The Board of Supervisors voted 8-0-1 to appoint Barbara Munsey the new Dulles district representative on the Planning Commission. Supervisor James Burton (I-Blue Ridge) abstained from the vote. The nomination and appointment occurred at the board's first business meeting since its August recess.
Munsey was nominated to replace Lawrence Beerman who resigned from the commission suddenly at the end of July. Beerman cited work and "other opportunities" as the reason for his departure.
Supervisor Stephen Snow (R-Dulles) announced his intent to nominate Munsey at the time of Beerman's resignation. He said at the time he believed Munsey would be an asset to the commission, a sentiment he reiterated at the board meeting.
"She is very passionate about the community," he said. "I want somebody who will take care of the people; someone who will get out and talk to the community. I think Barbara will do a superlative job."
Munsey, a resident of South Riding, has been vocal in the local government, writing letters to the board and speaking at public hearings on a variety of issues. She was a member of the Route 50 task force that made recommendations to the commission about the Route 50/Arcola Comprehensive Plan amendment. Her involvement in the issues is one of the main reasons Snow chose her as Beerman's replacement.
"She is very passionate about the infrastructure needed in this area," Snow said.
MANY SUPERVISORS SAID they would support Snow's nomination of Munsey because they believed it was an issue of respect.
"When it comes to nominations we need to have some respect for our colleagues and their selection to represent their district," Supervisor Lori Waters (R-Broad Run) said.
When the board first took office in 2003, the board debated the nomination of John D. Herbert as the planning commissioner for the Catoctin district and most supervisors agreed they did not want to see that happen again.
"Whether you agree with them or do not agree with them it is that supervisor or that chairman's prerogative to put that person forward for the board," Supervisor Bruce E. Tulloch (R-Potomac) said. "I questioned Dr. Herbert's nomination and I wish I hadn't."
Tulloch added that he knew Munsey to be a "very strong-willed woman, very outspoken in her opinions," and he believed she would do well for the Dulles area.
Only Burton opposed Munsey's nomination, but chose to abstain out of respect for his colleague. Burton said he was not confident in Munsey's ability to be objective while serving on the commission.
"Her speeches, her e-mails, her letters over the past several years have indicated to me an attitude towards other communities and those that don't agree with her," he said. "In all good consciousness I cannot go forward."