Posts belonging to Category Caroline County Board of Supervisors



Caroline County Board of Supervisors: Fredericksburg’s public safety is a legislative priority, but not our own.

What passes for a (proposed) legislative platform for this county is laughable (PDF).

If you read through the thing, where at the specific issues facing Caroline County (and, yes, I know it is a regional platform. *snort*)? On the last page, it mentions funding for the HB 599 Program. The HB 599 Program is funding appropriated through the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) for local police departments. While some of the incorporated towns in the local counties receive some money, the main recipient of HB 599 locally is the Fredericksburg Police Department. Bowling Green, for instance, received a misery $26,310 of funding in FY06 through HB 599 (PDF).

Where in the legislative platform is the request that Compensation Board funding — which funds the offices of the sheriff, commonwealth’s attorney, clerk of the court, treasurer, and commissioner of revenue — not be cut? Where is the request for full-funding of offices that the Compensation Board states are understaffed according to their own standards?

According to the state’s own guidelines, the Caroline County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office should be getting additional funding for a full-time position for FY10 (while simultaneously being ranked as most in need) (PDF). The Clerk of the Court’s Office should getting an additional position (PDF). The Treasurer’s Office? Two positions (PDF). Commissioner of Revenue? Two positions (PDF).

The most egregious of these are the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and the Clerk of the Court’s Office. Last year, the Board of Supervisors in its infinite wisdom decide that money should be given to Big Brothers, Big Sisters because a child might be saved (“Won’t someone please think of the children?!”). Seriously, someone (Floyd Thomas) said that. They did all this while refusing to funding an additional position in the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. You know, that office that actually prosecutes the people who harm the county’s children and who may in the future harm the county’s children?

And meanwhile in the Clerk of the Court’s Office, the clerk (Ray Campbell) decided, starting July 1, 2009, that they would no longer prepare sentencing reports for the judge. In doing so, the clerk’s office became only the second office in the state to not prepare sentencing reports alongside the city of Richmond.

Because the presiding judge went to the Board of Supervisors stating that they could be sued if they didn’t give him money to hire a clerk (separate of the clerk’s office) to prepare the sentencing reports and because he absolutely had to have the money right then (!!!), the BOS decided to add a full-time clerk’s position (costing $22,000+) on top of a budget that had absolutely zero money to spare.

All this while the county believes that Fredericksburg’s police force is a pressing issue on the county’s legislative platform.

And then we turn to the composite index issues. The composite index is a complicated formula that the Virginia Department of Education uses to determine how much money each jurisdiction should get using several figures, including assessed real-estate values.  The higher the determined value for each county, the more able those counties are supposed to be to fund their school system. In addition, the higher the composite index value, the more money that the jurisdiction has to provide to the system if they want the state’s money.

For years, Caroline County’s composite index has been higher (therefore, we are supposed to be able to fund our schools) than our neighboring counties Spotsylvania and Stafford. That’s right, Caroline is be able to pay for schools than Spotsy and Stafford. While in this biennium (2010–2012) Spotsylvania’s composite index is no long lower than Caroline’s, Stafford’s still is. Caroline’s composite index is .3580, Stafford’s is .3362 (Spotsylvania is at .3594) (PDF).

So, where is this address in the proposed legislative platform? Well, of course, it isn’t. After all, neither Spotsy nor Stafford would be too supportive of a platform that resulted in less money going to themselves.

But the Caroline County Board of Supervisors isn’t Spotsy nor Stafford. Why don’t they tell the Virginia Association of Counties Region 7 to take a hike? Why don’t they worked with places like Lancaster County (composite index of .8000 [Ibid] while half of their school kids are on free or reduced price lunch) to put pressure on the folks in the General Assembly to actually get something done?

Caroline County has three Delegates (one of whom lives in the county) and a State Senator representing their interests (allegedly) in the General Assembly. And Caroline County can not come up with a list of pressing issues without the help of the folks in Spotsy and Stafford? The board nor county staff can’t spend thirty minutes sitting down to identify these issues that are affecting the county and propose a solution to fix them?

Heck, if I can do in less that 30 minutes, they should be able to.

FYI: I fully support Aqua Virginia’s proposed rate increase.

Why? Because I love a profitable company. I really love companies that make obscene profits.

In fact, if I had a single spare cent to my name, I would be inquiring about buying some stock in Aqua Virginia (assuming that they provide a regular cash dividend).

