Thursday, March 31, 2016

Amazing grace

Rebecca Dickson, third from left, listens as Board of Supervisors Chair Bob Minnick reads a resolution commending her on service to the county. She is surrounded by (LtR) Ken Peterson, Susan Lascolette, Ned Creasey, and Manuel Alvarez, Jr. Lisa Beczkiewicz is partially visible in the background.

On July 20, 2009, forty years to the day after man first landed on the moon, Rebecca T. Dickson took the oath of office as Goochland County Administrator. She assumed command of a governmental ship of state that was wildly off course, beset by abysmal dysfunction within and economic turmoil without. A trip to the moon might have been an easier undertaking. Her tenure of office ends today, March 31 as she retires to follow a new motto “I walk by faith,” and deal with health issues.

At Ms. Dickson’s investiture, an event attended by many prominent local government officials, Dr. John Thomas of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Policy spoke of his love for local government and its role in our culture. The devastating consequences of failed institutions, shown during the financial meltdown, said Thomas, reveal the importance of effective management in a functioning society.

The task of local government, he contended, is to deliver scores of public services, often in partnership with other groups. It is government’s role to bring all of the players to the table in a mutually beneficial collaboration, which cannot happen under a command and control model; government managers must be team players to implement a shared vision.

Those words were heady stuff to Goochlanders who knew only an arrogant—often rude—command and control type of county government. The sitting chair of the Board of Supervisors ironically thanked interim administrator Lane Ramsey for bringing “new ideas and a professional way of doing things” to Goochland.

Ms. Dickson swore her oath in a quiet, yet firm voice. Although she had impressive experience and credentials, there was some skepticism that this slip of a woman would be up to the formidable task, which turned out to be worse than expected, of getting the county back on track. Her iron will and steely determination had not yet revealed themselves.

Ms. Dickson told the assemblage that she was eager and excited to become part of the Goochland team, a new term in the county lexicon. She was humbled by her selection and pledged to use her passion for excellence in public service for the benefit of all to build on the county’s successes and deal with its challenges.

“You end up where you should be in spite of yourself,” she observed about her life’s journey to the Goochland County Administration Building. “But it all comes down to grace. The grace of others that provided me with opportunities, the grace that provided safety nets, the grace to forgive and continue to work with me when I was clearly out of line. We all need grace and should grant it and receive it when we can.”

Ramsey, one of her mentors in Chesterfield County, said that he “had never seen anyone fall in love with local government and apply her passion to achieve goals.”

And apply her passion for excellence she did in spite of a plethora of enormous roadblocks. In her first days on the job, Ms. Dickson must have drawn deeply on her personal well of grace as she uncovered layer after layer of “challenge” in county operations. She is believed to have taken a significant pay cut to come to Goochland and could have returned to Chesterfield had things not worked out. Rebecca Dickson does not retreat.

In her early years, the county struggled to provide services as revenue dwindled. Unlike many other places, Goochland avoided a tax increase. The county budget was cut to the bone, and then some. The school division claimed that without a significant infusion of cash, funded by higher real estate taxes, education in Goochland was “circling the drain,” and refused to explain why the money was needed.

Ms. Dickson brought fresh eyes to old problems and made changes, some with a scythe, some with a scalpel, mindful of their long term consequences. Perhaps her most significant innovation changed the prevailing "we can't" attitude into a "how can we?" quest to make things happen.

Along the way, some long time county employees were freed “to pursue other interests”. New faces came on board with badly needed skills, especially in the finance area. Under Ms. Dickson’s leadership, the entire staff learned to work smarter, harder, better, and most important of all, together to serve the citizens. The spirit of collaboration in county government that blossomed during her tenure united disparate tasks into common goals. Folks had a good time as they worked, earning the satisfaction of a job well done. Ms. Dickson never missed the opportunity to commend a person or department for their part in achieving goals. Many county employees contend “This is the best job I’ve ever had.”

To be sure, not all of the initiatives proposed by Ms. Dickson were popular, yet she heeded the advice of Winston Churchill during World War II, to “keep calm and carry on.”

The 2011 election brought a new direction in policy and attitude. So many positive changes have come about that it is difficult to remember the bad old days. Under Ms. Dickson’s leadership, Goochland government was transformed from a joke into a model.

