The people of the Catalpa and West Fairfax districts are fortunate. Both districts have races between quality candidates who have a sincere desire to give back to their community and are seeking an opportunity to serve for all the right reasons. However, my experience with the incumbents this past year has led me to conclude that it is time for new ideas and new energy on the board.
As many will remember, the current supervisors proposed an extreme expansion of the noise ordinance to include restrictive quiet hours as early as 6 p.m., removal of any requirement to warn a neighbor before filing a warrant directly with a magistrate, and the implementation of severe criminal penalties. Last July both the Catalpa and the West Fairfax supervisors voted in favor of imposing this heavy handed ordinance onto all county residents.
To their credit, the incumbents made themselves available to discuss this issue with concerned citizens. However, despite admitting to the absence of noise problems in the early evening, both chose to justify their votes to implement quiet hour restrictions as early as 6 p.m. instead of seeking better solutions. Both incumbents also incorrectly insisted that the proposal couldnâ??t result in imprisonment. They went so far as to invite a magistrate to a public hearing to, in their minds, set the uninformed citizenry straight. Instead, the magistrate schooled the supervisors that their overreaching ordinance could indeed result in jail time. Itâ??s still shocking to me that the incumbents waited until after they had already voted in favor of the ordinance before asking the magistrate this question â?? and that they so easily disregarded the informed concern of so many of their constituents.
Our countyâ??s antiquated noise ordinance still needs fixing. People who experience real nuisances should have recourse to secure the peaceful enjoyment of their property. Yet when asked recently, Mrs. Hansohn responded, â??I do not plan to bring the ordinance back to the board and am not aware of any supervisor planning on addressing the issue again.â? Mr. Nixon quipped, â??the noise ordinance is dead and I have no interest in revisiting.â? Thatâ??s not leadership! Catalpa and West Fairfax residents deserve better.
I appreciate the long service both incumbents have provided our community, but itâ??s time for new energy and new approaches. I have found challengers Richard Dykes and Gary Deal to be enthusiastic, and responsive candidates. Both have unique backgrounds and experiences that will add fresh perspectives to the Board of Supervisors. Both seek to build consensus and solve problems. On behalf of all Culpeper County residents, I ask voters in the Catalpa district to elect Richard Dykes and those in the West Fairfax district to elect Gary Deal.
Dr. Michael Watts