But do not fret Aqua Virginia customers, in a year or two President Obama and his newly founded Unification Board will ensure that those evil owners of Aqua are not making any profit. And I am sure folks like Delegate Chris Peace, Supervisors Wayne Acors and Floyd Thomas, and The Caroline Progress will be celebrating.

But — hopefully — by that time, the people at Aqua will have gone on strike and the customers of Aqua will be dying of thirst, unable to take a shower, and their lawns will be dead.

Oh-so-sincerely,
Midas Watson

On the banning of commenters.

I’ve recently been forced to implement the first ever ban of a commenter on this blog. Now, I’ve been forced to remove spam and the like for years. I’ve also been forced to remove or redact a vulgarity or two from a comment, as well as removing one comment that contained a rumor with false and defaming information. I have also removed a comment or two at the request of the commenter. But none of those incidents were outright bans and the persons involved retained their commenting abilities.

The recipient of this first ever ban is “Jason Soiman”. Why the quotes, you might be asking? Well, that’s a long story. It all started back on June 6, 2009, when “Jason Soiman” posted a comment saying that Catherine Crabill had just received a $1,000,000 inheritance from her mother’s estate which would fund her election campaign. Now, “Soiman” was mum on details even after I asked “him” how this was possible when Crabill currently has her $875,000 home on the market. She also has five or six siblings, so if Crabill managed to get a $1,000,000 inheritance, that must have been on big frakin’ pot to begin with. After I asked those questions to “Soiman”, “he” stated: “I really don’t know that much about Catherine Crabill’s finances”. Yeah, obviously.

And since then, “Soiman” has been a somewhat regular commenter on this space, with comments ranging from regularly taking up for Representative Rob Wittman (R-1st) to attacking Delegate Chris Peace (R-97th) for posting a comment on this blog.

“Soiman”‘s commenting reached its end yesterday, however, when “he” posted two comments claiming that Sheriff Tony Lippa had a been a big  supporter of now-Supervisor Jeff Sili’s election campaign in 2007. “He” claimed, inter alia, that Lippa was at Sili’s campaign kickoff event in July 2007, yet Lippa’s presence isn’t noted in a press release from Sili’s own campaign (which also appeared in The Caroline Progress), despite naming every local politician that had attended the event. Mix in some more lies from “Soiman” which totally clash with the personality types of the people involved and you have a couple of comments from “him”.

I eventually decided to ban “Soiman” from posting anymore comments on this blog. I despise liars to begin with but when someone lies and the person’s claims can be easily refuted by a simple Google Search it annoys me even more. And, for crying out loud, if you’re going to lie about someone, at least make sure that the actions that you claim someone did are consistent with the person’s personality.

After I implemented the ban, I decided to do a little research. First, I Googled “Soiman”‘s name and found several comments on other blogs attacking John Brownlee and even a profile on RPV Network.

Then I Googled “his” e-mail address: nothing.

But then I Googled “his” IP address. Guess what came up? Fredtalk. And not just Fredtalk, but posts on FredTalk from one “oharascarlett”. Who is “oharascarlett”, you might be asking? Why, that would be Susan Sili’s username on Fredtalk of course. Susan Sili is, of course, the wife of Caroline County Republican Committee Chairman and Caroline County Board of Supervisors member Jeff Sili. And who did Jeff Sili endorse for the Republican nomination for Attorney General? Why, Ken Cuccinelli. And who was one of Cuccinelli’s opponents? John Brownlee. It all comes together doesn’t it?

That obviously pathological liar has been posting on this blog for over a month and I just figured it out. Grr…

After this whole experience, I feel that I need to lay out some ground rules for commenting in the future:

1.) Don’t lie.

2.) If you’re going to lie (see Rule #1), at least make sure your lies can’t be refuted by a simple Google Search.

3.) If you’re going to lie (see Rule #1), make sure that the nonexistent actions that you attribute to someone don’t completely clash with the person’s personality.

If you’re found to be in violation of these rules, with me being the sole arbitrator of that, you will be banned.

Besides that, comment away.

But before we go, I want to share a couple of lines from Atlas Shrugged:

“But don’t I have any freedom of speech?”

“In your own house. Not in mine.”

“Don’t I have a right to my own ideas?

“At your own expense. Not at mine.”