Indeed, Goochland Circuit Court Judge Timothy K. Sanner remarked that Ms. Dickson “has lead Goochland through a remarkable recovery so that it now stands as an exemplar for good government throughout the Commonwealth. Her wisdom, strength, and vibrant personality has motivated those around her to put aside personal differences and seek common ground for the good of the county…She is a difference maker.”

County staff and other well-wishers filled the room at the start of her last Board meeting on March 2. After being presented with flowers and a resolution of appreciation for her service. Ms. Dickson smiled to forestall tears during a bittersweet farewell speech sprinkled with her trademark self-deprecating quips.

She claimed that she was just the “middleman” between the board and an unbelievable staff, who makes it all happen. “That (Goochland County Administrator)was a pretty lucky seat, but the work comes from staff and the best board, I know in the state, maybe in the county, to get things done.”

“You always try to leave a place better than found it, I hope I’ve done that for Goochland, you’ve certainly done that for me,” Ms. Dickson said. She took issue with the notion that Goochland lacks an identity “I’ve never seen such a sense of place since I’ve been here.” She promised to stay involved and thanked elected and appointed officials and the community for their support.

“You don’t know how lucky you are until you face something like this, and I’m pretty darn lucky. I’ve had the luck and luxury to have worked with a lot of stellar people in my career, but there are no more terrific people than Lisa Beczkiewicz and Norman Sales to work with. We could win a five legged race because we are so much in sync.”

Ms. Dickson thanked the board for its support and believing “we could accomplish the things we did,” alluding to the trip to New York to secure a AAA Standard and Poor’s bond rating for Goochland in 2015.

“Positivity and optimism trump everything,” she declared. “Anything can happen.”

Go with grace Rebecca Dickson; may your walk in faith be joyful and long.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

The battle for Centerville

A rezoning application filed by Wilton Acquisitions LLC that would have plunked nearly 200 tightly packed homed on what is now mostly farmland was recently withdrawn by the applicant.

This proposal, which appeared on the “radar screen” last summer, met fierce opposition. Anger spawned by the belief that the mere filing of a rezoning application indicated the pending development was a “done deal” turned out to have no justification.

Neighboring residents fretted about adding more traffic to what they contend are dangerous and already overburdened roads. Other raised concerns about swamping Randolph Elementary School, which has installed trailers to deal with an already burgeoning student population, with even more children.

Perhaps the most important questions raised by this application deal with the way that the Centerville “village” will develop and how to preserve the “rural” nature of the area.

The small lot enclaves in the northeastern quadrant of the county including Kinloch, the Parkes at Centerville and Saddle Creek, and Parkside Village are nicely done, and have added few children to the school system. Developers made significant road improvements to cushion the blow of new traffic.

Some folks, especially new residents, became apoplectic at the news that a Mc Donald’s followed by a Taco Bell would be built in Centerville. Some wondered if Goochland wasn’t selling itself too cheaply by letting any old business in to degrade the “rural” atmosphere. Others applaud any new business.

Goochland’s comprehensive land use plans are based on a village strategy to drive most development into places in the county designated as villages to protect the farmland and keep the rest of the county rural. The 2035 comp plan keeps about 85 percent of the land area of Goochland undeveloped.

To make that strategy work, relatively high density development will be allowed in villages with public utility access, which means Centerville. Yes, that means apartments, townhouses and, heaven forfend, maybe even some condominiums. There have been apartments in West Creek for a while now and the sun still rises every morning.

Opponents contend that there are plenty of apartments just over the county line in Henrico and we don’t need them here. Others worry that lower cost housing will overwhelm county services. School officials believe we are losing good teachers who cannot afford to live in the community where they work. It is a knotty problem.

Centerville is ground zero for all of these questions. Instead of a master plan, the county created an overlay district with fairly rigid design standards to encourage “high quality development,” especially in the Broad Street Road corridor.

Market forces, not local governments, draw businesses to a particular location. Those who whine about McDonald’s and Taco Bell should spend their own money to buy and develop land in Centerville as they see fit. Property rights are an important part of our form of government. When the concept of planning came along, it seemed a reasonable way to ensure that a slaughter house was not built next to an elementary school. Somewhere along the way, it has become a mechanism for people to tell other people what they can do with their land. Balancing civic good with property rights is a delicate task and complicates every rezoning application.

