Thursday, April 09, 2015

Newport Notes: In Praise Of Staff

It's a Newport Road zoning night, which means a contentious Board of Supervisors meeting.

I'm agnostic about the zoning itself, and haven't followed the exact details too closely. And no one's mind is getting changed at this point.

I do predict some staff bashing, and that's where I want to weigh in.

I don't believe in government by staff - as a county staffer myself, I know it's not my role to make decisions. It's the staff's role to recommend, and to offer their best professional judgement to the elected officials who are the deciders.

I've worked with Rick Dvorak and R.J. Moore for 17 years, and Josh Busard a bit less than that. They are three of the best planners in the business. They are objective, fair, and rational. They have no axes to grind, they make no profit either way.  They genuinely care about sensible development, preserving the best farm land, and preventing urban sprawl (some of the buzzwords we'll hear tonight.)

Plus, even though this isn't relevant, they're all around great guys.

The planning and zoning staff recommended approval of tonight's subdivision. That's not the only criteria. But it's at the very least an objective recommendation that should be taken seriously. It's based on the plan, not on the politics.

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