“Don’t you tolerate any differences of opinion?”

“Not when I’m paying the bills.”

A complete list of concerns and problems regarding the proposed open air burning ordinance in Caroline County.

This is a copy of an e-mail (with some minor modifications) that I sent to Mike Finchum after he offered to try to address some of my concerns regarding the proposed open air burning ordinance:

1.) More of a question: In § 72-6(C), § 72-6(C)(1), and § 72-6(D)(5) the ordinance refers to a Director position. In § 72-7, the ordinance states the Director position is the Director of Fire and Rescue: Does that definition also apply to the presiding sections? I just wanted to be sure who was responsible for those provisions.

2.) Definition of “built-up area” in § 72-3: What exactly does “substantial” development mean? It would make it difficult for an ordinary citizen to be aware of that definition off-hand. What that be something that the Zoning Administrator would be responsible for defining (subject to appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals)? Or would it be the responsibility of the Director of Fire and Rescue, Sheriff’s Office, or the courts to define the term?

3.) In § 72-6(B), it states that “[o]pen burning is permitted on-site for the destruction of household waste by homeowners or tenants” if conditions are met. The definition of “household waste” in § 72-3 specifically includes “garbage” as defined in § 72-3, however § 72-6(B)(3) specifically prohibits the burning of garbage. So, would the burning of garbage be permitted or prohibited under that subsection?

4.) § 72-5(B) Exemptions: No exemption for the commercial preparation of food. Someone that is paid to do a barbecue for a party or event would be required to get a permit from the way I read this. The party organizer may not be required, but the person being paid would since he’s the one doing it for commercial purposes. Or even a bank or business that was holding a barbecue as part of an open house to attract customers would also be subject to that provision. Or a business like that barbecue place in Port Royal that has since closed. And I don’t see how a commercial barbecue preparer of food would not fall under the definition of “open burning” since he has no way to control the air intake nor the ability to control the emissions coming out of the grill (see § 72-3) just like a noncommercial grill (hence the exemption that is granted to noncommercial preparation).

5.) § 72-5(C): Land clearing needed for property maintenance is prohibited and the definition of “debris waste” is so broad that it would include say a tree that was cut down as well as its stump, and there’s no distinction between commercial and noncommercial land clearing (agricultural land clearing would presumably be exempt). Note that stumps and full-size trees and brush are not included in the definition of “trimmings” that have more lax restrictions in § 72-5(A). Also, does the Department of Fire and Rescue (assuming that the Director position mentioned is that of the Director of Fire and Rescue [see question 1]) have the time and personnel to come out and tell me how big of a debris pile I can create given they only have an Interim Director and the Captain position is vacant currently? And then there’s the requirement that citizens figure out which way the air fields are going and making sure winds are going towards any “built-up area”.

6.) § 72-6: Permitting process: How will it be done? Will the Director be giving out open-ended permits that he can cancel on a whim (“a specific period of time deemed appropriate by the Director”)? Without a clear permitting process it makes it difficult, not just for regular citizens, but businesses as well which may be relying on those permits to burn stuff as part of the course of business activities. And then you have concerns regarding how many manpower hours it will take for the Director to come to the conclusion regarding whether to issue the permit and, again, this is especially bad given the shortage of people at the Department of Fire and Rescue. Also, if I feel that I was unfairly denied a permit, is there any appeals process that I can pursue before the Emergency Services Commission, Planning Commission, or the Board of Supervisors?

7.) § 72-8: The class 1 misdemeanor (a year in jail and/or up to a $2,500 fine) I feel is excessive when the penalty for violations of the state’s spring and fall burn bans are only a class 3 misdemeanor (no jail time, up to a $500 fine). While the Sheriff’s Office has stated that they will engage in selective enforcement of the ordinance that’s not much of a guarantee when there could, hypothetically, be a change in leadership at the Sheriff’s Office in a couple years. It also does not prevent a private citizen from going to the magistrate and having a warrant sworn out against his neighborhood just to antagonize the neighbor. From what I can find online, there are no restrictions on the issuance of citizen warrants for ordinances that are punished as misdemeanors. In fact, according to an opinion from the Office of the Attorney General dated February 18, 1997, they are specifically permitted.

An addendum to my post about the proposed open burning ordinance.