Exactly how all this will work is still somewhat vague. The Audi dealership planned for the north side of Broad Street Road just east of Rt. 288 will transform raw land into attractive, and yes, upscale commercial space. Its elegant contemporary architecture and attractive outparcels will complement development at The Notch. A rumored Tractor Supply store at the western end of the village will be a nice attitudinal segue into rural enhancement territory. This will face opposition from the folks who want to keep the county rural because a store that sells things for farms and horses does not belong there, or something.

Recently, a design firm was retained to craft a harmonizing landscape plan that visually differentiates Centerville from Short Pump. A couple of meetings were held to discuss the proposals. Rows of different species of trees and shrubs along the side of the road and in the median will soften the existing “dropped on a field out of a helicopter” ambiance. This will be expensive to install and maintain, but a detailed plan will set the standards going forward. Funding and maintenance schemes should be in place before planting to avoid the negative message of dead plants and overgrown grass.

Signage sends important signals about a place. The monstrous multi-media megalith currently under construction in front of the Wegman’s/Cabela’s site in Henrico is an example of what not to do in Goochland; we do not need signs that are visible from space.

Centerville is a work in progress, stay tuned, pay attention.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Change is the only constant

Chesterfield County Schools announced today that Dr. James Lane, who has been superintendent of Goochland Schools since December 12, 2012, will take the top job there beginning July 1. Lane and his family will relocate south of the river.

The Goochland School Board met in special session today, March 22, to accept Dr. Lane’s resignation, effective June 22. In a press release distributed by the school division, School Board chair Kevin Hazzard, District 2, wished Lane the best in his new position.

Lane worked closely with an engaged and supportive school board to implement a wide range of initiatives, including expanding the use of technology in the classroom; creating the Goochland Tech career and technical program; and the Marine Junior ROTC program. During Lane’s tenure, Goochland Schools have been recognized for a dizzying array awards for excellence. He was recently named regional superintendent of the year, a major accomplishment for the leader of a small division like Goochland.

Lane kept his finger on the pulse of every facet of education in Goochland, from budget minutiae to play-by-play details of the recent championship girls volley ball game.

Hazzard said “Dr. Lane has done some amazing work over the past three and a half years in Goochland County. Our schools were in good shape when he came but it's clear that we've made what must be a decade of progress in the time he's been with us. In an ideal world, we'd keep Dr. Lane here for many more years.

But the leadership skills, professionalism and drive of anyone in Dr. Lane's league can't go unnoticed by large school divisions like Chesterfield that need his rare talents. And so while we're sad to see Dr. Lane go, we are in great shape and confident that we'll attract the right new Superintendent who can take us to the next level.

Moreover, with Dr. Lane continuing to lead schools in our region, we will benefit from his connections to our community for many years to come. The future is bright and our desire to build the very best school system in the Commonwealth here in Goochland County will move forward unabated.”

School board vice-chair Beth Hardy, District 4, said “Dr. Lane has worked diligently with the board to build an award-winning school division that exemplifies innovation in education. We will immediately begin our search for a leader who shares our focus on innovation to maximize the potential of every learner.”

It is hard to fault Lane for taking advantage of the opportunity to run a major school division. His enthusiasm, optimism, and work ethic set a high bar for those who follow. Excellent schools are an important component of a vibrant community and those in Goochland have achieved brag worthy status.

In the press release, Lane thanked the school board for its leadership, guidance, and mentorship. He contended that the board is “focused on the future” and expressed confidence that it would find a leader to “meet Goochland’s high standards.” He also expressed sadness at leaving Goochland.

Although the Goochland School Board extended Lane’s contract before the initial one expired, it must have known that the siren song of a larger school division would eventually lure him elsewhere.

One must wonder if some of Goochland’s deficiencies, including the lack of universal broadband availability, might have made the Chesterfield job even more attractive. Lane once contended that the dearth of access to high speed internet hobbles Goochland students’ ability to compete with their peers in the Commonwealth.

We wish Lane all the best in his new job and have confidence that our school board will find the right person to guide our school division on the next steps of its journey to excellence.

Lane’s departure following closely the retirement of County Administrator Rebecca Dickson on March 31 will bring significant leadership changes to Goochland. The supervisors and school board have big shoes to fill as they search for worthy successors.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

If a tree falls in the forest..

