- Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 April 2009 16:30
- Published on Wednesday, 22 April 2009 16:30
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O’Gara Group was in the news last Thursday in another part of the state. A Westmoreland resident had found an April 16 reporting in The Northern Virginia Daily that offered hope that the paramilitary training entity had shifted its plans from the 350-acre location immediately east of Montross to 1,000 acres in the upper Shenandoah Valley.
On April 17 the Journal received an email from a reader whose identity was unclear but whose message was worthy of pursuit.
“I see from the recent article by Mr. Knight,” wrote Nomercs, “that the mercenary company O’Gara Group, not content to outrage just the citizens of Westmoreland County and the Town of Montross, is at it again, using one of their surrogate mercenaries, Dave Dolan, listed as a branch manager of the company, to apply to build a facility in Shenandoah County under the guise of the ‘Shenandoah Valley Training Center.’
“How stupid does O’Gara think we are? They have previously sent Dolan, as an overt representative of the O’Gara Company, to deal with the citizens of Louisa and Essex counties (where he was promptly sent packing from both) and now, while still negotiating in ‘good faith’ with the secretive, greedy, and non-representational county leaders in Westmoreland County who are apparently lured by the Siren’s Song of cash for a trash ‘shell building’ that should never have been built in the first place, and the promise of lots of jobs (yeah right, lots of former Navy SEALS living in Westmoreland), they are attempting to do an equally treacherous deal with the good citizens of Shenandoah, apparently as a back up Play B when they ultimately get run out of Westmoreland.
“Well, duh, O’Gara, ever heard of Google? Just because some of us live in rural counties doesn’t mean we don’t have electricity and can’t do research!
“O’Gara already has one training center in Virginia near Danville. They have apparently placated most of those folks and should be happy with that. They sure haven’t done anything but to show deception to those of us in Westmoreland and now, apparently, our brothers and sisters in Shenandoah.
“This,” the emailed messenger then concluded, “is the business equivalent to inviting two girls to the prom. Well, no thanks. We both need to sit this dance out!”
With electric power and Google in service in rural Westmoreland, the April 16 article was only a few computer strokes away. Residents in Shenandoah County were reportedly concerned about the military training center the O’Gara employee proposed to build and grass-roots opposition was immediate.
According to the report, the O’Gara opponents’ Keep Westmoreland Rural web page quickly became a model for the Keep Shenandoah rural web page created by the O’Gara employee’s opponents in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.
Efforts are being made to raise money to hire a lawyer to oppose establishment of the proposed paramilitary training facility in the valley. The Shenandoah County Planning Commission will entertain Dolan’s request as soon as May 7.
Dolan’s proposal includes amenities such as driving course and the multiple shooting ranges that are central to O’Gara’s Westmoreland County plans. But O’Gara has not invited another girl to the dance.
Instead, an April 20 article published in the Northern Virginia Daily reveals that Dolan is no longer an O’Gara employee. On April 16 that paper reported that “Joyce Wegryniak, the county’s zoning subdivision administrator, said Wednesday that Dolan filed his [special use] application Monday night and had wanted to be incorporated before doing so, but he was rushed to meet a deadline to May’s Planning Commission agenda.”
According to members of Westmoreland County’s local government, O’Gara Group will never need to file a special use request to establish the facility it envisions for the 350 acres in this Northern Neck jurisdiction.
According to Westmoreland officials, the O’Gara facility would be a school and schools can locate on the properties O’Gara has contracted to purchase in Westmoreland County as a matter of right.
The O’Gara project’s final site plan would be administratively approved by Bob Fink, the new zoning and subdivision official whose position was approved by the Westmoreland Supervisors during an April 13 meeting of the Board.