When I wrote my post yesterday about the proposed open burning ordinance I was not aware that it was an adaptation of the Air Pollution Control Board’s model ordinance. According to Mike Finchum, Director of Planning and Community Development, the Control Board told county staff that they were not allowed to change certain provisions of the ordinance that would result in more lax restrictions than were in the model ordinance. As I recall, the only provision that was changed from the model ordinance was that citizens should notify Caroline County Communications before they burn anything. As such, the stated purpose and writing of the ordinance was not the responsibility of the Board or county staff as a whole.

Last night, the Board decided to hold off adopting the ordinance due to concerns that they had, as well as a couple points that I made during the public hearing.

Guess they don’t have anything better to do: Caroline County Board of Supervisors considering seven pages of open burning regulations.

Addendum: When I wrote this post yesterday about the proposed open burning ordinance I was not aware that it was an adaptation of the Air Pollution Control Board’s model ordinance. According to Mike Finchum, Director of Planning and Community Development, the Control Board told county staff that they were not allowed to change certain provisions of the ordinance that would result in more lax restrictions than were in the model ordinance. As I recall, the only provision that was changed from the model ordinance was that citizens should notify Caroline County Communications before they burn anything. As such, the stated purpose and writing of the ordinance was not the responsibility of the Board or county staff as a whole.

Last night (2009-05-12), the Board decided to hold off adopting the ordinance due to concerns that they had, as well as a couple points that I made during the public hearing.

And these go much farther than the regular statewide regulations (PDF).

And consider this: According to the Virginia Department of Forestry, only two other jurisdictions in the state have local burning regulations in place: Roanoke County and Isle of Wight County.

The public hearing for the proposed ordinance is today at 7:30 p.m.

Thoughts (broken done by section):

§ 72-2. Purpose:

The purpose of this article is to protect public health, safety, and welfare by regulating open burning within Caroline County to achieve and maintain, to the greatest extent practicable, a level of air quality that will provide comfort and convenience while promoting economic and social development.

If the county was so concerned about the health and welfare of its citizens when it comes to the air quality in the county, they should be sending letters to the folks at Fort A.P. Hill every day or filing a lawsuit for violation of the Clean Air Act. It seems to me that Fort A.P. Hill likes to burn stuff every other day this year. Do you know how annoying that gets when you go outside and you have to smell the smoke and have to put up with the haze that is created by it?

And the hilarious thing was that Fort A.P. Hill was burning stuff during the day when everyone else in the state couldn’t because of the statewide fire burn. Remember back in the ’90s when they lost control of one of their “control burns” and they had to shut down Route 301 because it was burning across and by the road? Even this year, visibility was close to zero driving up Route 301 towards Port Royal at night due to the smoke.

And the folks on the Board of Supervisors or in the county government think the pressing concern is Jim Bob burning some stuff in his yard?

Portion of § 72-3. Definitions:

“Built-up area” means any area with a substantial portion covered by industrial, commercial or residential buildings.

The term “built-up area” is used to determine whether someone should be approved or denied for a permit to burn and other stuff (more on that later). However, what exactly does the word “substantial” mean in that definition? It doesn’t provide a minimum population distribution, building distribution, or square footage distribution, per square mile. What someone from Wyoming considers “substantial” development is going to be a lot different than what someone from New York City considers “substantial” development.

Also note the following two definitions for later reference:

“Garbage” means readily putrescible discarded materials composed of animal, vegetable or other organic matter.

[…]

“Household waste” means any waste material, including garbage, trash and refuse derived from households. For purposes of this regulation, households include single and multiple residences, hotels and motels, bunkhouses, ranger stations, crew quarters, campgrounds, picnic grounds and day-use recreation areas. Household wastes do not include sanitary waste in septic tanks (septage) which is regulated by state agencies.

Onward to a portion of § 72-5. Exemptions:

The following activities are exempted to the extent covered by the State Air Pollution Control Board’s Regulations for the Control and Abatement of Air Pollution:

B. Open burning for camp fires or other fires that are used solely for recreational purposes, for ceremonial occasions, for outdoor noncommercial preparation of food, and for warming of outdoor workers;

So, a regular citizen can still hold a barbecue, but if he hires someone to do the barbecuing for him (say for a party), the person hired would be required to get approval from the Director of Fire and Rescue (no offense to the person currently in that position on an interim basis, Mark Garnett, of course), since it’s being done for a commercial purpose.

