Rappahannock News - - COMMENT - From Back Is­sues of the Rap­pa­han­nock News • Com­piled by JAN CLATTERBUCK

Dec. 2, 1998

Af­ter an undis­put­edly suc­cess­ful and pro­duc­tive term as sher­iff of Rap­pa­han­nock, Gary Set­tle has de­cided not to seek re-elec­tion and is step­ping down in what he calls “the hard­est de­ci­sion of my life.” His last day will be Dec. 9, and the county gov­ern­ment has al­ready been no­ti­fied of his res­ig­na­tion.

Chair­man of the Rap­pa­han­nock Board of Su­per­vi­sors Charles K. “Pete” Estes said, “Sher­iff Gary Set­tle has served Rap­pa­han­nock County well and he will be missed. He has con­ducted the busi­ness of the sher­iff’s of­fice in a very pro­fes­sional man­ner and he has been a plea­sure to work with. We will wish him ev­ery suc­cess in the fu­ture.”

“I am a very proac­tive and pro­gres­sive per­son and com­mit­ted to do­ing the very best job I can. I’ve al­ways given 110 per­cent to the job and there are a lot of pres­sures that come with it,” Set­tle said.

For the most part, he said, they’re not a prob­lem but he ad­mits that the job en­tails quite a bit more po­lit­i­cal ma­neu­ver­ing than he had an­tic­i­pated. “In or­der to get the grants you want and need, you have to be on the phone to Rich­mond about once a day. I un­der­es­ti­mated the po­lit­i­cal arena, not only on the state level, but also at the county and lo­cal level. But if you want to con­tinue to build for this de­part­ment you have to be in con­tact with Rich­mond and seek sup­port. The job is much more ad­min­is­tra­tion ori­ented than peo­ple think.”

The de­ci­sion to re­turn to the state po­lice as a trooper — Set­tle was with the state po­lice for 10 years prior to be­ing elected sher­iff — was a per­sonal one, he said. The sher­iff ’s job is 24 hours a day and al­though he gave that time and com­mit­ment to the job, he said, he feels that it has taken its toll. He wants to be able to spend more time with his fam­ily, had de­cided not to run for re-elec­tion and a job came open with the state po­lice at the same time. He felt the op­por­tu­nity was ripe — he de­cided to take the po­si­tion.

The Vir­ginia De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Qual­ity com­pleted its draft of the risk as­sess­ment of the pol­lu­tion at the Aileen, Inc. prop­erty, al­though the com­plete re­port will not be avail­able un­til Jan­uary 1999.

The re­port was based on the max­i­mum con­cen­tra­tions from test re­sults of sam­ples of ground­wa­ter from mon­i­tor­ing wells at the Aileen plant and drink­ing wells at the Flint Hill Pen­te­costal Church and sur­round­ing res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties.

Con­tam­i­nants of po­ten­tial con­cern still ex­ist at the site and the Flint Hill Pen­te­costal Church. The DEQ re­port as­sessed the Aileen fa­cil­ity to be within a safe range for work­ers who might have skin con­tact with ground­wa­ter dur­ing ren­o­va­tion of the fa­cil­ity. Like­wise, the re­port stated that the Flint Hill Pen­te­costal Church and the Aileen plant were safe as long as bot­tled wa­ter was pro­vided and use of well wa­ter was pro­hib­ited un­til chem­i­cal con­cen­tra­tions reached ac­cept­able drink­ing wa­ter stan­dards.

The threat of law­suits stem­ming from the plant’s pol­lu­tion hangs over the prop­erty and thus de­terred oth­ers who looked into pur­chas­ing it, said lo­cal real es­tate agent Butch Zin­del.

March 25, 1976

At the Rap­pa­han­nock School Board meet­ing March 11, school Board mem­ber Wal­ter Master­son men­tioned in a dis­cus­sion about ‘al­ter­nate diplo­mas” that an in­for­mal check had re­vealed to him that a diploma from Rap­pa­han­nock HIgh School car­ries very lit­tle weight with Culpeper busi­nesses. His re­marks, as printed in the Rap­pa­han­nock News, aroused some con­cern on the part of school ad­min­is­tra­tors and teach­ers. Master­son said he’d like an op­por­tu­nity to ex­plain his statement.

What he meant, Master­son said, was not that the diploma was mean­ing­less, but that it needed fur­ther clar­i­fi­ca­tion be­fore it was of any use to prospec­tive em­ploy­ers.

Rap­pa­han­nock High School prin­ci­pal Den­nis Wing­field has con­tacted Culpeper busi­nesses re­gard­ing the value of a diploma from Rap­pa­han­nock High School. He was told that the diploma alone meant noth­ing; the busi­ness­men said it was nec­es­sary to con­tact the school ad­min­is­tra­tion, guid­ance de­part­ment and at least two teach­ers in or­der to de­ter­mine the ex­act course of study fol­lowed by the stu­dent.

“If you brought a col­lege diploma into a food man­age­ment busi­ness, it wouldn’t mean a thing un­less that diploma shoed that your ma­jor was in chem­istry or some food in­dus­try-re­lated field,” said Master­son. “This is the same thing.”

The county could build a new of­fice build­ing and amor­tize a cap­i­tal in­vest­ment of $100,000 at 10 per­cent for the amount the county is now pay­ing for rented of­fice space, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures com­piled by County En­gi­neer Fan­ning Baum­gard­ner.

In a mem­o­ran­dum for the Rap­pa­han­nock County Board of Su­per­vi­sors, county plan­ning com­mis­sion and clerk E. M. Jones, Baum­gard­ner in­cludes a pre­lim­i­nary sur­vey of cur­rent of­fice space rented and not rented as part of a study ne­ces­si­tated by re­quests for ad­di­tional county of­fice space.

Un­der Vir­ginia Law, it is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of a county board of su­per­vi­sors to pro­vide suf­fi­cient space for the con­duct of the courts, in­clud­ing record-keep­ing. Com­mon­wealth’s At­tor­ney Ge­orge Davis ex­plained that “the courts would like to make this a re­quest, but un­der the statutes, it could be an or­der with a writ of man­damus.”

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