Wednesday, December 7, 2016
December Board HIghlights
The year 2016 brought a lot of change to Goochland County government. At the December 6 meeting of the Board of Supervisors, its last of the year, even more changes were announced.
*Since taking office as Goochland’s chief executive officer in July, County Administrator John Budesky seems to have been evaluating the leadership structure and organizational needs. Vacancies created by retirements and departures provided an opportunity to restructure county administration.
Budesky announced that Derek Stamey, Director of Parks, Recreation and Facilities Management, will assume the position of Deputy County Administrator for Operations. Stamey will serve in Budesky’s absence and oversee parks and rec; animal protection; convenience centers; major capital construction; building maintenance and grounds operations; a consolidated fleet management effort; and other duties and projects as assigned.
Todd Kilduff, who had been director of utilities, has been promoted to Assistant County Administrator. He will continue to lead the utilities department; oversee the Community Development Department; and undertake additional tasks as assigned.
Paul Drumwright, who began his career with Goochland County as an intern eleven years ago, was promoted to Administrative Services Manager. He will provide oversight to the Office of ‘Children and Family Services and interface with other health and human services providers. Drumwright will continue to serve as legislative liaison, and increase his activity in public information activities, including posting to the county Facebook page and Twitter account.
These changes to county administration, as well as the appointment of Barbara Horlacher as Director of Financial Services, bode well for the future by retaining familiar faces in expanded roles.
*At the end of the afternoon session of the December 6 meeting, the supervisors met in closed session to discuss a successor to County Attorney Norman Sales, who is expected to retire at the end of 2016.
*Goochland Electoral Board Secretary Robin Lind reported that, once again, Goochland County had the highest voting percentage in the Commonwealth for the 2016 presidential election. Goochland’s 85.2 percent turnout bested the statewide average of 78.6 percent. Commonwealth’s Attorney D. (does not indicate he’s a democrat) Michael Caudill netted 97.27 percent of votes cast.
Lind credited Goochland’s high turnout to the diligence of Director of Elections Frances Ragland and her deputies Phyllis Platt and Toni Holcombe. Lind also credited the consistent high voter turnout to the supervisors whose unstinting support telegraphs the value and importance of the electoral process.
But wait, there’s more! Goochland voters will have another opportunity to go to the polls on January 10 to participate in a special election to fill the 22nd District seat in the Virginia State Senate left vacant when incumbent Tom Garrett was elected to the United States Congress. So far, Republican Mark Peake of Lynchburg and Democrat Ryant Washington of Fluvanna are candidates for the seat. Lind said there was a possibility that there may be some independent candidates.
Board chair Bob Minnick, District 4, thanked Lind and who make elections successful in Goochland for all the work they do to make it happen. “It’s not easy to do that,” said Minnick.
*During County Administrator comments, Budesky said that he was honored to participate in the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony that took place on December 2. County staff, the Goochland YMCA, Sheriff’s Office, high school musical performers, fire-rescue and others collaborated on a wonderful event. County staff presented a check for $1,061 to Goochland Christmas Mother Wanda Taylor.
*Budesky thanked Dan Schardein, Deputy County Administrator for Community Development for his service to the county. Schardein will retire at the end of December.
*Marshall Wynn of VDOT reported that the traffic study for the Broad Street Road corridor east of Oilville Road to Cardwell Road has been completed. Three solutions have been offered. A meeting will be scheduled to discuss the options.
Wynn also said that the speed limit on Mill Trace Lane will be changed to 35 miles as the result of a speed study.
Manuel Alvarez, Jr., District 2, asked if paving recently applied to Rt. 522 is complete because it is very noisy. Wynn said that he road surface in question was coated with a latex modified seal. He said the noise will mitigate after it has been driven on “for a while.”
*County Assessor Mary Ann Davis reported that the land use revalidation process is 99 percent complete with only 15 parcels having failed to file the necessary forms. Davis said that her staff is continuing to follow up by phone and that she planned to personally make some house calls to help landowners get into compliance. Those who fail to complete the revalidation process by the end of the year will find that their next real estate assessment, and eventually tax bill, will be calculated using fair market rather than land use value. She commended staff members Robin Ellis and Dana Johnson who were on “the front lines” of this initiative to ensure that only properly eligible parcels are in the land use taxation program.
*The Virginia Park and Recreation Society, a private, non-profit professional society, awarded Goochland the best promotional effort for jurisdictions of fewer than 25,000 residents for its Fall “History Edition” Program Guide.
Stamey commended Michelle Swalin and Jessica Kronberg for their excellent work on this project. Parks and Rec publishes a guide of available programs three times each year. Hard copies are available in places like the Admin Building, the library and YMCA. See the Parks and Rec tab on the county website http://goochlandva.us/ for complete information.
*Principal Planner Jo Ann Hunter explained a new conditional use permit (CUP) policy that eliminates required renewals for low impact uses. This applies to CUPs issued after December 1, 2016. These CUPs will run with the land.
High impact CUPS, for uses that carry the potential to generate excessive noise and traffic, or adverse impacts on adjacent properties must still be renewed. The supervisors and staff will deem which uses are high impact.
The policy will also have a “sunset clause” to ensure that CUPs are acted upon within a certain time. Should the CUP expire before actions are taken, say an economic downturn delays application for a building permit, the applicant may apply for an extension. If no action is taken, the CUP is voided.
An enforcement policy in place to deal with willful violation of agreed upon conditions was modified slightly to state that staff will review CUP holders after the first five years to ensure that the conditions are being met.
The Board adjourned to January 3, 2017, for its annual organizational meeting.