Things at the Aug. 6 meeting of the Board did not go the way they should have, she said.  “As chair of the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors, it’s my responsibility to make sure that our meetings…[are conducted] in an orderly manner,” she read from a statement.  Several citizens were “called out” by name, she said, which is contrary to the Board’s policy.  “And we as the Board of Supervisors…should not be calling out names,” she continued.  “As chair of this Board I apologize to those individuals whose names were called out, and I apologize to the citizens that were sitting here in this courtroom at our last meeting.  And I would hope my fellow Board members sitting here are in agreement.”

Despite Booker’s apology, four citizens still had some points to make.  Carolyn Talley, Mary Tilman, and Judy Mickelson expressed their displeasure that the Board approved the controversial development known as Poplar Ridge over the spoken wishes of the majority of the citizens in attendance at the Aug. 6 meeting.  Tilman in particular took issue with the tone of the meeting, which grew contentious at times.  “I hope there will never again be a meeting like that,” she said.  “It made me feel like I was at a Judge Judy program.”

Al Talley told supervisors that they all should have explained the reasons for their votes.  “We only see one side of the picture,” he said.  “We count on you to see the pros and the cons and to weigh those issues and to come to a fair conclusion for your vote, and we expect – and I think we’re entitled – to hear your reasons when a vote is so important to the county.  Instead of good reasons I have to say we got a cheap show.”

After public comments, the focus turned to the future of the Town of Columbia.  Mayor John Hammond and the town council are seeking to dissolve the town’s charter and have been advocating a referendum so that the town residents can decide the matter.  But because this sort of referendum is considered a special election, even if it occurs on Election Day, special restrictions come into play, and the town missed the deadline to have the issue on the ballot this November.

So town attorney Jessica Phillips asked the Board to approve a resolution petitioning the circuit court to order a special election for Columbia.  Phillips told supervisors that she prefers March or April 2015 for the referendum; citizen Melissa Kenney asked that the election be held concurrently with the November 2015 general election.  Ultimately, the date of this election will be set by a circuit court judge in consultation with the town.

County Attorney Fred Payne articulated a key issue facing Columbia.  “The problem with trying to revitalize the town – the issue is the zoning ordinance,” he said.  The town can’t put in zoning, he said, because by law they would then have to create a Board of Zoning Appeals.  They tried to create one, he said, but no one was willing to serve on it.  “The situation is not going to get better,” he said.  “In my opinion, delay in this case is not beneficial.”

In other matters:

Joel DeNunzio, residency administrator for the Virginia Department of Transportation, informed the Board that construction ought to begin next spring on the improvements to the intersection of Rt. 53 and Rt. 618.  He expects construction on the intersection of Rts. 53 and 15 to begin in late 2016.


County Administrator Steve Nichols presented a certificate of commendation to Mary Weaver, clerk to the Board of Supervisors, who is leaving to take a position with the Virginia Department of Forestry.  “That’s bad [news] for us but good for the state,” said Nichols.  “Mary has been an incredibly important part of county operations for ten years now.”



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