Down Memory Lane for June 6

Feb. 14, 1980

In response to threats of legal action made six months ago by the state Department of Housing and Community Development, the Rappahannock supervisors finally took steps at last Thursday’s board meeting to provide a building inspector as required by state law.

The board will advertise for a public hearing at its March meeting and ordinance establishing a county department of building inspection.

According to a memorandum from county engineer Fanning Baumgardner, the county does not prepare or adopt the building code, only enforces it.

“Any public hearing should not waste effort discussing the merits of the code. The code is existing law,” he emphasized in the memorandum. Baumgardner noted that the county’s options lie only in procedures for establishing the department, fee schedule and enforcement.

In guidelines developed jointly with Jack Proctor from the Administrator’s Office of Uniform Building Code, Baumgardner suggests that the building inspector work office hours on Tuesday and Thursday, with an additional eight hours of field work per week authorized.

Baumgardner states in his memorandum that the building inspector must, by law, issue the building permits now handled by the zoning administrator. Before issuing the permit, the inspector must determine if the owner is in conformance with zoning, health, highway, fire safety and other regulations on building, including erosion and sediment control.

The Rappahannock supervisors authorized Carr and Hyde agent Dick Bowan to conduct a liability insurance study for the county.

Carr and Hyde currently carries the fire insurance policies on county buildings, due to expire at the end of March.

“I understand you don’t have liability insurance,” Bowan told the board members. He explained that liability insurance would cover the county against suit in the event that a person was injured in a county building, as well as protecting the supervisors against possible suit as individuals or an entire board arising from their actions as board members.

Bowan noted that three members of the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors are currently being sued by a developer for failure to approve subdivision plans.

Supervisor chairman E.P. Luke asked if elected officials in Virginia held immunity from suits arising from official action.

“That immunity has eroded over the years,” Bowan replied. He added that the costs of defense “can be considerable” even if the supervisors won such a suit.

“I worry about us regarding fire insurance,” Luke continued. “We don’t have a fire escape on the second floor of this building.”

May 23, 1985

Wednesday, May 15, was not a regular school day at Rappahannock County High School. On that day, 255 students left their classes and participated in a walkout to demonstrate their disapproval of the board of supervisors’ decision to cut $120,000 from the proposed 1985-86 school budget.

The students left their classes a little after 9 a.m. and congregated on the baseball field. Some had signs with “Save Our Teachers” and “Students For Quality Education” written on them, and all were attentive as Jon and Jim McCullough spoke about the reasons for the walkout.

Jon said that the students were trying to call the governor and the State Board of Education to demand that they become involved in urging the supervisors to replace the $120,000 and to find out what happened to the governor’s proposed 10 percent raise for teachers. The students had also tried to reach Delegate Raymond “Andy” Guest to make him aware of the situation.

The story of how one Rappahannock housewife and mother has become a coupon clipper of the first order began 10 years ago. That was when Sarah Brown started using coupons to buy necessities. “Then I realized that I could get try-me sizes of products free with coupons, and I kept going from there,” Sarah said.

How far she kept going can be seen in her home’s basement, where she keeps her two shoe boxes of coupons, and where she stores packages and labels and the nonperishable products she stocks in various small to large quantities.

The ability to realize those kinds of savings on groceries has been developed by Sarah over the seven years since she began keeping all packages and labels and sending in refund forms. In that time, she has developed an elaborate shopping plan.

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