MONTHLY SPEAKER INFORMATION
The July 18, 2024 Luncheon Speaker Will Be Announced Soon.
 
 
The June 20th CARMA Luncheon Speaker was
Scott Stevens - James City County Administrator

Scott A. Stevens has served as the James City County Administrator since October, 2018.

Scott Stevens talk to the CARMA Luncheon Group began with his desire to encourage further interactions and he provided various methods to get questions answered and to make opinions known. He provided a link specifically about the New Proposed Government Center; about a 100 million dollar project. www.jamescitycountyva.gov/4082

He presented various comments about the school system, the split with the City of Williamsburg, and the various financial and approval steps he believes would be necessary. He talked about the new sports complex, which is a joint venture between the county, the City, and York County. He believes the JCC costs will be mostly covered by the additional revenues from nightly stays and increased restaurant and business taxes. He repeated a few times that JCC is in need of gym space for recreational activities, and that the project would provide some relief. About 70 million in bonds are to be sold and backed by the city, only. He felt that the big problem with the proposal was a communication issue centered around the planning for the facility which started nearly 3 years ago. There is further discussion about other facilities on the same site, but nothing definite at this time.

Mr. Stevens spoke about the school district issues of over crowding in some schools, and the current plan to build two pre-K facilities in JCC to allow the removal of these children from the elementary schools and create available classrooms that way. One at Norge, one at Clara Byrd Barton.(SP?) There are over 600 kids in these programs and that change would releieve many classrooms where they are needed. Estimate of 45M cost currently. Mr. Stevens was careful in commenting about the possible split of the school district, since there seems to be some political issues involved.

Speaking about growth of homes in the county, he said there are still about 10-12K approvals on the books, which may be built according to the original plans by the builders without further intervention or approvals needed from the County. A large portion is in the Norge to Stonehouse areas.

Asked about Water, supply, cost, future...Scott responded that right now we have sufficient water supply. The JCSA does not report to the BOS or him. The pricing schedule is structured to provide a low cost for the first tier of usage, and then significantly higher tiers for the other levels of usage. This is on purpose, and looks to control the amount of water used on lawns, etc. He mentioned the SWIFT project where filtered waste water is injected back into the ground to try and help recharge the acquifers. There is a test ongoing on the peninsula, but not in JCC.

Scott Stevens was thanked for his informative talk with the members, for answering many questions, and was presented with the Cherished CARMA Crucible.

Short Bio:
Mr. Stevens was raised in Cary, North Carolina, (but always enjoyed visiting his grandparents in York County).   He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from North Carolina State University and a Master of Public Administration from East Carolina University. He began his career with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, later working for the City of Kinston as their City Engineer, Public Services Director, and City Manager.  He finished his time in North Carolina as the City Manager for Goldsboro. He was commissioned as a reserve Naval Officer in the Civil Engineer Corps (or Seabees) from 1993 until 2001 and has held a N.C. Professional Engineer’s license since 1994. 

He moved to James City County with wife Monique and their three sons, Erick Hicks (34), Jonathan Stevens (26) and Daniel Stevens (23).

Following is a short job description: The County Administrator is appointed by the Board of Supervisors
and provides leadership and administration of the day-to-day operations of the County. As the Chief Executive Officer, the County Administrator
is responsible for developing the annual budget and carrying out policies and laws, which are reviewed and approved by the Board. The County Administrator directs business and administrative policies and recommends to the Board policies and procedures which will properly govern the County.

 
The May 16th CARMA Luncheon Speaker was
Delegate Chad Green - VA - District 69

Delegate Green was able to update the luncheon group on the legislative session
called back to Richmond to finalize the budget for the next two years.

Delegate Green provided lots of details about the approved budget which provides for no tax increases, but yet provides more funds for education and various statewide programs and initiatives that both the Republicans and Dems wanted. Nobody got everything, but a few folks walked away believing that it was a good resolution. The Dems wanted to raise state taxes by 2.6 billion, including a 1% increase in the state sales tax. Included in their spending plans was less monies for police, take 99% of guns away, ban all gas leaf blowers, and a slew of new DEI programs.

Delegate Green summarized the Dem initatives as A-B-C-D-G: A is for abortions. No restrictions right up to and including day of birth. They apparently LOVE abortions. B is for banning all guns. Everything right down to the simplest hand guns would be illegal if they got there way. C is for being Soft on Crime. Early releases along with reductions of serious crimes to no jail time. D is for drugs. Love marijuana, want it free of all restrictions, and the sale of it no diffent than if it was a quart of milk. (They do not realize the significant black market that would exist to try to lower the prices.) And G is for girls sports. Have birth males playing in girl's sports is fine with them. No restrictions at all.

He beiefly discussed a few of his bills which made it through the session and became laws. JROTC will now count for physical education credit in high schools. The jury exempt age was raised to 72. Sales tax holiday will continue each year. An additional Judge was added to the 9th District Circuit. Dems would not discuss early voting interval. Hard set on 45 days. Longest in country. Costs about $2500 per day for early voting.

