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Supervisors Open House Provides Forum

After it had been determined that an accident on Franconia Road was caused by racing, a Clarmont Woods resident looked at Supervisor Dana Kauffman's (D-Lee) annual "open house" as an opportunity to follow up on a letter he sent. He didn't recall any response to the letter, so the next best thing was the open house.

The resident, who didn't want his name used in fear of retribution, was upset about the frequency of racing in his community. On Jan. 23, on Franconia Road, the resident was the first one on the scene of the accident, where wrecked cars were sprawled around the intersection.

"One of these drag-racing accidents, some of them were pinned in their cars," the man said. "One of the kids told us it was a drag race."

Joan Clark, who handles transportation concerns in Kauffman's office, didn't recall the letter but remembered a phone call.

"We will sit down with the police captain and find out what's been done, find a good plan," she said.

Kauffman couldn't recall the specific letter either, but he did contact police on his constituent's concerns.

"We have alerted police," Kauffman said. "To do things, we need enabling legislation."

The open-house forum is an opportunity, though, and the man was happy he got a chance to talk to his supervisor and staff on the matter.

"We've been trying to get an appointment for two weeks," the resident's wife said.

On the other side of the Helen Wilson Community Room at the Franconia District Station, where Kauffman hosted his open house, Kathey and Walter Brodtman were interested in progress on bike trails, particularly on Franconia Road.

"The trail along Beulah's wonderful, we need more connectivity," she said.

Her husband enjoyed the social opportunity.

"It's more social, I don't come here with an agenda," Walter Brodtman said.

Kathey Brodtman did recall something she should mention to Kauffman about faded stop signs in her community.

"We need to talk to Dana about that," she said.

COOKIES, PUNCH and neighborhood camaraderie were on the agenda, though, as the community room filled up Saturday, Jan. 24, for the Lee District Open House. The Springfield arts community was represented, as was the Franconia Museum. The top items on Kauffman's own agenda included the adequate public facilities ordinance, which was defeated at the General Assembly, as well as revitalization efforts and an upcoming farmers market and summer concert series in Kingstowne.

Jim Hare of Springfield Estates had schools and transportation on his mind. Funding issues were a concern for him.

"As much as no one wants higher taxes, you either have to contract services or raise taxes," Hare said.

Christine Tollefson, on Kauffman's staff, looked at the open house as a social opportunity but realized some people did bring an agenda.

"Certainly, people do bring concerns here," she said.

Sam McCutchen, president of Wilton Woods Citizens Association, looked at it as a chance to swap ideas.

"We meet all these other people that have similar problems," he said.