tax district on an area with existing residents.

AlterofFreedom said...

Andrea Epps:
That is an outstanding point regarding the transportation districts.

I tend to resource the blog Bacons Rebellion more alot of the matters involved with specific models and population specifics and find that blog very informative.

I have been working lately on a coalition plan where communities and homeowner association could come together in terms of involvement with the community if for no other reason that to keep everyone informed.

I think the Charter Colony example is a good one where no matter how much effort is made by the developers people are still not going to get the word as they should in large part because the resources are so fractured. I am sure you have had this as well were people out of misinformation become guarded about Magnolia Green.

The coalition will assist us in mitigating such things as well as provide for working projects in our community where we as citizens can partner with both the business community, our schools, and our local government to address the concerns of citizens.

It is much better to have a few people on the front line going before the Board or Planners addressing the needs and concerns brought up through the coalition than it is for people to simply disengage from the process because the feel they do not have the time to go down to meetings and speak to issues. An online community coalition will allow all of us to voice our concerns and forward a dialogue amongst our community to better our quality of life.

It is at the core about individual responsibility and the will to hold leaders accountable to the needs of the masses not that of the wants of a few.

I fully expect this coaliton to begin as an extension of the various Homeowner Associations and Community Associations along the Robious Road and Huguenot corridor which reprsents almost seven precincts of the Midlothian Distrcit. Hopefully if successful it will be something that will easily be a model for other areas and other districts like Matoaca who so desperately need more avenues for their voices.

The coaliton will also seek to work with the various PTA committees at local schools within the territory and work with them and the School Board to help facilitate an ever increased dialogue between all the elements. In large part the primary mission will be working with the grounds committees and making sure they have the necessary funding with the assistance of the business community to accomplish the projects or beautification and safety in terms of our school grounds.

We will also seek a dialogue with people like you and in your area and of expertise and work to dispose the myth that the issues are the results of the "developers"; we want to bring together the groups and put faces on issues and deal with realities not myths in an positive manner to better our community.

I personally hope to capture what momentum there is post election in keeping people engaged with the issues. I am a firm believer that casting a vote simply begins your realtionship with the process and does not end it.

The greater challenge for us will be to raise the voting percentage from 30% to my goal of 50%. Its a lofty goal but one which we truly should be hoping to accomplish.

I will be posting more information concerning the coaliton plan in the coming days so any input you may have would be highly appreciated.

J. Scott

Bill Garnett said...

J. Scott,

You continue to be the foremost blog resource for Chesterfield County politics. Thank you for your selfless contribution. Keep up the good work!

I wonder if you would join with me to support some of the following requests to the county:

(1) Have Mr. Haake publish on the county website the eligible voters and the voter turnout by precinct for each election cycle.

(2) Have precinct maps by district published on the county website

(3) Have executive summary graphics that make it easier for the lay resident to see county income and expenses (pie charts), historic county growth, and other broad indicators on the county website

(4) Publish on the county website the compensation of all county employees.

(5) Have a better search function on the county website – try entering a search word and ending up with 250 results – there needs to be a better structured search function.

(6) Creation of “ombudsmen” for the 67 precincts to help percolate up the local needs and values to the board, give residents an easier access to county government resources, and take some of the pressure off of supervisors who in a part time job have 60,000 residents to represent.

(7) Initiate a county email alert system for interested residents for county meetings of interest (e.g. specific public committee meetings or district supervisor meet ups).

By the way, Gecker won in all but one precinct (not district).

Andrea Epps said...

j- Your idea is wonderful, and if there is anything I can do, please let me know. I work in Matoaca and I live in Clover Hill. If you want to get your head around one of the issues, the link below will take you to VDOT’s draft access management policy. I am 100% in favor of access management, but this could have some unintended consequences, and potentially hinder economic development potential.


Mr. Garnett- All of those ideas would be great! Let me know when you start the letter (email) writing campaign?

Anonymous said...

I get it, Ms. Epps. Threaten people with dire predictions over higher taxes and keep the door wide open for residential developers and your self interest. Your comments sound like the start of the next election cycle. You and some of your friends in the homebuilding industry need to focus on positive solutions, bringing all the stakeholders to the table, and having a little more respect for the needs of the current homeowner. Interesting that you think the "Dillon rule" will protect your interests from a strong local board. Sounds like you prefer the ring of state politics where special interest money does all the talking. Of course, no surprise in this revelation. Speculation and "scare tactics" about transportation tax districts and the new Board is just not productive dialogue, but then again, that does not appear to be your objective. Good planning doesn't raise taxes, bad planning does and we have cetainly had enough of that.

Andrea Epps said...


Anger management therapy would serve you well, but as it is…

1. I don’t have the ability to raise taxes; therefore my comment can not be a threat. It is an opinion based on the fact that when the language of the Magnolia Green CDA was written, the county “couldn’t make a decision for a future board” when asked to exempt the land within the CDA from a future additional special district. I am not a scare tactic type of gal.

2. You want solutions ( I’ll give you some even though you didn’t offer any yourself)

* Transfer of Development Rights Program
*Incentive zoning
* Differential proffers to direct new development and
provide affordable housing.
* County wide redistricting at the high school level to make
more efficient use of space and shorten distance
*Incentives for community revitalization efforts to prevent blight

3. I am a Land Use Administrator who works for a development company. I am not a developer. Note the difference if you have the ability.
4. Not that this is your business, but my interests are in land use. I serve on the Brandermill Board and have spoken on more zoning cases than I care to remember in the last 3.5 years BECAUSE I care about existing communities.