Delegate Green then responded to a series of questions: #1) Will there be more money put to the higher education funds in subsequent budgets? He said this was a touchy subject due to DEI and a host of other programs facing the colleges and universities. He said this was probably a big "maybe." #2) Will the state establish a fetenyl testing program. He said there wasn't any activity on this subject this session, but he believes it would be a partial answer to this most serious drug problem. #3) What is happening with the EV Mandate and California program alignment for 2035. He said that Dominion Power, whom he spoke to said in order for this to be possible, they would have to be a NEW power plant brought on line every 18 months for the next 10 years to assure sufficient power in the grid. He said that hydrogen fuel cells are showing promise, but are still a number of year away. Sub question - Does Virginia have sufficient power for new data centers and AI in the Richmond area? He could not give a definite answer, but thought this was a go for construction. #4) What are your thoughts on same day registration? He said it should only be done for permanent residents of any voting location. Statewide, and countrywide databases need to be accessible to verify a persons status before allowing them to register and vote.

Delegate Green also spoke about the healthcare mandates that are being suggested which would eliminate individuals from having a choice of coverages and programs. He opposes this, and believes the free market should determines who and what is offered.

Delegate Chad Green was thanked for his candid comments and presented with the CARMA crucible.

Short Bio Information:

Chad Green was born in Newport News and has lived nearly his entire life on the peninsula. He is a graduate of the Hampton Roads Academy and is a graduate of the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) Chad earned his law degree from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University and is admitted to practice in Alabama, Virginia, and the United States Supreme Court.

Chad is also a licensed commercial waterman, boat captain and a published author. Since 2015 Chad has served on the York County Board of Supervisors, where he has held the line on taxes, ensured our police have the resources they need to keep our community safe, and supported an end to unscientific mandates in our schools. During his time on the Board, he served as Chairman for two years and Vice Chairman for one year.

On the Board, Chad has been Vice Chair of the Yorktown Fourth of July Committee, served on the Colonial Criminal Justice Board, Transportation Safety Commission, the York County Chamber of Commerce, York County Youth Commission, and the Williamsburg Tourism Council.

Outside of his service as an elected official and electing conservative candidates to office, Chad is active in his community. He is a founding member of the peninsula chapter of Ducks Unlimited, which supports wetland and duck habitat conservation. Chad is also the past President of the Grafton Kiwanis Club, Board of Directors of the Victory YMCA, conducted fundraising for the Boy Scouts of America Colonial Council, volunteered for the Virginia Living Museum, and served on the Board of Directors for the York County Waterways Alliance. He is also a lifetime member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Chad resides in Seaford with his wife, Ashley, and his two children, across the lane from where his grandfather once lived. He attends Zion United Methodist Church.

 
The April 18th CARMA Luncheon Speaker was
Delegate Amanda Batten - VA - District 71
Delegate Batten had been asked to discuss the recently completed Legislative Session
from a point of view of the House of Delegates.

Delegate Amanda Batten spoke to the CARMA Luncheon group about many of the subjects and issues of the almost completed 2024 legislative session. Still to be resolved is the state budget, which is currently in an almost "do-over" status. With the very slim democratic majorities in both houses there was no discussion or compromise on any of the bills whether or not they were for education, public safety, incarceration, tax hikes, tax cuts, or any other topic.

The session saw voting being carried out on the basis of political party, and not whether the new legislation would be beneficial to the taxpayers of Virginia. Delegate Batten saifd that the two parties, plus the influence of Governor youngkin, had made for very much a "politics over policy" type of session. Currently, they met yesterday where amendments were voted down, and numerous (230+) budget changes that were proposed were all voted down by the legislature, and the governor is now getting all these bills and amendments back, with the only option left being to veto them. The legislature will return in mid May to try again on a budget. The Democratic budget version was wrapped into Virginia rejoining the Regional Emissions package known as REGI.

The whole process has become dysfunctional and weeks of hard work, writing, and offering bills to fix needed services and laws have all gone down the proverbial drain in this authors opinion. We shall see what happens in another month.

 

 
The March 21st CARMA Luncheon Speaker was
Virginia Senator Ryan McDougle (VA-26)
mcdouglepic

Senator McDougle spoke to CARMA Members and Guests about the recently completed (almost) legislative session in Virginia. He discussed the many issues about creating a new two year budget when the parties were severely separated regarding priorities. Main bills being presented were for public safety, drug management, drug dealing penalties, anf the budget. Also included were gun rights, free speech, and bills which would cause further loss of the Virginia right to work laws. Almost all of the Senate votes were 21 to 19, strictly according to party lines, and this was similar in the House of Delagates too where the margin is just one. Senators from Northern Virginia wanted more spending and higher taxes to pay for it. The process following crossover was down to party line rejections and almost nothing new, original, or any of the Governor's priorities being passed. A tax on technology received much discussion, but didn't make it through all the committees. Funding for raises for teachers and police were considered and could have been done in the existing budget, but agreement on most budget items simply was not there. Governor Youngkin has line item veto rights, and will continue to use them, it is expected.