This is Sunshine Week, a time set aside to celebrate and promote open government. Increasingly irrelevant newspapers also use the event for self-promotion, wasting precious space better used for serious reporting.

Lifting the veil on government operations helps citizens understand how things work, and decisions are made. The saying “sunshine is the best disinfectant” is often used to tout the benefits of transparency.

In Goochland, check registers for both county government and the schools have been on line for a few years. Most meetings are live streamed and recorded for future reference. Agendas, packets, minutes and related information are available on the county website for all to review. Documents including proposed, current, and past county budgets; the current comprehensive land use plan; and real estate information is also online. For those unable or unwilling to use the internet, most information is available in hard copy either at the Goochland Branch Library or administration building.

Does any of this matter if no one pays attention?

We have instant access to more information that at any time in history, but more people know details about the daily lives of Armenian celebrities than how their government operates. Too many people cast votes based on the recommendation of a hysterical website or Facebook page instead of doing their own investigation into the policies and beliefs of a given candidate.

Undoubtedly, more people, especially those born since America’s bicentennial, can name the teams involved in this week’s basketball tournaments but are clueless as to the identity of their senator, congressman, or heaven forbid, local supervisor. An indifferent citizenry creates a vacuum that invites mischief.

Locally, we have seen this in newcomers to the county who complained about “new” planned roads that have been “on the drawing board” for at least a decade. Long term county residents recently expressed surprise that the Tuckahoe Creek Service District extends north to the Hanover line. Didn’t they notice the turquoise pipes being put into the ground along Ashland Road about a decade ago?

If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears, does it make a sound? If no one pays attention to transparent government, is is really open? Bask in the sunshine of open government, ask questions, and be an informed citizen.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

March into spring

Goochland’s supervisors entered March like a lamb, but there may be lioning things to come before month’s end.

The meeting began with heartfelt recognition of County Administrator Rebecca Dickson, who is retiring for health reasons on  April 1. Board Chair Bob Minnick, District 4, said it was a bittersweet day for the county.

The supervisors are interviewing candidates for Dickson’s successor-there is no replacement—and an announcement is expected in the coming weeks.

Dickson was honored with a resoltion of appreciation, a bouquet of flowers, and  a standing ovation. Many members of county staff were in attendance. A video of the highlights of Dickson’s tenure in Goochland was played.

Approval was given to advertise proposed tax and utility rates for calendar year 2016. While the proposed budget uses the current tax rate of 53 cents per  $100 of assessed valuation, due to modest appreciation of existing property values, the 53 cent rate represents a slight tax increase. 
Dickson pointed out that most assessments have not yet returned to their 2009 levels, which means that out-of-pocket tax payments are still less than they were in 2009, the high-water  mark for county land values.(The tax rate needed to generate the same amount as last year is 51.4 cents.)

Rates will be set next month following an April 5 public hearing on the proposed county budget (read this well- crafted document on the county website It contains a great deal of information about Goochland above and beyond the numbers.)

Marshall Wynn, VDOT representative, reported that safety studies for Manakin and Rockville Roads are underway. Traffic control mitigation for the westbound Interstate 64 ramp at Oilville Road is in process. A signal warrants analysis is being performed and a round-about there could be the solution if funding is available. Some of the supervisors expressed skepticism at the notion of a round-about to improve traffic safety at an interstate ramp.

The secondary six year road plan (SSYP) was discussed. This is part of the cumbersome dance that localities must navigate to secure money for road improvements. The refined SSYP will be presented to the supervisors in April, before holding a public hearing and vote to adopt it in May. Priority has been given to improvement of the Rt. 288/Broad Street Road interchange; I 64 and Ashland Road; and West Creek and Patterson Avenue near Hope Church. The relocation of Hockett Road has been put on hold due to community concerns.

Kelly Parrish, Director of Human Resources gave an overview of the new county employee handbook. This includes electronic device usage policies. 

The supervisors authorized Dickson to execute contracts for measures to improve TCSD water quality. She was also given the green light to authorize a non-interest loan to Fife Volunteer Fire-Rescue Company 4 to add sleeping quarters, an office, usable kitchen, bathroom upgrades including showers and drain field improvements. The Fire-Rescue Association will contribute to the cost of these upgrades, which will enable 24/7 staffing for volunteers and paid fire-rescue providers.

