The Greene County Board of Supervisors race: a review

By Susan Gibbs

John Danforth is an ordained Episcopal priest and retired American politician who began his career in 1968 as the Attorney General of Missouri and served three terms as United States Senator from Missouri. He is a well-regarded political moderate and conciliator who is periodically called out of retirement for troubleshooting and diplomatic roles by both political parties. He also served briefly as United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

Today’s Republican hard-liners, he says, “are angry, loud and insistent on getting their way. They are not conservatives—they are revolutionaries who all but say as much while they rail against what they call the Establishment.”

In our community, some associated with the Greene County Republican Committee (GCRC) have been raising quite a ruckus with their revolutionary railings.

First it was the “Barkleygate” scandal created by At Large Supervisor Eddie Deane when, after casting his affirmative vote approving

At Large Supervisor Eddie Deane, who has created more than one scandal in Greene County, made yet another appearance on Rob Schilling's show yesterday.

At Large Supervisor Eddie Deane, who has created more than one scandal in Greene County, made yet another appearance on Rob Schilling’s show yesterday.

a $5,713.86 interest-free, taxpayer-financed loan to County Administrator John Barkley for monies owed to the Virginia Retirement System, he did an about face.

Deane took to the airwaves with the help of Republicans (Tea Partiers) Rob Schilling of News Radio WINA and Joe Thomas, host of The Afternoon Constitutional radio show on WCHV, saying that the loan should never have happened and condemning his fellow supervisors for voting for it along with him. Bob Young, whom Deane has endorsed to take over his seat on the Greene County Board of Supervisors in January, then threw down the gauntlet and declared himself ready and able to save us all from a government that, among other things, lacks transparency by making back room deals.

Perhaps his first contradiction was made then, when he registered with the Virginia Department of Elections as an Independent, while passing himself off as a Republican.

Nevertheless, Barkleygate would garner Young and his supporters 15 seconds of fame before it would appear to be over.

But then Former Greene County Social Worker Gail Breeden and Former Supervisor Patsy Morris saved the revolutionary day by creating scandal anew at a public Board meeting, where they angrily accused supervisors of dishonesty, of breaking the law, lying to the public, breaking the citizens’ trust, and conspiracy. They told Chairman of the Board David Cox (Monroe) he needed to grow a set of (testicles) and accused Vice-chairman Jim Frydl (Midway) of lying. They said Barkley and County Attorney Ray Clarke needed to be fired, and that Frydl needed to be gotten out of office.

Cox responded at the following meeting by reading a set of rules for conduct at the panel’s public meetings, including one that said profanity and personal attacks would not be tolerated.

Schilling ran with it, publishing five posts between July 24 and August 8 accusing Greene’s supervisors of denying strong, assertive women their right to free speech via the stifling of public comment at Greene County Board of Supervisors meetings.

Bob Young, whom Deane would like to fill his seat, boycotted the candidates' forum because he doesn't like the person who found the location and set the times for the September event

Bob Young, whom Deane would like to fill his seat, boycotted the candidates’ forum because he doesn’t like the person who found the location and set the times for the September event

About the same time Young and his wife Eva are said to have instigated a petition to recall Frydl (which has been filed, but which only one person has signed), and Deane solicited Donna Harlow, manager of the Stanardsville branch of Pioneer Bank, to oust Cox from his seat.

None of this should have happened.

Once again, Deane voted for the loan to Barkley. Rather than go running to the radio he could simply have announced to his fellow Board members—in public—that he had second thoughts about the matter and then apologized to the gallery.

Instead, he and his followers created one scandal after another.

In the meantime, there was—and is—business to be done. Our supervisors have to figure out how to pay for the remaining debt on the Wastewater treatment plant in Ruckersville as well as how to finance the White Run Reservoir, and how to possibly restructure tap fees to make the county more appealing to new business.

They have to update the county’s comprehensive plan, set priorities for the capital improvement plan, figure out how to best budget the needs of the schools, fire and emergency services, parks and recreation, transportation, a senior center with more programs—everything essential to enable, sustain or enhance our living conditions.

Greene County Public School Technical Director Dale Herring, who is running against Young for the At Large seat Deane is vacating, said at the Greene County Board of Supervisors forum held September 23 that he would like to see broadband throughout the county. He added that there are several opportunities for that service around the corner; that he would like to see local hot spots (and) training areas so people can learn how to use the technology, as well as the development of a Web site that will deliver information to citizens.

In contrast, Young, who had boycotted the forum because he does not like the person who found the location and set the times, has had nothing to say on much of anything.

Instead, GCRC has labeled Herring—who is registered with the Virginia Department of Elections as an Independent, but has deep conservative roots that go back generations in this county—first, a Democrat, and then a socialist.

In addition to Young, Harlow did not attend the forum, so we know nothing of any possible solutions she might have for the very real problems facing the county.

Moreover, Harlow, who is running as a write-in candidate, has filed no paperwork whatsoever, either online with the Virginia

Donna Harlow, a write-in candidate challenging Supervisor David Cox for his Monroe District seat, has filed no paperwork whatsoever with the Virginia Department of Elections, or with the local registrar

Donna Harlow, a write-in candidate challenging Supervisor David Cox for his Monroe District seat, has filed no paperwork whatsoever with the Virginia Department of Elections, or with the local registrar

Department of Elections, or in writing with the Greene County Registrar. As a result, we have absolutely no idea who is funding her campaign, or to whom she might be beholden.

In addition to Young and Harlow, GCRC is endorsing Incumbent Supervisor Davis Lamb (Ruckersville).

It is doubtful that anyone in the county or its surrounds would say that he has a malicious bone in his body, or that he has ever been known not to try to the right thing, whatever the issue. He has been well-loved and respected both as a member of the Greene County Planning Commission, and then as Ruckersville’s representative to the Greene County Board of Supervisors.

But there’s an old saying: “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem,” and the problem with this election year is that nastiness has gone on for way too long and became way too brutal, taking time and attention away from the business the county needs to get done.

It’s not just that Young and Deane have defamed every sitting supervisor as well as the candidates running against Young and Lamb on the air. It’s also about the GCRC-affiliated Facebook page “Concerned Citizens of Greene County, Va.,” whose writers support all candidates endorsed by GCRC and arguably slander pretty much everybody else.

In not speaking out about the ugliness published by “Concerned Citizens of Greene County, Va.,” Lamb has not made himself a part of the solution, and must therefore be considered a part of the problem.

And so Eye on Greene endorses Michelle Flynn for supervisor for the Ruckersville District, along with Cox for the Monroe District, and Herring for the At Large seat on the Greene County Board of Supervisors.

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