A new chair for Foothills

A constant in the growth of Foothills and its support for local news has been the steady hand of founding board chair Bud Meyer.

Now a page is turning as Bud intentionally steps aside, giving way to new chair Andy Alexander, former ombudsman of The Washington Post and long-time county resident.

“Together we’ve all built something significant over seven years,” said Meyer, who became chair emeritus. “Any journalism organization would salivate at having Andy Alexander at the helm. We’re darned lucky he’s willing to step in.”

“Foothills Forum wouldn’t exist without Bud’s vision, creativity and diligence,” said Alexander. “In the growing world of nonprofit journalism, it’s a model that’s being replicated in communities where independent reporting is valued.”

The Foothills officers include Stephen Brooks, vice chair; Sheila Gresinger, secretary; Steve Vick, treasurer; Paula Wolferseder Yabar, fundraising chair; and Al Regnery, governance chair.

Recent reporting explores tax reassessment and land use technology

Important county considerations — new taxation levels and how they are calculated, and the potential of high technology in county planning — are the subject of in-depth Foothills reporting in the Rapp News recently.

“Reassessing Rappahannock: New property appraisals — likely higher — go out Nov. 10,” the latest in a series by Tim Carrington, digs deep into the local taxing process.

“Residents have good reason to brace themselves,” Carrington writes, noting that one estimate is that median property values have increased by 23% since the last assessment.

Bob Hurley’s “Among the last in Virginia to adapt, county tentatively introduces GIS mapping” finds that Rappahannock may be the only Virginia county without the use of a geographic information system for planning. What is viewed by some in the county as a major improvement on the current “primitive and archaic” process, Bob finds, is seen warily by others as a possible “invasion of privacy.”

Please give to Foothills at Year’s End

“In Rappahannock, we are so fortunate to have Foothills Forum,” says Patti McGill Peterson of Sperryville. “When newspapers are struggling for survival — and more and more towns and counties have no source of reliable, in-depth local reporting, Foothills Forum is doing the hard work — running down the leads, finding the best sources, and producing high-quality news — news that is focused on Rappahannock.  That’s why I support Foothills Forum.”

Community financial support is, in fact, the lifeblood of Foothills’ independent community news. Please consider making a gift in the remaining days of 2021!