And what if a business wants to hold a barbecue as part of an open house or some such? Since that would be for commercial purposes as well, they would also have to get approval from the Director.

It’s also a damn good thing that the barbecue place in Port Royal went out of business otherwise this ordinance could have put them out of business.

Now to § 72-6. Permissible open burning:

B. Open burning is permitted on-site for the destruction of household waste by homeowners or tenants, provided that the following conditions are met:

[…]

3. Garbage is not burned; (and)

Remember those definitions that I pointed out above? The term “garbage” (defined as “readily putrescible discarded materials composed of animal, vegetable or other organic matter”) is included in the definition of “household waste”. So, they say you can burn “household waste” (which includes “garbage”) but then say you can’t burn “garbage”. So, insistently, you couldn’t burn any organic waste that is generated by your household under this section.

From the same section:

C. Open burning is permitted on-site for destruction of debris waste [defined as “wastes resulting from land clearing operations. Debris wastes include but are not limited to stumps, wood, brush, leaves, soil and road spoils” in § 72-3] resulting from property maintenance, from the development or modification of roads and highways, parking areas, railroad tracks, pipelines, power and communication lines, buildings or building areas, sanitary landfills, or from any other clearing operations that may be approved by Director, provided the following conditions are met:

1. All reasonable effort shall be made to minimize the amount of material burned, with the number and size of the debris piles approved by Director;

2. The material to be burned shall consist of brush, stumps and similar debris waste and shall not include demolition material;

3. The burning shall be at least 500 feet from any occupied building unless the occupants have given prior permission, other than a building located on the property on which the burning is conducted;

4. The burning shall be conducted at the greatest distance practicable from highways and air fields,

5. The burning shall be attended at all times and conducted to ensure the best possible combustion with a minimum of smoke being produced;

6. The burning shall not be allowed to smolder beyond the minimum period of time necessary for the destruction of the materials; and

7. The burning shall be conducted only when the prevailing winds are away from any city, town or built-up area.

In short, this subsection requires you to request a permit from the Director (see § 72-7), get permission on how much and what you can burn, and figured out which way the “prevailing winds” are so the smoke doesn’t blow towards any “city, town or built-up area” (and remember how vague the term “built-up area” is) before you can simply burn a stump or other “debris waste”.

§ 72-7. Permits.

This lengthy section deals with the process for approving permits by the Director.

Here’s the important part: A “permit may be issued for each occasion of burning or for a specific period of time deemed appropriate by the Director.” What exactly is “a specific period of time deemed appropriate by the Director”? Does that mean the Director can arbitrary cancel or revoke someone’s permit on a whim if he deems it “appropriate”?

And the worst part about that section is if the Director denies you a permit, there’s no appeals process. You can’t go to the Planning Commission or the Board of Supervisors looking for a permit if the Director refuses to issue one. Again, no offense to Mark Garnett, but that doesn’t cut it for me.

§ 72-8. Penalties for violation:

A. Any violation of this ordinance is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor, in accordance with § 15.2-1429 of the Code of Virginia.

B. Each separate incident may be considered a new violation.

For those unaware, a Class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine not more than $2,500. So, have fun when you get arrested for not getting a permit to burn a stump on your property or when you’re barbecuing for commercial purposes.

And who will be responsible for enforcing this act? The Sheriff’s Office who is forcing employees to take week-long unpaid furloughs?

Or the Department of Fire and Rescue? Are they that hard-pressed for work? If so, they need to lay some people off over there…

Some General Thoughts

Am I the only person that thinks that this act would be in direct conflict with the “rural preservation” and “agricultural preservation” areas of the county? After all, those areas were created supposedly to preserve the rural and agricultural nature of portions of the county. But now, we have the government coming in telling property owners if they want to burn a stump, they have to get a permit from the government among other asinine requirements. Something that people have been doing in this county for centuries going down the drain because of those geniuses on the Board of Supervisors.

Hey, apparently County Administrator Percy Ashcraft thinks $1,250,000 is chump change as well.

You get the government you deserve folks. From today’s edition of The Free Lance–Star:

Caroline County Administrator Percy Ashcraft told fair officials that he welcomes all to the fair, but he really wants Caroline County residents to benefit from it.

“We are the host county and we want to feel like the host county,” Ashcraft said at the meeting. “With the [National Scout] Jamboree, we were the host county and we didn’t feel like it.”

