Opinions

Building permit department very efficient
I just completed the building permit process for a new deck, and give the Fluvanna building permits department an A+. When I first purchased here, I heard stories of the permit process in the ’70s and ’80s; enough said. I had previously suffered though the total bureaucracy known as Fairfax County multiple times in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’00s: a process requiring a dedicated half day followed by rude inspectors. Fluvanna County has this down to an efficient but thorough process performed by a professional team. The permits clerks provide prompt, friendly service without an attitude, always getting back with answers to questions by us amateurs. The engineer offered valid design suggestions while ensuring that the deck did not get over-engineered. Finally, the building inspector was a real professional who offered suggestions without insults.
If considering an addition or deck in the future, make sure you or your contractor completes the building permit process.

Ranny Reynolds
Lake Monticello

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Recognizing the best of Fluvanna spirit
Congratulations to Richard Payne for being the third person to receive the Fluvanna Community Service Award, recognizing his leadership and service to Fluvanna County in multiple ways over many years. Richard has been involved with the Charlottesville and Fluvanna area TaxAide program for 11 years, leading this AARP/IRS conjoint effort in Fluvanna this past year.  He was effective in recruiting new volunteers, oversaw the training of those volunteers, and managed the program. Over 800 tax returns were done this year by well-trained volunteers for Fluvanna and surrounding county residents. Richard is also an active leader in his church. He’s the second graduate of the Fluvanna Leadership Development Program (FLDP) to receive this award, and served on its steering committee, including as one of the developers of the ever-popular day-long bus tour of Fluvanna’s historical and business sites. He continues to audit the FLDP books each year. Richard has been a financial counselor for many Habitat for Humanity families during the preparation for home ownership. Richard reflects the heart and soul of Fluvanna and its many volunteers who make Fluvanna such a great place to live, work and play.
 
Kathleen Swenson Miller
FLDP Steering Committee

Endowment for Youth underway

The Rose Deborah Altschull Endowment for Youth is off and running again in 2017! Last year we funded a new facility built in the Central Elementary School: a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) lab. We are now in the planning stage to build another STEAM lab at Carysbrook Elementary School that should be open sometime in October. So far this year we have sponsored kids to attend 4-H summer camp and provided funds for our “Revin For Reading” project. Add a comment

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Fluvanna’s debt per capita
Assuming Eric Dahl, director of finance, is correct about the new county debt being about $105 million and guessing the county’s population is about 28,000, each one of those 28,000 people is responsible for about $3,750 of that debt. I wonder how many citizens of Fluvanna realize our Board of Supervisors and county administrator have done this to us.

John Ransone
Troy


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Leadership program is worth it
Even for a person who was born and raised in Fluvanna, and now is raising her kids here, the bus tour put on by the Fluvanna Leadership Development Program was a real eye-opener. I saw things I had never noticed before in Fluvanna – Rosenwald schools, the Old Slave Chapel, countless businesses and churches, and on and on. One of the best parts of the tour was meeting my classmates – some of whom have become friends for life – who I never would have met otherwise.

And that was just the beginning of the leadership program. I learned more about how the county works, who does what and why, and what I can do to affect it – or just help make things better – than I had learned in decades of living here.

So I’m telling my friends to look into the Fluvanna Leadership Development Program. It’s a bit of a commitment, especially for a busy mom, but it’s worth it. You can get more information, and even sign up, at www.fluvannaleadership.com.

Bridgette Madison
Palmyra

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Certificates and apprenticeships important

An article appeared in the Wall Street Journal on June 19 on non-celebrity apprentices that may have gone unnoticed. The six-year graduation rate for four-year colleges is 60 percent while the three-year graduation rate for community colleges is 22 percent. The student loan debt is now a whopping $1.3 trillion, which will burden workers and taxpayers for decades.

The problem is that few colleges and high schools teach vocational skills. The Labor Department Jolts survey of national job openings found more than 6 million in April – the most since Jolts began tracking in 2000. The vacancies include 203,000 in construction, 359,000 in manufacturing and 1.1 million in healthcare. Last year’s National Association of Colleges and Employers survey estimated the starting salary of education majors at $34,891 and humanities at $46,065.

Every day in Virginia, students earn viable workforce certifications that position them to be gainfully employed or better prepared to continue their education with more knowledge of the world of work. The Virginia Career Education Foundation is organized and operates to promote, aid, encourage and connect school administrators, teachers, students, and parents, in cooperation with government and employers, to advanced Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs approved by the Virginia Board of Education or other mechanisms approved by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

This summer, parents need to get more involved in their schools to help promote the CTE programs needed to have your child be successful in the changing workforce requirements. Nevertheless, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Science (STEAM) is for every K-12 student.
 
Dr. Robert Mayfield
Scottsville

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