County Attorney Norman Sales presented an updated in legislation pending in the General Assembly. The bill for further investigation of the long term impact of land application of biosolids by the JLARC was approved.
The bills to reform the Certificate of Public Need for medical facilities was, at that time, seeking compromise. (It later failed.)
Bills dealing with repeal of proffer policies were changing by the minute. (Legislation with broad language requiring "reasonableness" passed and was signed by Governor  McAuliffe after the supervisors' meeting.)
Sales and other staff members, including Paul Drumwright,Senior Management and Projects Analyst, worked hard to keep abreast of pending legislation that could have an adverse impact on Goochland.

During a brief evening session, the supervisors unanimously approved an ordinance change to allow shotguns loaded with slugs to be used in hunting under certain conditions. (See board packet for details.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Prepare for lift off

Thanks to a group of engaged and dedicated citizens, the Eagles, mascot of Central High School, will soon soar to new heights as a cultural and educational center.

Central High School, on Dogtown Road just south of Whitehall Road in the north central part of the county, was built in the 1930’s to educate Goochland’s black students. After desegregation, it was the county middle school until the spring of 2007. Then the complex, which includes a gym, cafeteria, auditorium, and athletic fields, fell into disrepair.

Periodic discussions about what to do with the property went nowhere. Bad decisions, like repairing the gym floor without addressing its leaky roof, exacerbated the situation.

A suggestion made at a town hall meeting a few years ago led to creation of a citizen committee to investigate options and propose solutions for Central High’s future. Suggestions made at later town hall meetings and tours of the facility helped the committee find focus.
A proposal and business plan for the rebirth of Central High School was presented to the Board of Supervisors at its March 2 meeting by committee vice chair Sekou Shabaka who explained the process.

Led by Central High alum Gloria Turner, the committee held its first meeting in March 2015. This group of fine citizens met often to brainstorm a list of possible uses that was distilled into the final plan after research and discussion.

Among the possibilities were demolition and sale. Shabaka said those options were “out of the question because it would erase the physical evidence of the hard work that went into the establishment of that school.”

The business plan is reasonable, doable, positive, and self-sustaining. Shabaka said that the committee understood its obligation to produce a return on investment of public funds. (See the supervisors’ March 2 packet on the county website beginning on page 82 for details.)

Like many school buildings, Central High School was expanded over time. Some of the additions followed the topography of the land using stairways and ramps to negotiate elevation changes. These hallways resemble a skateboard course and do not meet Americans with Disabilities Act access standards.

(Left)This hallway is great for skateboards, not so much for people.

The committee decided to break the repurposing project into phases. The front portion of the building, including its original 1938 section, is in the best condition. Anticipated uses are: county office space; performing and cultural arts in the old auditorium; classrooms for existing programs; meeting rooms with historical artifacts; flexible space for senior, youth, and family programs; a business incubator; and training facilities.

Programs for seniors, youth, and families will be the focus. Modest fees to offset expenses will be charged for use of the spaces for activities including vendor fairs. Film screening would charge admission. The business incubator will provide basic office space for fledging businesses at modest cost to help them get established.

A couple of years ago, the county earmarked $500,000 in the capital improvement plan for Central High School. So far, approximately $120,000 has been spent to spiff up the gym building including upgrades of restrooms, lobby, and parking lot.

Renovations of the Department of Community Development space in the administration building planned for later this year will dovetail with the Central High School make over. Space at Central High School will be cleaned and prepared for temporary use by the CD staff, after which it will be ready for one of the designated uses.

The county department of social services and the Goochland Free Clinic and Family Services hope to establish some sort of presence at Central High School to be more accessible to the surrounding community.

County Administrator Rebecca Dickson said that it “was a privilege to watch the committee work.” She sat in on many meetings of the committee and gave advice and counsel. Shabaka thanked her for “sticking with us.”

Susan Lascolette, District 1, said that the Central High Committee is “an awesome example of self-government. What you’ve done means so much to the county. You’ve done a much better job than we could have.”

Manuel Alvarez, who represents District 2 where Central High is located, said the committee “allowed us to see the possibilities and answer the question “what if we used the money it would cost to tear down Central High to renovate it instead?’”

Ken Peterson, District 5 congratulated the committee on a “great job, best done by citizens. You anticipated and addressed all of our questions in a true collaboration.”