The Senator took many questions from the CARMA Members, and they focused on higher education funding, the process of bill passage and possible veto, that some state operations have not earned expected amounts as previously budgeted, such as VA ABC. Discussion around mental health resources and the reply was that they are scarce and the patient population continues to grow rapidly. Locally he spoke about the I-64 widening phase which has started, the deployment of broadband urilizing both state and federal monies, and the issues with federal money actually showing up.

Questions continued about the costs of illegal aliens (undocumented citizens is the new term apparently), the use of wind and solar, EV registrations and loss of road taxes, and the audit discussion on federal elections.

The Senator was thanked for his candidness, and direct answers to questions that the digital media and newspapers have had as recent headlines.

His current bio as captured from the internet includes the following:

Born in Hanover, Virginia, on November 9, 1971; educated at James Madison University (B.S., Political Science, History); Marshall-Wythe School of Law, The College of William and Mary (J.D.); Attorney; married, Robyn Diehl McDougle; Baptist; Republican Caucus Chairman; Chairman, Rules Committee; Chairman, Finance Sub-Committee: Public Safety; Vice-Chairman, Courts of Justice Committee; Virginia Supreme Court Committee on District Courts; Virginia Code Commission; Women of Virginia Commemorative Commission; Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation; Virginia Indian Commemorative Commission; former member: former Hanover Prosecutor; Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program; founding member: Hanover Child Abuse Response Team; VA FFA Foundation Board; Hanover Domestic Violence Task Force ; Member of the House: 2002-2006; Member of the Senate: 2006-current

District 26 Description:
All of Gloucester County, Mathews County and New Kent County.
Parts of Hanover County, James City County and King and Queen County.

 
The February 15, 2024 Guest Speaker was Nate Green
He is the Commonwealth's Attorney for James City County & City of Williamsburg

Nathan Green is the elected Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Williamsburg and James City County.  He attended George Mason University, graduating in 1994 with a degree in Economics, and the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary, graduating in 1998. 

He began his career in 1998 as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Fairfax County before returning to Williamsburg to join the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office in 2001. 

As an Assistant in the office, he was awarded with the Williamsburg Bar Association Award of Merit for his outstanding work in establishing Virginia’s High School Mock Trial Program.

He was first elected the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Williamsburg and James City County in 2007. 

In addition to serving as the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Nate teaches every year as an adjunct professor at the College of William and Mary, earning the St. George Tucker Outstanding Adjunct Professor of Law Award in 2016. 

Nate also takes on numerous responsibilities assisting prosecutors from around the state, selected by fellow prosecutors to Chair the Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys Legislative Committee, and this year serving as both the President of the Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys and the Chairman of the Board for the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Service Council. 

Nate is  married to Karen Green, a past director of the Williamsburg / James City County’s Victim Assistance Program. They have a son, Ben.

 
The January 18, 2024 CARMA Guest Speaker Was Dr. Tarron Howe
Dr. Howe is the full time chaplain of the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail.


Dr. Howe spoke of his personal encounter with the justice system, and how his own incarceration in the jail caused his life to turn around. He provided a rousing speech about how he came to know God and how he now has a life long calling to aid and administer to the persons who have found their own way into the jail through the justice system. Peninsula Regional Jail serves 7 counties and cities, and has about 5,000 inmates pass through its wall per year. In 2019 he was named senior pastor for the jail, and he works closely with local pastors and clergy to meet the needs of all those who wish to work on correcting and reforming their lives. Dr. Howe reports that about 74% of those who are sentenced to jail, will make their way back to jail after a first encounter. He discussed the issues of being released from jail and the various issues of society accepting them back into the workforce, and their being able to become active parts of society in meaningful ways. While in jail they face many issues, and just one of them is being able to have any meds that they need. Prison funding is part of the issue with this.

Dr. Howe is a part of the Good News Global Network, which functions as a non-profit in about 40 states. It acts on behalf of the incarcerated, to provide them with christian ministers in the jails, and to provide essential services such as "good listeners", "prayerful hope and direction", and while working with the jail administrations, to help with the eventual return of inmates to society. Dr. Howe answered a number of questions from the group and was thanked robustly for his talk with the group. He was given a CARMA crucible!

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Dr. Tarron Howe is an Overseer in the United Church of Jesus Christ Apostolic and serves as the Senior Pastor of United Family Worship Center in Hampton. He also serves as the full-time chaplain at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail located in Williamsburg, Virginia. Dr. Howe is the instructor of theology and biblical studies at  Ascent Bible College of the Assemblies of God.  He is certified with the American Bible Society as a trauma healing facilitator and trainer.

He  has served in various ministry positions to include youth pastor and  assistant pastor. He is married to his lovely wife Renee Howe and is the father of Alaina Howe. Tarron  holds a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, a Master of Arts in Biblical Exposition, and a Doctor of Ministry.

02/15/24