In the future, if you are going to enter a battle of wits unarmed, please at least know what you are talking about. I would also humbly request that you read your own post and then give advice on productive dialogue.

My apologies Mr. Scott.

AlterofFreedom said...

Andrea Epps:

With all due respect, no apology is required.

This is proves my exact point at the level at which we have permitted politcians to distort the role of the entire developer community in term sof being some kind of "evil".

Its factually baseless. I have issues with zoning cases and devlopers for sure, but the fact remains the work within the legal framework; which in case anyone is paying attention is dictated by two sources: your State legislature (you mentioned the Dillon rule) and your Local government.

Why is it we have such a problem with developers playing within the confines of the rules set by those that their very cases come before at the local level? It is because we have seen our local politcians shift the focus on the developers and away from themselves and accountability.

There are many tiers to the problem that remain in the shadows.

How many of us know who sits on the Committee on the Future, Chesterfield Preservation Committee or even the Parks and Recreation Advisory with its various areas like Capital projects, Greenways, Future Visions to name a few? As we must look toward our infrastrcutures on the ground we must also examine the very "human" political infrastructure that makes up the organizational component of our government as well.

We must create the dialogue and welcome all points of view to get an undertanding just want the impacts of Transportation Districts or Authorities (sorry Anon they are coming there no denying) given the fact that are newly elected Supervisors will not endorese increasing proffers OR passing impact fees. Without these two functions the only way in which solutions may be financed is through a raise in either property taxes within the next two years to offset the slowing housing environment and new starts coming into the system or increasing the BPOL taxes and fees on the business community.

Anyway you cut it, things will be changing in the County with regard to these areas and it is our responsibility to participate to lesson the impacts our communities will experience.


Andrea Epps said...

Mr. Scott-
Well said, as usual. I think there is much to be accomplished by working together and holding officials accountable for their actions and campaign promises. When the "nasty developer" mentality shifts toward cooperative collaboration that is solution oriented, we are on the right track. And as I said earlier, count me in and thank you.

Anonymous said...

As soon as our new leadership lays out a plan detailing what "needs" should be addressed and how much they cost, then we can debate over how to pay for them.

Nobody hates paying taxes more than me. Nobody hates wasteful spending more than me. But I pay for what I want and I want quality work and product when I do tap into my wallet. I expect the same from this board.

To have the "quality of life" (forgive my use of campaign slogans)the taxpayers claim they want, exactly where and how many schools are needed to fulfill this?

I dont give a poot about trailers. It's used as an excuse for all the other problems that arent addressed. The dirty little secret is the kids and teachers love them. So get over the trailer park mentality.

We want smaller schools and smaller classrooms. We want more qualified teachers and the rest fired instead of moved around from school to school to hide them. we want the SOL's brought back to reality and the last 60 days of each school year actually used for something other than killing time.
We want our schools to mind their own business and stop their parenting beyond the school yard gates.

The school administration tells the school board what it wants and what to do, instead of the other way around.

Roads. Roads. Roads. To have the roads they say we need, which ones, where, and how much do they cost? Where is the priority list that we can debate upon?

How do you balance between the needs of new roads and older roads? If the pie is spread too thin, nothing will ever get done. A list of projects that gets knocked off one at a time will at least get us somewhere.

First agree on what needs to be fixed. Provide a plan to fix it including the costs. Then we can decide on which wallets to tap.

Leadership. We are begging for leadership that listens and acts. I hope this new board understands that.

Good luck J. Scott with your community involvement groups. Fire them up and turn em loose.

Andrea Epps said...

J. Scott, FYI.
The following link is to the regional transportation plan that is up for public review. They request a survey as well, and have a public comment period. This might address some of your excellent questions, about roads anyway.


Anonymous said...

I am as anxious has everybody else to get some things rolling, but I wonder if now that Only Art Warren remains will the meetings that J.Scott has identified regarding illegal immigration on NOv. 14th and impact fees on the 28th will now be merely lame duck happenstance.

Will people be inclined to turnout and voice concens when they know that 4 of the 5 are gone in 30 days anyway?

I watched as difficult as it was for Donald Sowder to be brought up to speed on the role of the Board, not as a planning instrument but as a governing body, and have to say for someone who was not involved in politics before he ran with it but it took alot of his time. Will these new board members like Durfee and Jaeckle grasp it fully enough in areas like the budget to jumpstart an agenda? I do not think so. It will take them well into the second and third year I think to make impacts. Holland and Gecker I think will be able to narrow the curve considerably and much will be placed at Warren's feet.

Anonymous said...

Dorothy Jaeckle seems to have already come out against further zoning approvals and also taking at closer look at Roseland before that is said and done. (WTVR 6)

Due to the number of changes on the BOCS, I believe they will not even be able to legally vote on the Roseland case now that only one will return to office in 2008.

Mike Lanksky said...

With all the hoopla about growth, the real issue is about money.

How is the County going to deal with the huge unfunded post retirement health benefits said to be from 300-600 million? It looks like the new County Administrator hid this in his previous position.
Do we get rid of him?

The most basic requirement for a Supervisor is to understand finances and numbers. Holland is a CPA and Gecker knows numbers. Warren is average with finance. I have heard some very negative things about the other two new ones are far as understanding finances. I hope they are at least smarter than Humphrey and King.

The bureaucrats always run wild with ignorant elected officials.

Anonymous said...

No time for trial by fire.

This new board will be faced with the challenges that are a direct result of reckless finances to be sure, but the larger question looms over how these new offcials will effectively translate campaign speak about "smarter growth" generalities into an actual policy binding plan that has both support of the Planning Commission and the School Board.
Remember this bodies will be full of new officials as well come 2008.