Supervisors approve redistricting map, land purchase in Dale for park 

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On Nov. 17, the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to approve Plan B of the redistricting map process related to the 2020 Census. 

County Attorney Jeff Mincks noted that the map smooths out some lines. It also moves all of the Woodlake subdivision from Matoaca to Clover Hill. 

Some have claimed that the county was intentionally moving Democratic voters to the Dale District, thereby bolstering Republican supervisors in Clover Hill and Midlothian. 

“It is a numerically-driven exercise,” Mincks said. “We don’t make changes based on political party affiliation or voting history. This is not a politically-driven exercise.” 

Mincks noted that the county received two map proposals from citizens on Sunday, Nov. 14 related to the Beach voting precincts. The latter of the two would’ve added West Beach and Beach to the Dale District, but Mincks said he was concerned because it would reduce the black population in Dale and increase the white population. This would be in opposition to a trend that has seen the black population in Dale increase in recent years, Mincks said. 

Supervisor James Holland (D-Dale) wanted to wait until the board’s Dec. 15 meeting to review the new map submissions, but the board voted 4-1 to approve the Plan B map. Mincks said the deadline to approve the map is Dec. 31, but he recommended approval on Nov. 17. 

Mincks noted that school district boundaries are separate from supervisors’ district boundaries. 

New park

As part of the consent agenda, the supervisors approved the purchase of 7.5 acres at 7100 Conifer Road in the Dale District to be used as a park. 

Michael H. Browder is selling the land for $180,000 to the county. In addition, Anna Browder Snelling and Dorothy Grant Pearson are donating 1.1 and 2.6 acres on Conifer Road, respectively. 

The 11.2 acres will be called Anna and Charles Ficke Park. That land is the remaining acreage of a 100-acre farm that belonged to the Fickes, who are Michael H. Browder’s grandparents. 

The funds for the land purchase come from the federal American Rescue Plan Act, according to a board document. 

Turf fields 

During an afternoon work session, the supervisors discussed a proposal to purchase turf fields at L.C. Bird and Monacan high schools. The item will be on the supervisors’ Dec. 15 meeting agenda. 

The fields cost $2 million each. Additional high schools could be added in accord with the county’s capital improvement plan and bond referendum schedule, according to a board document. 

In addition to high school sports, the fields would be used for lacrosse, youth and adult football and soccer. 

Lawsuit over custodial services

The supervisors heard a presentation from attorneys Steven Vinick and Mary Trachian-Bradley about a pending lawsuit from American Facility Services Inc.

According to Vinick, the total requested amount is $266,189 related to a custodial services contract that began June 1, 2018. 

Trachian-Bradley said that Darron Lane, the county’s custodial manager, forged AFS Inc’s President Kevin McCann’s signature electronically, required AFS to fire nine staffers and then said they didn’t provide enough staff. She also said Lane told AFS employees they should find other higher-paying jobs. 

Tracian-Bradley said Lane deducted items that the company should’ve been paid for. 

Mincks said he doesn’t believe the claims are meritorious. “We soundly contest any forgery. He’s done a very good job of managing contracts,” he said, referring to Lane. 

The supervisors voted 5-0 to deny the claim. The company was required to present its claim to the board before proceeding with the lawsuit. 

New blog

County Administrator Joe Casey introduced former Chesterfield Observer reporter Jim McConnell, who recently retired from that newspaper after working there for nine years. 

McConnell said chesterfield.gov/blog has been launched. In addition, a digital newsletter called Happening Chesterfield is underway. 

A life saved

Chesterfield-Colonial Heights Circuit Court Judge Edward A. Robbins Jr. congratulated 11 sheriff’s deputies for saving the life of Teresa Ryan on Aug. 3. 

Robbins noted that Ryan, his legal assistant, collapsed and died while at work that day. 

She was revived by deputies who used CPR, Robbins said. 

He called Ryan “the brains behind the robe.” 

Juneteenth 

As part of a 2022 calendar adoption, the supervisors approved adding Juneteenth as a paid holiday for county employees, bringing the total to 12 holiday days. 

 

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