By Andrew Nicholson
Clarke County is a bucolic oasis nestled within the expanding suburbia of the Urban Development Zone of Frederick County to the west, the exponential growth of the Eastern Panhandle to our North and the population juggernaut of Loudoun County to the east.
According to the Washington Post, Frederick County is forecasted to grow by a staggering 60,000 people to 144,000 within the next 25 years. By 2040 Loudoun County will have more than a half of a million people (in 1970 there were 37,000). Inversely Clarke County has had the slowest population increase in the region, both in percentage and in quantity.
This is not by accident.
Over the past 40 years, voters in Clarke County have wisely elected to the Board of Supervisors individuals who have had the foresight to implement policies that preserve our rural heritage while still providing for its citizens. These programs include sliding scale zoning, a conservation easement program envied throughout the Commonwealth and development planning that reflects our rural character.
And as they have spent your money, our board of supervisors has exercised fiscal restraint at every turn. While our neighbors to the east and west continue to build $100 million high schools with abandon, Clarke County bucked fiscal irresponsibility and gave us a new high school at one third of the cost. It was done under budget with enough money left over to renovate the old high school into an elementary school. Other projects completed over the past few years have been the joint government center, the library, renovating the sheriff’s office and building a senior center.
And your taxes? Relatively stable, one of the lowest in the area and less than half the rate of Loudoun County.
The Clarke County Republican Committee is dedicated to ‘The Clarke County Way’. That is why we have nominated some outstanding individuals as our choice to serve on the board of supervisors.
David Weiss, the current chairman of the board of supervisors (BOS), will be our standard-bearer for the Buckmarsh precinct. David was first appointed to the Planning Commission in 1993 and became a supervisor in 2003. Bev McKay is pursuing his second term on the BOS for the Whitepost precinct. Bev’s experience includes over 20 years on the local planning commission. Terri Catlett, a veterinarian, is an excellent choice for supervisor for the Millwood precinct. Last, but certainly not least, we are very proud to have Tom McFillen as our nominee for Berryville precinct. Tom spent over 12 years on the planning commission (appointed by Michael Hobert) and will bring a wide array of knowledge to the BOS.
Our quality of life is not an accident. It is the result of years of dedicated service by neighbors who value the character of our community, of balancing the wants with the needs with what we can achieve. Look to the east, or the west, or the north and ask yourself: What kind of future do you wish to leave your children?
I trust we pass on to our children and grandchildren the same wonderful community to live and raise a family we have been so blessed with. This November we need your help to make that possible.
Andrew Nicholson is chairman of the Clarke County Republican Committee.