Board of supervisors salutes 2019 “Citizens of the Year”
Fauquier’s board of supervisors Thursday night honored its Citizens of the Year — one from each magisterial district:
Devon Settle and Fauquier SPCA Cedar Run District
Excerpted text of Supervisor Rick Gerhardt’s prepared remarks
Lifelong Fauquier resident Devon Settle serves as executive director of the Fauquier SPCA. This nonprofit organization has been an integral part of our community since it was founded in 1957 to offer assistance to the animals of Fauquier County. Based in Casanova, in the Cedar Run District, the Fauquier SPCA’s services include lost and found assistance, humane education, pet therapy, tag identification, behavioral training and a low-cost spay neuter clinic to help reduce pet population and to assist those who can’t afford it.
The Fauquier SPCA has to house all stray, abandoned, rabies-exposed quarantined animals, as well as animals involved in court cases. While the county provides some funding to the organization, much of its work is funded by generous local individuals and foundations. I think many of us in this room have been fortunate enough to adopt a beloved pet from the SPCA, including my family — many times.
The care and compassion of Devon and her dedicated staff is illustrated daily as they professionally respond to many cases of abused and abandoned animals.
The SPCA’s professionalism in caring for these sick dogs, and after many months of care, rehoming almost all of them, is one of the many reasons I have chosen Devon and the SPCA as Cedar Run District’s Citizens of the Year.
Ross D’Urso Lee District
Supervisor Chris Butler selected former Fauquier Commissioner of Revenue Ross D’Urso.
“It was very obvious to me that Ross was the best selection for Lee District Citizen of the Year for the level of commitment that he showed the citizens of Fauquier County and that he continues to show with Rotary.”
Mr. D’Urso retirement as commissioner of revenue took effect Dec. 31 — after six terms in the elected position and 29 years in the office.
He had served as the commissioner since 1995, after working as deputy five years before that. He oversaw a staff of 22, which maintains tax assessment records and provides a range of financial services, including revenue forecasting, to county government.
Rob and Stacia Stribling Marshall District
Supervisor Mary Leigh McDaniel selected the Rob and Stacia Stribling on behalf of the family’s apple orchard, which has operated near Markham since in 1819.
“The farm, known as Stribling Orchard, has been in the Stribling family for 200 years, which makes it a two-century farm,” Ms. McDaniel said.
To have one family operate a farm that long “is pretty incredible,” the supervisor said.
Over the decades, the Stribling family has modernized and diversified the farm.
“After World War II, the nature of apple farming changed very dramatically,” Ms. McDaniel said. “And, if I’m correct, it was William (Stribling) who had the idea to do pick-your-own: ‘If you can’t get it out to the public, let’s have the public (come) to us’.”
The orchard has about 2,500 apple trees, according to the supervisor. Besides apples, it sells a variety of baked and canned goods, Ms. McDaniel said.
It has customers who have visited the farm for more than 60 years, Ms. McDaniel said.
Peter Eltringham Scott District
Supervisor Holder Trumbo selected Peter Eltringham, who serves on the county’s transportation committee.
The two men met more than a dozen years ago during Mr. Trumbo’s first campaign for the Scott District supervisor’s seat.
“There was this one particular fellow (who) showed up at my campaign events,” Mr. Trumbo said. “Kept pestering me, wanting to know what I thought about transportation planning.”
After taking office in 2008, the supervisor got Mr. Eltringham appointed to the transportation committee.
Mr. Eltringham worked closely with VDOT and others to get safety improvements made to the Rout 29 and Vint Hill Road intersection near New Baltimore. Mr. Trumbo called it the most dangerous intersection in the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Culpeper District.
Stretching from Fauquier to Albemarle, the vast district includes nine counties.
Completed in late summer, the $3.5-million “Cut the Hills” project removed two humps from northbound Route 29 approaching the Vint Hill Road intersection.
“Peter, you are just a shining example to me of what a citizen volunteer should be, as far as taking care of a project, getting it done and staying with it,” the supervisor said of Mr. Eltringham’s transportation committee efforts.
Supervisor Chris Granger’s Center District Citizen of the Year selection couldn’t attend Thursday’s meeting. That person will be recognized at the board’s Feb. 13 meeting.