Planning Commissioner Lawrence Beerman (Dulles) turned in his resignation to his district's supervisor, Stephen Snow (R-Dulles). The resignation, which took effect July 31, came as a surprise to Snow.
In his resignation letter, Beerman wrote that he had been "considering this for quite some time as events at work and other opportunities make it difficult for me to continue my service."
Snow said Beerman had mentioned some months ago that he was feeling some "burnout," but he did not expect the resignation.
"This is not a welcomed surprise, but I can fully understand his reasoning," Snow said. "We've been working on some big things, which can be draining."
For the past few months, the Planning Commission has been working diligently on the proposed Comprehensive Plan amendments (CPAM) for the Dulles South area, placing Snow and Beerman at the center of much of the debate. In addition, July 24, the Planning Commission voted to send the Rural Policy Area CPAM to a work session, forcing the county to wait through the August recess to make a final decision.
Snow does not believe that Beerman's absence in September will impact the CPAMs since any new commissioner would most likely abstain from voting because he or she had not been involved in the ongoing process.
"The intent of the board was to have the Planning Commission turn [the CPAMs] around within the 90-day [timeline]," Snow said. "It was always a matter of timing and there should be no modifications needed."
Snow added that since the Planning Commission's recommendations to the board on the CPAMs had been overwhelming majorities, he did not think one abstention would sway the vote.
As for Beerman's replacement, Snow already has a candidate in mind. He will nominate South Riding resident Barbara Munsey at the board's Sept. 5 business meeting. All new commissioners must be approved by a majority vote.
"I am hoping the other supervisors will support this nomination," Snow said.
Munsey became Snow's choice for commissioner because of her dedication to the issues in Dulles South. She was a member of the Route 50 Task Force that made recommendations to the commission about the Route 50/Arcola CPAM, attended many board meetings and has spoken at many public hearings.
"I sat and thought, who better knows Dulles South and has been an ardent supporter of the area," Snow said. "She is a local citizen activist with intimate knowledge of the issues in the community."
Snow said he is saddened by Beerman's departure, but will look to him for advice in the future.
"I am definitely going to take him up on his offer for consultation and mentoring," he said. "We're going to miss him."