And going way back to the October 15, 2001 edition of The Free Lance–Star:

Caroline County made more than $1.25 million in food and hotel-room sales during last summer’s National Scout Jamboree, a new report shows.

The total regional economic impact of the jamboree was expected to be in the tens of millions of dollars, officials from Fort A.P. Hill, which hosts the event, said earlier this summer.

[…]

Caroline’s gross food sales this July were nearly $1.16 million more than for the same month last year, when no jamboree was held, according to the report.

County hotels earned about $128,000 more than last year.

The report also said that gasoline sales were far above typical for July, and that many local contractors and suppliers of building materials were used to prepare A.P. Hill for the jamboree. Exact figures for these two sectors were not available for the report, [Director of Economic Development Gary] Wilson said.

Caroline County Board of Supervisors finally makes users of the county water/sewer system pay their fair share.

The Caroline County Board of Supervisors voted 3–2 Tuesday night to increase the rates for water and sewer service on the county’s utility system.

For years, this system has failed to be self-sufficient, requiring last year approximately a $300,000 subsidy from the general fund. The general fund is, of course, from taxes that all citizens pay. So, the folks in Bowling Green, Port Royal, Damn, etc. have been getting taxed at a higher rate than necessary — the equivalent of a whole cent on the tax rate last year — so the poor little folks in Ladysmith and Ruther Glen didn’t have to pay more on their water bill.

I’m curious, has the county ever subsidized any citizen’s cost for maintaining a septic tank? Hell, they want you guys to have your septic tank pumped every two years or whatever at your cost.

Has the county even paid for someone’s electric bill which is used to power your water pump to get water from your well? Let’s see…uh, hell no.

And last year, those lovable geniuses on the Board decided that it would be a good idea to increase the cost of one-time connection fees — which is supposed to go to pay off the system’s debt — so the money could be diverted into the operating fund for the system. “Wow, let’s use one-time money to pay for continuing expenditures on a system!” Sounds like something the federal government would do, no?

The two supervisors that voted against the increase, Wayne Acors and Floyd Thomas (note that the majority of the system’s users are in their districts), voted against the increase saying, according to The Free Lance–Star, “they would prefer to see the rates change at a slower pace instead of hitting residents all at once.”[1] Wow, so the county should continue to subsidize citizens’ water bills when public safety positions are getting unpaid furloughs and the Planning Department just got six positions axed.

Absolutely brilliant…

  1. Portsia Smith. “Caroline changes water, sewer rates”. The Free Lance–Star 12 Mar 2009. The Free Lance-Star Publishing Co. 12 Mar 2009 <http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2009/032009/03122009/451713>. []

Another priceless quote from the esteemed Gary Wilson, Director of Economic Development for Caroline County.

A follow-up to my previous post:

Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 31, 2001:

Although Caroline County hasn’t calculated the economic impact the jamboree has on the region, officials say the quadrennial gathering is one of the most significant economic events in the area. On state Route 207 leading from Interstate 95 to Bowling Green, gas stations, restaurants and local businesses prominently display signs welcoming Scouts and visitors to the area – and their business.

The jamboree business boom appears to be good, said Gary Wilson, Caroline’s director of economic development.

“So far, all the information has to be anecdotal, but we could probably use another hotel or two,” Wilson said. “All of our hotels are booked.”

In Fredericksburg, local hotels have been booked for two weeks before and two weeks after the jamboree, apparently from visitors who came early or will linger, particularly to see the Civil War battlefields in the area, said Kathy Beard, director of economic development and tourism in Fredericksburg.

In downtown Fredericksburg, streets are more congested than usual with visitors flocking to visit the antiques shops, cafes and boutiques that line Caroline Street, Beard said.

“The level of this spike does not occur until the Boy Scouts return,” she said. “No other event brings the kind of impact this project does.”

At Main Street Cafe in Bowling Green, owner Maxine Miller has employed family and friends to help her serve the extra customers, and her mother has been working overtime to bake the cafe’s signature homemade pies.

“We’re very pleased,” Miller said. “We love this. We had the Boy Scouts of America band come in the other day. . . . I don’t know what kind of food they have over there, but they ate good. They really enjoyed themselves with the milkshakes.”

At Roma’s, the Amatos hired seven extra workers for the week, rented the building next door to accommodate overflow crowds and added tables to the restaurant. After doubling their food inventory, they found out it still wasn’t enough.

