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January 10, 2012

County body still taking shape for ’12

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DailyProgressBy Sean Tubbs
Charlottesville Tomorrow
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

This year’s makeup of the seven-member Albemarle County Planning Commission will not be known until February because its current chair has decided to not seek another term as the commission’s at-large representative.

image from www.cvillepedia.org
Duane Zobrist

“I would hope [the Board of Supervisors] will appoint someone driven by good planning principles and not driven by politics,” Duane Zobrist said in an interview Monday. “We want people who are going to give good advice.”

Applications for the open at-large seat will be taken through the end of the month, according to board clerk Ella Jordan.

Zobrist has served two stints on the commission with the most recent beginning in January 2010. He was first appointed by Supervisor David Wyant in September 2006 to represent the White Hall District, but he was not reappointed by Supervisor Ann H. Mallek when she took office in 2008.

Mallek instead chose Tom Loach of Crozet. Loach’s first four-year term ended in December. Loach originally had indicated he would not return for a second term, but was persuaded by Mallek to serve at least until she can find a replacement.

"Tom has been the perfect person for the job, and I wish he could spare the time to continue,” Mallek said. “[He] is a detail person, in tune with the growth area and the rural areas on planning, zoning and infrastructure issues.”

Last week, Calvin Morris was named to a third term to represent the Rivanna District.

Tonight’s Planning Commission meeting has been canceled due to a lack of business, according to Planning Director Wayne Cilimberg. The commission’s next scheduled meeting is not until Jan. 24.

At least one newcomer will join the commission at that time.

Supervisor Christopher J. Dumler selected Glenmore resident Richard Randolph to represent the Scottsville District.Randolph, who runs a home repair business, moved to Albemarle from Connecticut in 2005.

“I am committed to seeing this county’s rich environmental resources and assets enhanced and preserved while simultaneously encouraging the dynamic and diverse base of economic activity in the county,” Randolph wrote in his application for the position.

Randolph said those two goals could be seen as contradictory, but added that protecting Albemarle’s environmental assets will attract economic development.

“In my past experience, economic growth and ecological preservation do not have to be locked in a zero-sum game,” Randolph said.

Randolph received an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia in 1969 and a master's from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972. He has been a member of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce and its Economic and Government Affairs Committee. He was actively involved in civic affairs in Salisbury, Conn.

Zobrist had applied for another term on the commission, but said he changed his mind after landing several major cases for his law firm.

“[These are] going to take virtually all my time,” Zobrist said. “I’m the kind of guy that has to do a really good job or I don’t want to do it at all.”

Zobrist said he would not rule out a return to public service in Albemarle in the future.

The terms of Commissioners Don Franco, Ed Smith and Russell “Mac” Lafferty do not expire until the end of 2013.

 

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