The work of the Central High Committee will bring new life to a venerable building and community. This is what happens when government empowers citizens and gets out of their way.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Culture clash

A “community meeting” held at the Centerville Fire-Rescue Station on February 25, allegedly to discuss a potential rezoning for a few acres with frontage on the south side of Broad Street Road, turned out to be an exercise in futility.

To bolster citizen engagement in land use matters, the county added the community meeting to the zoning pre-application process a few years ago. The goal of these meetings is to identify and resolve issues between developers and neighbors before the application reaches the planning commission. If the county is going to require these meetings, it needs to invest in a portable sound system so everyone can hear what is going on.

The standing room only crowd included a good many residents of the Parke at Saddle Creek (PSC) who quickly commandeered the event to complain about the “smelly water” that plagues homes in the Tuckahoe Creek Service District.
While these folks are justifiably upset that about the water issue, that was not the purpose of the meeting.

Scott Gaeser represents the owner of the subject property. He lives on Manakin Road, is associated with Eagle Homes, and is a realtor in Goochland. Gaeser began his remarks by declaring that the rezoning in question had nothing to do with Eagle but just happens to be across Manakin Road from PSC.

The land owner, said Gaeser, would like to sell part of her property to Shannon Hill LLC, owner of the commercial enclave on the corner of Manakin and Broad and continue to in her home for the time being.

Gaeser explained that the site used to be known as “Deep Run Corner” and was home to Saddlery Trade, a tack shop run by the late Garland Toney. Now, it is occupied by offices, warehouses, and a dentist and chiropractor. Shannon Hill LLC, said Gaeser, has been interested in acquiring the subject property for many years.

He pointed out that Centerville Village has long been designated for growth and business use. Most of the property along Broad Street Road is zoned for business. “Growth belongs on Broad Street so we can leave the farm land alone,” Gaeser said.

The proposed use change would zone the portion of the subject property with Broad Street Road frontage for business use, with the “back” portion fronting on Manakin Road for residential office use. This would expand the office park already there down Manakin Road blocking site of the B-a property from PSC. Gaeser pointed out that PAS is located behind land zoned B-1 and across from property zoned B-1.

Gaeser said that while Tractor Supply, a retailer dealing in hardware, agricultural supplies and equipment, has expressed interest in the Centerville area, it has not executed a contract for any parcel in Centerville. At a meeting on the same subject held earlier in the year, Gaeser gave the impression that Tractor Supply would locate on the subject parcel.

Gaeser tried to discuss a plan to extend Saddle Creek Parkway across Manakin Road to connect with Broad Street Road and continues onto the land behind Satterwhite’s. He mentioned that Saddle Creek Parkway is the first leg of a connector road between Manakin and Hockett Roads that has been on the county’s comprehensive land use plan for years. This road is intended to be built by developers.

The road comments cranked the anger of the PSC folk into high gear. One woman said that no one told her about those roads. Another complained that she left Short Pump to escape congestion.

Do the fine folks who live in PSC really not understand that when they moved to a residential enclave of homes on slivers of land in a rural community that they brought Short Pump with them?

Ironically, when the area that is now PSC was rezoned about ten years ago, adjoining property owners opposed its rezoning because it would destroy the rural character; create noise and traffic; and possibly bring an undesirable element to the area.
Did the residents of PSC really believe that once their subdivision was built out that all area development would cease? Do they understand that the property between them and Broad Street Road is zoned commercial and anything permitted by right in that zoning category can be built without further approval?
Maybe the whole PSC anger thing is a manifestation of its residents uniting against a common enemy, Eagle, as it coalesces into a community. Hopefully, these good people will do their homework and replace arrogant ignorance with constructive comments.

However, it is troubling that new residents take the comments of order takers in a model home sales office as gospel. Their remarks seem to indicate that they did little due diligence about Goochland or Centerville before buying homes here. There is ample information about Goochland County online to help make an informed decision.

(GOMM visited the sales office at PSC last year. The Eagle representatives were very pleasant and knowledgeable about their product, new homes. One woman, who had been assigned to PSC from another office at the last minute, didn’t even seem to know that PSC was in Goochland.)

The county cannot require purveyors of new homes to supply information about Goochland but there must be some way to encourage it. New people bring novel viewpoints that strengthen our community.