Supervisors select Hansohn as new chairman
© Culpeper TimesSue Hansohn, Catalpa representative on the Culpeper County Board of Supervisors, was elected chairman at their January meeting. Hansohn, who was elected to the board in 1995 and began serving in January 1996, is a native of Culpeper and becomes the first woman to serve as chairman since Ruth Updike in the early 90s.
East Fairfax District supervisor Steve Walker was voted to serve as vice-chairman. It was he who nominated Hansohn.
“Congratulations,” said Hansohn, “you're going to be the wing man.”
Hansohn was visibly pleased at being unanimously chosen as chairman by her colleagues.
“Thank you for the honor...I'll do my best to follow in Mr. Chase's footsteps,” said Hansohn.
Bill Chase was the former chairman.
The first item on the agenda was the adoption of the 2012 Culpeper County Board of Supervisors Rules of Procedure (a several page document found on the county's website basically detailing how the board is organized, its officers and how it conducts business) which West Fairfax District supervisor Steve Nixon proposed be accepted as presented.
However, a former chairman and Jefferson District supervisor Brad Rosenberger, had concerns.
“I suggest that we table these rules for study,” said Rosenberger adding, “there's nothing in these rules that allows us to remove the chairman...for cause...every day you hear about officials getting in trouble.”
Rosenberger further suggested that an amendment be added that would allow “for changes” other than those specifically mentioned in the rules of procedure should that be necessary.
County attorney Sandra Robinson said that the current rules of procedure contain “fairly general language” that would allow for an amendment by vote of the entire membership.
“There is a mechanism in place,” she said but noted that certainly more clarity could be added.
Chase, Stevensburg District supervisor, agreed with Rosenberger.
“I think we should send the whole thing back, straighten it out...and have it come back clear...most lawyers want things clear,” stressed Chase.
“I will not support the motion today,” said Cedar Mountain District supervisor Larry Aylor.
“Let it go back through the process...then bring it forward again,” said Aylor.
Hansohn, who had been serving as vice-chairman and has been repeatedly re-elected by her constituency, has served on the board for 17 years.
“I think I'm good for a month,” chuckled Hansohn, “I've no plans to party.”
Hansohn supported the motion to go ahead and adopt the rules of procedure but look to an amendment in February.
By a vote of 4-3, the motion passed with Rosenberger, Chase and Aylor casting nay votes.
Roy Tate, assistant superintendent with the Virginia Department of Transportation, reported to the board about ongoing maintenance projects within the county.
Chase, who has been advocating for improvements on Route 3 near Stevensburg, queried Tate whether consideration of a roundabout by the transportation board was moving forward.
“It's extremely dangerous...you've got three Baptist churches, two tractor trailer places and, of course, Luck Stone, emptying out on that road...there is heavy truck traffic..if they're not obeying 55 miles an hour then I don't see them slowing to a 25 miles an hour speed limit,” said Chase.
Tate said that he would find Chase an answer on the roundabout.
Addressing what has been a problem for many years, newly- elected Salem representative Alexa Fritz wondered about a light on Mountain Run Road.
Tate said that they were taking a fresh look at that situation.
Supervisor Aylor added that recent conversations with VDOT's Culpeper District Administrator Jim Utterbach indicated that perhaps, on a trial basis, the left turn lane would be extended to slow traffic.
“It just keeps going on and on,” said Hansohn.
Steve Nixon is pushing to get the Western Bypass project done.
“What if the board wanted to move ahead rather than wait on VDOT,” said Nixon. “Since the money is already available and we were to privatize construction...rather than waiting another two years.”
Tate said that he would ask that question as well.
In other business, the supervisors unanimously approved a contract with Visions Government Solutions for a software program to help with real property assessment.
The $90,000 contract would support work in the Culpeper County's Assessor's Office with real estate appraisals.
Jason Kilby, from the real estate division, explained to the board that the new system would eliminate the current method of hand-keying changes and allow for adjustments to be made in one sweep tying in with the county's GiS system.
While ultimately approved, the $90,000 price tag didn't go unnoticed.
“It's a pretty stiff fee,” opined Steve Nixon.
While $50,000 goes for the installation, $40,000 addresses an annual, off site hosting fee. County Director of Procurement Alan Culpeper said that the annual fee was good for three years and beyond that increases would be capped at 6 percent.
The decision to move to this system, which Kilby said has also been adopted by Albermarle County and the City of Manassas, is an alternative to hiring additional staff.
“My trepidation is that there is something we haven't thought about and it's going to bite us in the butt,” added Nixon.
A request from Verizon Wireless for a replacement location to erect a new cell tower was approved at the board's evening public hearing.
According to Planning Director John Egertson the current location was no longer suitable and Verizon has identified a new site to erect a 110 foot monopole that would better carry Verizon equipment. The new pole will be beefier. The request from Verizon also includes temporary use of a cell tower mounted on a truck to ensure that there is no loss of coverage while the permanent pole is put in place.
The new site location will be at 18327 Madison Road which is a commercially zoned area. Previously the pole was at 601 Madison Road.
According to the representative for Verizon, the new monopole is anticipated to be in place well within a year's time; hopefully by June.
The request had the approval of staff and the planning commission.