By Sean Tubbs


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The transition of power in

Albemarle County

continues this week as the appointees of two newly-elected Supervisors take their seats. New members will join both the

Planning Commission


Albemarle County Service Authority

at meetings this week. The Planning Commission will welcome two new members, one returning member, and a former member.


Board of Supervisors

chose attorney and Crozet resident

Duane Zobrist

to be the body’s at-large member.

Zobrist was first appointed to the Commission in September 2006, but was not re-appointed after former Supervisor

David Wyant

lost the White Hall seat on the Board of Supervisors to

Ann Mallek

. During the campaign, he donated $2,500 to the campaign of Supervisor

Duane Snow

(Samuel Miller), according to the Virginia Public Access Project.

Zobrist predicted there would be a return to more development in the county as the economy rebounds.

“The Planning Commission’s job is to serve the directives and the policies laid down by the Board of Supervisors,” Zobrist said in an interview with Collectbritain. “Since I am going to be the at-large member, my job will be to represent the interests of the entire board, and not any particular district.”

There has been a great deal of turnover in the past two years since Zobrist departed. The only sitting member of the Commission who was present at that time is

Cal Morris

(Rivanna). Since that time, both

Linda Porterfield

(Scottsville) and

Don Franco

(Rio) have joined the Commission.

Don Franco appearing before the Commission shortly before his appointment in February 2008

Franco, a principal with KG Associates, replaced former Commissioner

Jon Cannon

last February. Supervisor

Rodney Thomas

(Rio) re-appointed him to the seat last week.

Franco said he is excited to be coming back, and predicted that the Commission will revisit the

Places29 Master Plan

at some point this year.

“I’m not sure the new board members feel the same way about Places29 as previous board members,” Franco said. One key issue will be whether Albemarle County’s growth area should be expanded to allow for development along the proposed

Berkmar Drive Extended

. That road was singled out as a key transportation priority in “action plan” adopted by Supervisors last week. The Board will hold a work session on the master plan this Wednesday.

The Commission will also see two newcomers.

Supervisor Duane Snow appointed

Ed Smith

of Ivy to serve as the representative for the Samuel Miller District. Smith works for Parham Construction, as its Vice President for Operations, and has over 45 years of experience in the construction industry. He said he was asked by Snow to apply for the position.

“I’m hoping to bring a common sense approach to the issues that come up,” Smith said in an interview.

During the campaign, Smith donated $100 to the campaign of independent

John Lowry


In December, three-term Supervisor

Dennis Rooker

announced the appointment


Mac Lafferty

to represent the Jack Jouett District. Lafferty has been a member of several committees, including the

Crozet Community Advisory Council

and a local transportation planning body called


. He replaces

Bill Edgerton

, who served two terms under Rooker.

One of the first actions at

tonight’s meeting

will be the election of a new chairman. Former Chair

Eric Strucko

was elected to the

Albemarle County School Board


Two new ACSA members

Two new members of the Albemarle County Service Authority Board of Directors will attend their first meeting this week. Snow appointed Marvin Hilton to serve as the Samuel Miller representative and Thomas appointed Dave Thomas to represent Rio.

Thomas, who is no relation to the man who appointed him, is a district chair for the County Republicans. He’s also an attorney with the law firm of Michie Hamlet. In his application, Thomas said he applied for the position because of an interest in the community water supply plan.

“While it is clear that the County needs to explore increasing the supply, it is less clear how it should proceed in the most cost-effective manner,” Thomas wrote.

Hilton is a retired engineer who first moved to the community in 1959, when he attended the University of Virginia. In his application, Hilton said he was encouraged by Snow to apply for the position after learning of his background as a civic engineer..

Both will be on hand as

the ACSA Board meets Thursday

to review applicants for the open position of executive director.

Gary Fern


step down from that post

at the end of the February.

Liz Palmer, whose term representing Samuel Miller on the ACSA expired at the end of December, had re-applied for her seat. Snow chose Hilton instead, but thanked Palmer for her service shortly after making the appointment last week.

“She served faithfully, did her homework, and worked extremely hard for the county,” Snow said.

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