Tuesday, April 20, 2010

SWAC Conservative Breakfast ... education, inspiration, action

Kurt Michael led the SWAC Round Table Breakfast on Saturday as newly elected Staunton Republican Committee Chairman Alex Davis (left) listened.

It was another packed room at the April SWAC Conservative Round Table Breakfast Saturday as approximately 55 people from Staunton, Waynesboro, Augusta County, and even Luis Padilla from Harrisonburg, gathered for fellowship and to listen to community leaders. Breakfast began with Staunton GOP Chairman Alex Davis opening in prayer followed by Del. Dickie Bell who led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Local conservative leader Kurt Michael emphasized that the SWAC Conservative Round Table is not a political party or organization but rather a gathering of like-minded people who care more about their country and community than they do about political labels.

Kurt laid out the three goals of SWAC Breakfast which are:
1) Social ... a place for networking with like-minded individuals and groups.
2) Educational ... a place to educate each other on current conservative thought, to keep each other informed of current events and issues.
3) Political Action ... encourage conservative individuals to become politically active.
Tracy Pyles, Supervisor, County of Augusta:
The first speaker was Augusta Board of Supervisor member Tracy Pyles, the only Democrat on the board (and he happens to be my supervisor). His was a lively discussion about the 2009 real estate assessments that were protested by more than 10,000 county residents, and an explanation of the composite index and how its formula is used to decide state funding for schools and other local expenditures. He talked about the flawed assessments and the inequality in deciding the value of properties, adding that something cannot be right when 49% of county lots were assessed at $50,000.

He talked about the need to cut spending, to cut redundancy in services, and the need to look closely at the county budget to find cuts. His comments were peppered with jokes and jabs at himself as he spoke honestly and bluntly about the problem of often being the lone voice on the board against the other six supervisors. He was well received by the crowd ... his remarks were interesting and left folks wanting more information.

Seth Waugh, National Rifle Association:
Seth has accomplished much in his 25 years. As Grassroots Coordinator for the National Rifle Association–Institute for Legislative Action, he coordinates the day-to-day grassroots electoral efforts and legislative outreach activities for NRA-ILA in fourteen states.

In addition, he coordinates and conducts the Association’s legislative and election workshops, and represents the Association in public speaking engagements nationwide. He has been a lobbyist on Capitol Hill, worked for the Ohio House of Representatives, and on various political campaigns. Because I knew his background, his youthfulness took me by surprise but he got started while in his teens. He stressed the NRA "will work with anyone who supports the Second Amendment." That means Democrats, Republicans, independents ... anyone. Emphasizing all the programs they provide, he also talked about the Heller Decision and other issues, and then answered questions and talked with folks afterwards. Our thanks to Jason Bibeau for working with the NRA to bring Seth to address our breakfast.

Conservative leaders from the community:
Del. Dickie Bell, who attended with his wife Anne, thanked Tracy Pyles for his work in the community and thanked voters for their attention to issues. He also put a word of support in for Staunton City Council candidate Carl Tate whom he has endorsed.

Alex Davis, newly elected Chairman of the Staunton Republican Committee, emphasized the positive energy that he has seen from those in the community and said the Staunton Committee has an open door to anyone who wants to work together in the best interest of the country.

Bruce Richmond, director of the Shenandoah Valley Tea Party Patriots, thanked everyone for coming out to the tea party on Thursday in Gypsy Hill Park where reports were 800-1,000 people listened to speakers who stood up for our freedoms.

Charles Kraut, Constitution Party and tea party member, briefly addressed the issue of the country's financial state and his belief the stock market may take a plunge.

Francis Chester thanked everyone for their help over the past 14 months of the real estate tax battle with the Augusta County government.

Chuck Neff of the Rocket Boys case:
We were honored to have Chuck Neff and his wife join us for breakfast. Chuck is President of VAST, the rocketry club that was shut down by Augusta County in the summer of 2009. VAST was denied a special use permit to shoot model rockets on 500 acres in sparsely-populated western Augusta County (something he was told was merely a "formality") and retained attorney Francis Chester to represent them in a lawsuit againt Augusta County. Read about the Rocket Boys here.

Augusta County Budget Public Hearing Wednesday,
April 21:

The Board of Supervisors is holding a public hearing for the Augusta County 2010-11 budget on Wednesday at 7:00 pm at the Government Center on Rt. 11 in Verona.

Photo by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
17 April 2010


Seth said...

Although, my mother often tells me that I am wise beyond my years. I am actually only 25.


Seth Waugh

SWAC Girl said...

That's even MORE impressive! I had read your bio so expected to see someone much older. I will make the correction in the post. Thanks again for being a part of our breakfast.