On Sat, Oct 25, 2014 at 10:44 AM, email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
To the BRMCA Board,
Buddy and I attended Supervisor Candland’s Town Hall Meeting and after reading over his handout the only difference we can see between the setup for the new road committee and the existing road committee (which is the BRMCA Board of Directors) is that all property owners within the service district will be able to vote for the members of the proposed road committee. Currently, all those who pay the levee must also pay a $50 membership fee to the BRMCA in order to vote for those who direct the spending of that levee. Although Mr. Candland said that the first (I will call it ‘interim road committee’) will be composed of residents appointed by the county BOD, that committee is scheduled to be replaced in December of next year by an elected committee (elected by the residents of Bull Run Mountain). Mr. Candland’s office will pay out of their funds for the mailing, etc, for this election. No money would be required from the residents for this election.
We would like the opportunity to post these views on the BRMCA website so that the community can have an open discussion of the pros and cons of Candland’s proposed road committee.Â
Buddy and Jeanann Foster
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 2014 21:22:08 -0400 – Reply from BRMCA President Josh Weinstein
Dear Jeananne and Buddy,
Thank you for your letter about the Candland Roads Committee. We will be glad to post it and this response to the BRMCA web site because it gives us an excellent opportunity to address some of the misconceptions going on about the BRMCA Roads Committee.
First, the BRMCA has had a roads committee since the 2001 Amendment to the 1990 Roads Agreement established it. You are correct that it is currently made up of the nine directors of the BRMCA.
This is entirely coincidental, because they are the only people regularly who show up at BRMCA meetings and have an interest in mountain roads issues.Â They meet monthly and rarely does anyone elseÂ attend the meeting.
I want to make it very clear: any mountain resident can volunteer to serve on the BRMCA Roads committee.
There are only three criteria;
- You must be a mountain resident
- You must agree to show up at meetings on a regular basis
- You must be willing to constructively work with other committee members. on improving the mountain roads
Contrary to your letter:
You DO NOT have to be a member of the board of directors of the BRMCA
You DO NOT have to be a member of the BRMCA, or pay the annual dues.You don’t even have to be elected by the community.
You just have to show up and want to work “in good faith” on roads issues.
It’s that simple. These were the committee membership conditions even when Buddy was a member of the BRMCA Board of Directors.
As for who is paying for the proposed Candland committee, unless Supervisor Candland is paying for elections, mailing and staff costs out of his own pocket, then the taxpayers of Prince William County would be paying for the costs of the proposed road committee. That’s where his “office funds” come from. They come from your taxes. If not from the general fund, then the administrative costs will come directly from our special tax levy.
And frankly, if I were not a resident of Bull Run Mountain, I’d be upset if my tax monies were being spent on maintaining a Candland committee for the mountain. It costs the BRMCA well over $600 to mail our annual newsletter to all mountain residents (not just BRMCA members). And that is with volunteer help putting the mailing together. It will be much more when you factor in county staff. These elections will cost thousands of dollars to hold.
The BRMCA Board is mystified why, if the BRMCA was doing such a poor job managing the roads, a bunch of concerned mountain residents who disagree with the BRMCA didn’t just start their own roads committee, rather than have to wait for an outside entity like Supervisor Candland to offer to set it up.
I must note that the county concurred with our assessment of the road issues over the past three years. This assessment revealed that 12% of the task orders are in front of or near BRMCA member houses, while 88% are in front of or near non-member houses. Considering that our membership is at roughly 18%, the task orders are weighted fairly, if not towards the non-members.
A major concern is, who ends up making our roads decisions after the initial interest in volunteering wanes? It is difficult enough to find replacements for our current board. I fear that the road decisions will eventually end up in the hands of Gainesville rather than BRM. Once we give over control of our road maintenance, we will not regain it. The government should intervene in many cases, though this community matter is not one of those instances.
Jeananne and Buddy, you’ve lived here for a long time, why don’t you volunteer to serve on the BRMCA roads committee? Consider this an invite.
At the meeting in September, Supervisor Candland said that the cause of his actions was the dissolution of the road committee by the BRMCA board of directors. When the board dissolved the road committee that was formed in 2001 by the road agreement between the county and the civic association, they in effect voided the contract. This was pointed out at the meeting by the county’s lawyer. At this point, the county has several options. They can appoint a road committee as they do in Lake Jackson or they can allow us to form a road committee. Or they can turn the roads over to Public Works and we would have no input. Supervisor Candland’s proposal is the only option that allows every resident of the service district to have input with their vote. If you could post his proposal on the website, residents could read it and come to an informed opinion.
While we appreciate that residents can come down to the board’s meetings and voice their concerns, they cannot hold the board accountable for how the board directs the spending of public funds. And while you say that residents could join the road committee, they still would be unable to vote on members or policy without paying the $50 membership.
This is not a new situation. At times in the past, residents have disapproved of road policies of previous boards here on the mountain. This ongoing situation led to the amendment of the road agreement back in 2001 that provided for a citizen’s road committee. As Supervisor Candland said at the town hall meeting on September 17, all parties need to putÂ “finger pointing” aside and move forward.
Buddy and Jeanann Foster