February 2008

Minutes from the Sunday Supper Club Meeting

(Thank you to Neil and Linda Swanson for hosting the SSC at their home!)

Guest Speaker: Peter Schwartz Fauquier County Board of Supervisors

Flash Reports:

Lisa Richard:  Treasurer’s Report

Thanks in part to a generous donation from the Hedges in Alaska our balance now stands at $142.55.

Mike Turner: Update on his campaign for 10th Congressional seat:

Mike has 8 precincts in Fauquier County.  His campaign will focus in two areas in the next 3-4 months:  debates and Meet Mike events.  Meet Mike events will be informal discussions held in the evenings to talk about issues and answer your questions.  Mike will contact you 1-1 ½ weeks prior to the Meet Mike event in your area.

Mike Tuner and Judy Feder will both attend a “Meet the Candidate” SSC on May 18th.  Don’t miss it!

Rebecca Jaramillo:  Fauquier for Obama Group

Rebecca has organized an Obama for Fauquier group with 60 people signed up so far.  Contact her if you are interested in participating.  Rebecca also has copies of Obama’s anti-war speech.

Rebecca articulated three main differences between Hillary and Obama:
1.     Triangulation (Clinton) vs. Principals (Obama)
2.    Incrementalism (Clinton) vs. Bold Moves/Values Embraced by Everybody (Obama)
3.    Interest Groups (Clinton) vs. Shared Interests (Obama)

Bill Day:    Mississippi, Wise Co Report and Meeting w/ Jill Vogel

Mississippi – Bill announced a 4 day relief trip to Mississippi beginning Sunday Feb 24th organized by the Episcopal relief work camp.  Just show up and they will put you to work.  Bill and KD have both participated in these trips before if you’d like more information.

Wise Co – At the SSC hearing about the Coal Fired Plant government officials virtually unanimously spoke in favor of the plant while citizens opposed it.  Bill urged interested parties to speak out at the hearing February 19th.

Jill Vogel:  As contact person for League of Conservation Voters Bill has been pleased with Jill’s response to his group’s meetings with her concerning Chap Peterson’s Energy Bill and Efficiency Standards and their opposition to a study of Uranium Mining in Virginia.  Bill expressed the importance of citizen’s input in state level politics as the elected officials do not have staff to brief them on the issues.

David Roos – Jefferson Jackson Dinner and Awards

JJ dinner saw a great turnout of a markedly energized Democratic Party with both democratic candidates speaking.  Among the awards announced at the dinner, Emogene Eaton was recognized as Silver Cup Award for Volunteer of the Year for the 10th Congressional District, and Loudon County was awarded Democratic Committee of the Year in Virginia.  (Congratulations to Mike for his part as Precinct Operations for Loudon County.)

Gerry Eitner  – Community of Peace

The Community of Peace in partnership with St James Episcopal Church will be dedicating a Peace Pole at Rady Park at the end of April.

Guest Speaker: Peter Schwartz
Peter led an informative and constructive discussion on issues of concern to SSC members dealing primarily with development and land use.

Highlights of the discussion included:

1.     Refocusing the growth vs. no growth debate to: how fast, where, how and what does it look like.

2.    Emphasizing importance of having an articulated vision of what gives our county its special quality.  What should the end result look like?  Peter suggested that until we have an articulated vision, we are not ready for VRE or other transportation venues that will put development pressure on the county.

3.    Reflecting the vision in our comprehensive plans and zoning regulations.  Current zoning is a suburban code and allows for haphazard development that will not give us the end product we are looking for.

4.    With the correct zoning and comprehensive plan we can actually end up with greater density in service districts while better reflecting our community’s unique character.

5.    Importance of making investment in infrastructure of Service Districts if we want to concentrate development in these areas.

6.     Using Marshall as an example.  Peter is working on a form-based zoning code laying out how buildings should look, how they address the street etc.  The plan fills in main street with buildings that reflect Marshall’s character, commercial below residential above.  This will provide affordable housing and increased commercial while creating the look and function of a traditional town. Peter discussed the possibility of locating a new school on the main street.

7.    Creating incentives for green building as we plan.  Poquoson elementary school opening this fall ( http://www.vmdo.com/special/Poquoson/default.asp ) will be a Gold Rated Lead School.  Designed by VMDO Architects in Charlottesville, Va., construction resulted in only a 2% premium in cost.

8.    Getting citizens involved.  Every 5-6 years county must do a re-evaluation of the comprehensive plan for service districts.  It is imperative as many citizens participate as possible.  Marshall’s plan is currently being re-evaluated.  Meetings are in the community room in the new Tri County Feed building at 7pm every 2nd and 4th Tuesday.

9.    Protecting ourselves from plan amendments made at the behest of developers.  Plans must reflect a broad vision.  They must answer the “what do you want to be when you grow up” question.  Developers will have a harder time getting amendments if these amendments do not fit a stated broad vision.

10.    Awareness of the increased role water will play in future county development.  Peter explained the drawbacks to package plants as an alternative system for water treatment.

Thank you to Peter for listening to our concerns and for devoting so much energy to ensuring our county preserves the character we love!

Don’t Miss Upcoming Sunday Supper Club Meetings:

Sun. March 9th -

Claire Gastanaga will speak with us about issues and legislation pertaining to immigration.
For more information on Ms. Gastanaga please see the article on the SSC site: http://sundaysupperclub.org/?q=node/2230

Sun. April 13th -

Multiple speakers on the topic of local food and sustainable agriculture.

Sun. May 18th –

“Meet the Candidate” with Judy Feder and Mike Turner

Julie Broaddus, Acting Secretary