- Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 21:57
- Published on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 21:57
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District 3 Planning Commissioner John Felt was elected to the position of Chairman when the Commissioners gathered this Monday afternoon for the first meeting of the new calendar year. He replaces former District 2 Planning Commissioner Robert McDermott, a patent attorney who opted to retire from public service when his appointment ended on Dec. 31.
The public learned of McDermott’s decision when the Supervisors met on Dec. 14. The Commission has been tasked with reviewing the by-right land use activities in every zoning district and were continuing a very time intensive effort on the development of the county’s Comprehensive Plan. The outgoing Commissioner had made it known that he needed more time to devote to his legal profession and was replaced by John Munson of Coles Point.
Munson told The Journal that he had lived in Alexandria but had not known about Westmoreland County until he retired from his Veterans Affairs position and launched his search for a retirement home in the country.
Zoning Administrator Robert Fink presided over the segment of the meeting dedicated to selection of Commission officers. It was Jimmy Coates who presented the motion to given the gavel to John Felt. After unanimous agreement from the other members of the Commission, Coates delivered a second motion that similarly returned Richard Moncure, educator and Happy Clam Restaurant operator, to the Position of Vice Chair.
Felt and McDermott share very similar engineering backgrounds and both Commissioners have been known for contributing their respective analytical abilities to crucial land use questions. A fifth Commissioner, Elwood Carey, has returned to represent Westmoreland County’s District 1. Carey has held the position since 1992.
During the Jan. 4 meeting it became apparent that John Felt’s leadership style is very similar to his predecessor’s. When evaluating the by-right zoning ordinance land use activities and reviewing the draft Comprehensive Plan, Felt ran an open meeting that allowed private citizens to be engaged as participants.
The Commission’s next meeting will be the work session of Jan. 25. The meeting will begin at 3 p.m. in A.T. Johnson auditorium. The regular meeting of Feb. 1 will begin at 1:30 p.m. in A.T. Johnson auditorium. Both of the upcoming sessions will include discussion of the draft Comprehensive Plan and by-right land use activities.
By Betsy Ficklin