Sunday, May 31, 2015

Images of Goochland

Detail from "Oilville 1938" by Patti Rosner

You are cordially invited to attend the dedication of "The Villages of Goochland" on Tuesday, June 2 at 7 p.m. in the board meeting room of the Goochland administration building at 1800 Sandy Hook Road, Goochland, Viginia.

This dedication will showcase this collection of paintings that represent a labor of love for Goochland by local artist Patti Rosner, who painted the amazing wildlife mural in the children's section of the Goochland Library.

Inspired by old photographs and memories of lifelong residents of each of the county's villages, Patti has created iconic images that capture a snapshot of people and places that have faded into the mists of time. As Goochland morphs into its next phase of existence, the importance of these charming impressions cannot be over estimated.

Proceeds from the project will be donated to the Goochland Free Clinic and Family Services and the Goochland County Historical Society. Notecards, mugs, and other items decorated with village scenes are also available.

The Kanawha Canal model will also be on display.

For more information on The Village project, go to:

Sunday, May 24, 2015

America's legacy-- pass it on

Tomorrow, May 25, we observe Memorial Day to honor those who gave their lives to protect the freedoms we as Americans hold dear.

American Legion Post 215 has organized an observance to be held on the Goochland Courthouse green beginning at 10 a.m. The event will include color guards, patriotic music, prayers and speakers.

The observance will be over well before noon so as not to interfere with the recreational aspects of the start of summer.

Members of the Post 215 Auxiliary will be distributing, in the hopes of receiving a donation, the iconic red crepe paper poppies that have come to symbolize Memorial Day.

The poppies reference the poem In Flanders Fields written by Lt. Col. John McRae that describe the poppies growing on the graves of World War I dead in Flanders, Belgium.

Until recently, 100% of the poppy donations were used to help veterans. Due to the great needs of today’s military families, The American Legion Auxiliary has expanded the use of these funds to include active duty service members and their families who demonstrate a financial or medical need.

This is a good opportunity help the young ones brush up on flag etiquette and learn about patriotism. Parents and relatives can do a great job of teaching these lessons. If you’re not sure what to do when Old Glory passes visit
Thanks to the American Legion for helping our community salute those who make our way of life possible. See their website for more information.

See you on the Courthouse green.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Girls rule, boys too

As the winnowing process for presidential hopefuls gets underway, two women have announced their intention to seek nomination for the top spot of the ticket for their respective parties.
In the decades since Betty Friedan’s The Feminist Mystique began to explore the place of women in the power structure, many have risen to the tops of their respective professions.

Currently, there are three female justices on the United States Supreme Court. Major corporations, including General Dynamics and General Motors are headed by women.

Even Goochland County, for the first time in history, has a female chair of the Board of Supervisors, Susan Lascolette, who represents District 1.

There is no doubt that females are more than capable of fulfilling the duties of elected office. A more pressing question is how to get them interested in government in the first place.

One way, is the Virginia Girls’ State program run by the American Legion Auxiliary. Each year, every American Legion Post Auxiliary in the Commonwealth selects girls in their locality who have completed their junior year in high school to participate in the event.
According to its website, since founded nationally in 1937 to promote Americanism, nearly one million girls
nationwide have had the opportunity to learn firsthand how state and local governments work.

During the weeklong event, to be held this year from June 21 to 27 at Longwood University--the Boys’ State program is held concurrently at Radford--attendees become citizens of fictional cities named in honor of someone associated with the history of the program, or Virginia.
Participants learn about the formation and operation of government on the city, county, and state levels. They vote and hold elected or appointed offices, live together, and learn about the privileges, rights, and responsibilities of American citizenship.

Good government is the result of hard work by elected and appointed officials at all levels operated under the watchful eye of an engaged citizenry.

After an extensive selection process, Goochland American Legion Post 215 and its Auxiliary are happy to announce the students who will participate in the 2015 Boys and Girls State.

Post 215 Auxiliary selected for Girl’s State: Jaymi Bell, Madelyn Parker, and Emily Hobbs. Rachael Edwards and Sara Jane Anderson are alternates. Selected for Boys State: from Benedictine College Preparatory is Harry Young and from Goochland High School are Logan Monk, Caleb Fisher, and Davis Paone; Nathan Alford is the alternate.
According to Post 215 Public Affairs Officer Nancy Gregory,”This (selection) was a difficult choice given the involvement and activities of these young men and women. Most have or had family members in the military; volunteer in the school and in the community; are active in athletics; participate in mission trips; and are members of multiple organizations and leadership organizations both within and outside of the school. All have plans for further education once they graduate from High School.”