“We can’t keep enough lettuce in the house to make salads,” Josephine Amato said.

But a group of about 20 jamboree youth staff chowing down on mushroom and pepperoni pizzas in the middle of the restaurant didn’t seem to notice. They were just happy to get food away from camp.

“Lunch has been sandwiches all week. Breakfast has gotten to the point where we really don’t get up for it anymore. This is great. And he’s paying the bill,” said Steven Anderson, 19, of Wichita, Kan., as his leader pulled out his wallet.

I threw in the stuff from Kathy Beard just because of the irony of the fact that she now works for Gary Wilson as Tourism Manager or whatever.

Gary Wilson is an outright, pathological liar; and I have proof.

Here’s what Gary Wilson had to say about the National Boy Scout Jamboree leaving Caroline County in today’s edition of the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Meanwhile, Caroline County Economic Development Director Gary Wilson said yesterday that the county wasn’t particularly stung by the loss, because the jamboree was self-contained and didn’t add that much to the local economy.

[…]

The jamborees routinely attract 30,000 to 40,000 Boy Scouts and their leaders, along with hundreds of thousands of visitors.

Despite those numbers, Wilson said the jamborees typically have not left a massive economic footprint on the locality, primarily because the participants tend to arrive in buses, go directly to the military post and stay there.

“We did a study after the last jamboree that indicated the actual increase in sales for a two or three-week period every year was about $815,000,” Wilson said. “Caroline County is not particularly feeling any sting from the loss of the Boy Scouts, frankly. A.P. Hill is hermetically sealed, practically, and we just didn’t get very much out of it.”

First, it’s absolutely amazing that the Economic Development Director considers $815,000 to be chump change. Especially as the county is forcing the Sheriff’s Office to give unpaid furloughs to sheriff’s deputies due to budget cuts.

And here’s what Gary Wilson had to say about the National Boy Scout Jamboree after the ACLU successfully sued the Department of Defense on the grounds that the DOD couldn’t constitutionally provide support to the Boy Scouts of America and thus the jamboree couldn’t be held at Fort A.P. Hill (the case has since been successfully appealed and the Boy Scouts could legally hold the jamboree there):

Losing the jamboree would be a serious blow for Caroline, which gets about $1 million in revenue during the event, said Gary Wilson, the county’s economic development director. Events such as model train shows and book fairs are timed to coincide with the jamboree, and local businesses print up promotional material to hand out to Scouts’ families.

Residents work at the event and sell the Scouts raw materials, and guests fill hotels and restaurants.

“Our hotels are booked four years in advance,” Wilson said.

That’s from the July 17, 2005 edition of The Washington Post.

From the May 23, 2004 edition of The Free Lance–Star:

Caroline County, a popular stopover for people visiting Paramount’s Kings Dominion, isn’t expecting a significant increase in visitation this summer. But the numbers should climb next year, said Gary Wilson, the county’s economic development director.

[…]

“We’ll also have the 2005 Boy Scout Jamboree,” Wilson said. “That’s always a plus.”

And then there’s this story from WFLS from September 10, 2003:

Having your name on a Boy Scout logo…Priceless.

Soon Boy Scouts everywhere will be recognizing Caroline County.

The organization is changing its international jamboree logo to include a prominent reference to the county. Economic Development Director, Gary Wilson, says by the year 2005, just in time for the next event, every item related to the Boy Scout Jamboree will say Caroline County, Virginia.

Wilson says this is a thank you from the Boy Scout organization

The recognition is expected to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars of free marketing for the county.

And going way back to the October 15, 2001 edition of The Free Lance–Star:

Caroline County made more than $1.25 million in food and hotel-room sales during last summer’s National Scout Jamboree, a new report shows.

The total regional economic impact of the jamboree was expected to be in the tens of millions of dollars, officials from Fort A.P. Hill, which hosts the event, said earlier this summer.

[…]

Caroline’s gross food sales this July were nearly $1.16 million more than for the same month last year, when no jamboree was held, according to the report.

County hotels earned about $128,000 more than last year.

The report also said that gasoline sales were far above typical for July, and that many local contractors and suppliers of building materials were used to prepare A.P. Hill for the jamboree. Exact figures for these two sectors were not available for the report, Wilson said.


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