The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Friction remains as K.G. supervisors select leaders
By CATHY DYSON
The King George Board of Supervisors’ brief meeting on Wednesday gave three indications of what’s to come in the new year—including a new person in leadership, the return of an old face in politics and ongoing friction between board members.
A supervisor who has never led meetings was selected vice chairman—but it wasn’t the member people petitioned for in December.
Instead, John LoBuglio was named vice chairman, and Dale Sisson Jr. was elected chairman.
The selections were unanimous and part of the reorganization the board does each January. The positions typically rotate among members in order of tenure.
What was unusual this time was that residents presented a petition in December, signed by 64 people, asking that Ruby Brabo be named vice chairman. She joined the board a year ago, and new ideas are what “help communities prosper,” resident Sylvia Hudson said as she read the petition.
In nominating LoBuglio, Supervisor Cedell Brooks Jr. said he “is the first member in line.” LoBuglio has served three years and has not been in a leadership position.
Brooks said he was concerned about the health of LoBuglio, who has suffered from extreme back and neck problems and has had several surgeries. LoBuglio assured Brooks his condition was under control—and that he wanted to be vice chair.
Among those in the audience Wednesday night was James Howard, whom LoBuglio defeated by a small margin in a three-way race in 2009. Howard had served 13 years on the Board of Supervisors and four on the School Board when he lost to LoBuglio by 88 votes.
Howard hadn’t attended a supervisors meeting since December 2009, but suggested a few months ago that he was considering trying to win back the James Monroe District seat on the board.
Howard told The Free Lance–Star on Thursday that he will run for re-election in November.
“ I just felt like I wanted to get back in it,” Howard said. “I think it’s a public-service-type job.”
Howard was greeted Wednesday night by supervisors, county employees and members of the public.
“I know all those folks,” Howard said Thursday. “I’ve been around a long time.”
The third indication of things to come this year is that friction between Brabo and Supervisor Joe Grzeika didn’t go out with 2012.
Petitioners who asked for Brabo to be vice chairman also wanted her appointed county representative to the Naval Support Facility Dahlgren Community Relations Council, or COMREL.
They asked, during three consecutive meetings, for Brabo to represent King George on the group of elected officials, residents and business representatives that provides input to Navy officials at Dahlgren.
Grzeika currently represents the county and has not indicated he’s interested in giving up the position.
Supervisors didn’t directly address the citizens’ request, but did look at a list of members who serve on boards and commissions. Sisson pointed out that these types of appointments typically run the length of a supervisor’s term.
“Unless there is the desire of the board to do something different, these are all set,” Sisson added.
Brabo didn’t drop the topic. She complained that Grzeika doesn’t bring back details of what happens during executive committee meetings of COMREL, which are closed to the public.
“He just comes back and says he attended and doesn’t relay any information to us as a board or to the community,” she said.
Brabo said she already attends COMREL meetings that are open to the public. As the alternate representative on the board, she asked if she could also attend closed sessions, too.
“I don’t want to feel like I’m overstepping my boundaries,” Brabo said.
Supervisors Grzeika and Brooks suggested she would be. They said it would be unusual and inappropriate for both the primary and alternate representatives to attend meetings.
Once more, Brabo asked for Grzeika to convey more information about COMREL meetings, and there was silence in the board room.
Then, Chairman Sisson moved on to the next issue.
Also on Wednesday, the King George School Board appointed its leaders. Former vice chairman John Davis was elected chairman and Kristin Tolliver was chosen vice chairwoman.
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425