America may forget its veterans, but our veterans never forget America. Planting the seeds of patriotism, and leadership in future generations is a sure way to ensure that the ideals that built our nation never die.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Not so fast

Response to the announcement of the new Goochland County logo, pictured above, has not been all positive. It probably generated a large yawn.

One GOMM reader pronounced the new image as amateurish; another lamented the loss of reference to the county's history by the omission of a founding date. According to some the County was actually establish in 1728, making the date on the county seal incorrect.

In general, Goochlanders probably just don't care much one way or the other.

Summer is almost here. After our harsh winter, people are focusing on the end of the school year, vacations, and enjoying life. Complacency about government at all levels is easy, and dangerous. Pay attention and hold elected officials accountable for their actions.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A picture is worth...

new Goochland County logo

Goochland County seal adopted 1975

At its May 5 meeting, Goochland County’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a new county logo. This symbol will be used on county documents and equipment as deemed appropriate.

The county seal, which will also be used for official purposes, is the coat of arms for the family of Sir William Gooch, the royal lieutenant governor of the Virginia colony from 1727 to 1749 It currently appears on documents, county vehicles, and behind judges in both the circuit and general district courtrooms. Sir William never actually set foot in the county that bears his name.

A few years ago, former District 2 supervisor William Quarles, Jr. prepared an explanation of the heraldry in the Gooch crest, which references arcane European medieval terms that have little relevance in the 21st century. However, Virginians have never been all that keen on modernity and, in spite of having fought two wars to break free of British rule, have an affinity for English traditions.

The logo, according to County Administrator Rebecca Dickson, evolved from the county rebranding initiative undertaken by the Department of Economic Development to attract new business to Goochland.

Incorporating both agricultural and corporate sides of Goochland’s nature, the logo depicts barns and silos coexisting in a circle with office buildings.

Yes, there are multi-story office buildings in Goochland. They are mostly in West Creek and are not skyscrapers. The corporate headquarters of Luck Stone is tucked discreetly into a slope on the south side of Route 6 in Manakin. These buildings, especially the Luck facility, lie gently on the land. Some have won awards for their environmentally sensitive designs.

CarMax, headquartered in West Creek and its neighbor Capital One, have received national recognition as being among the best places to work. Other large employers in West Creek include Virginia Farm Bureau, Performance Food Group, and a government agency.
The logo embodies a new attitude in Goochland. While the supervisors are committed to encouraging economic development, they have also pledged to ensure that new enterprises, be they commercial or residential, will not overwhelm the county’s ability to provide core services of law enforcement, fire-rescue, and education.

The logo was part of the January presentation to Standard and Poor’s, which resulted in the county achieving AAA bond rating status, a first for a Virginia county with fewer than 50,000 residents.

Items in the May 5 board packet requiring official action, including adoption of the logo, were headed with the county seal. Minutes and agendas used the logo in their headings. (See the supervisors’ tab at for the complete packet.)

Practical considerations for adopting a simple logo could include ease of reproduction. As the seal is a very complicated design, it does not reproduce well, sometimes resulting in a dark blotch on documents.

The logo’s simple design is expected to be used on items including stationary, business cards, business forms, and the county website.
A resolution adopting the logo also states that it and the county seal may be used only by county personnel for official county business. According to County Attorney Norman Sales, when the seal was adopted in 1975, it was not given the protection afforded by the new ordinance.
Goochland’s new logo expresses energy, optimism, and offers an invitation to explore the possibilities that our county has to offer.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Cinco de Mayo

A meeting of the Goochland County audit committee, which includes members of: county staff; the Board of Supervisors; School Division Staff; the School Board; and Treasurer’s Office was held before the May 5 supervisors’ meeting.

In addition to recommending extension of the contract for the annual audit to the firm of PBMares, the committee discussed credit card reporting policies.

Five firms submitted bids to handle the annual auditing chore, which has been performed by PBMares for the past three years. According to Deputy County Administrator for Finance John Wack, PBMares has the best skills for the task. The cost of the extension was also negotiated to remain at the 2014 price.

District 5 Supervisor Ken Peterson said renewal of the contract for one year with options for two additional years does not lock the county into a long term commitment, but provides the opportunity to look at the matter each year.

County Administrator Rebecca Dickson said that by the time PBMares might have been performing county audits for six years, it will be time to change firms. She recognized the need for fresh eyes on the county’s books. PBMares has the capacity to have different people working with the county in coming years to ensure “fresh eyes” handle the task.

The contract is included in the Board packet for May 5 found on the supervisors’ tab of the county website
The group then focused on the count policy regarding purchasing cards.

Board Chair Susan Lascolette District 1 asked for greater reporting detail about the use of county cards. Comptroller Barbara Horlacher said the cards make things more convenient for employees by facilitating small purchases. Employees who use the cards must prepare a detailed reconciliation every month, including receipts.

District 5 School Board member John Wright said that the schools require those detailed reconciliations to be part of public record. He said the details refuted allegations of misuse of funds and add another layer of transparency.

Lascolette requested that similar detail be available for county spending. Dickson said that the information is already collected and will be added to finance reports.

Highlights of the Afternoon session:

Lt. Black, after serving 35(dog years)in the K9 unit of the Goochland Sheriff’s Office was officially retired and sold to his partner and constant companion Sgt. Greg Bock for one dollar. Black, who will be succeeded as Goochland K9 officer by Chase, plans to spend time with the family and take it easy.

For the second consecutive year, Goochland County Administration has received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for the 2014 certified annual financial report (CAFR). According to Deputy County Administrator for Finance, John Wack, this award “represents the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental and financial reporting issued by this national organization.” He said that the award was the result of a true team effort and mentioned Myrtis Quarles, Barbara Horlacher, and Debbie White of the School Division for their fine work.

Mills Jones, Goochland Comprehensive Services Act Coordinator, was recognized as 2015 Outstanding Service Coordinator in the State. The ward was made by the Office of Comprehensive Services “to acknowledge and celebrate our unsung heroes for their countless efforts and commitment to serving troubled and at-risk youth in the Commonwealth.” Jones was nominated for the award by School Superintendent Dr. James Lane.

In his monthly report, Marshall Wynn, VDOT representative said that work on the River Road Bridge over Tuckahoe Creek is expected to begin on May 27. He was hopeful that work would be completed in about six months, finger crossed and weather permitting.

County ordinances under review include mixed use zoning; rewrite of the subdivision ordinance; elimination of the conditional use requirement for drive through restaurants; and conditional use requirement for to family dwelling. The planning commission held a public hearing on proposed mixed use ordinances on May 7 and recommended approval.

The Supervisors authorized Dickson to execute a contract with PBMares for the FY2015 audit. The proposed contract (included in the board packet) lists the cost for the County CAFR as $66,400 and the Goochland-Powhatan Community Services Board financial audit as $13,500.

Following expressions of concern by citizens during public comment period and discussion among the supervisors, the Board voted to postpone action on a proposed ordinance addressing road stands for uses on shared private roads in A-1 and A-2 zoning districts. As written, the proposed ordinance would require uses described as places of public assembly to have direct access to a state maintained road. It also has very broad grandfathering provisions to protect existing uses.

As an ordinance dealing with “places of public assembly” is in the works, the Board seemed to believe that both matters should be addressed together. The supervisors were wise to take their time on this issue. However, they also need to be careful to provide a fair and equitable standard going forward in a way that offers the maximum protection to all property owners. Goochland needs to move away from the “favors for friends” zoning of old, where “by right” uses were codified to lessen public scrutiny.

Evening Session:

A 20 year extension for a conditional use permit was granted to Glenn Nuckols for this towing business on Ashland Road.

Dorothy and Robert Rich were granted a rezoning to add an additional parcel to the Windy Run subdivision located off Rockford Road, just south of Interstate 64 and west of Manakin Road.

A rezoning of 127.94 acres on the south side of Fairground Road next to the Breeze Hill subdivision from Agricultural Limited (A-2) to rural preservation (RP) was granted to applicant Earl Thompson. He intends to build no more than 29 homes in a subdivision called “Lane’s End”.
Proffers include payment of the full cash proffer of $14,250 per residential lot; construction of left and right turn lanes onto Fairground Road; no trails or stables to be built on boundaries with Oakland and Parker’s Hill subdivisions; and supplemental plantings between Lane’s Edna and Parker’s Hill.

Although residents of Parker’s Hill requested a minimum square footage for the homes in Lane’s End, Steve Thompson, speaking on behalf of the applicant, contended that the size of the homes will be market driven and that a larger home does not necessarily mean a more expensive home. He expects the house prices in Lane’s End to start at $450,000. “If you are trying to meet a price point and have a minimum square footage requirement, you’re going to have to take things out and not necessary have a nicer house,” he said.

District 2 Supervisor Manuel Alvarez, Jr. concurred observing that the people moving to Goochland tend to be older and want nice, but not necessarily big, houses.

The enforcement policy for infractions of conditional use permits was approved.