There will be five new faces on the new Augusta County Board of Supervisors when it convenes in January, due in part to the botched 2009 real estate assessments.
New supervisor David Karaffa (I), 28, is already somewhat ahead of the game. During the past year, Karaffa spent hours at the Government Center learning the ins and outs of local government, talking with employees and supervisors, attending meetings, and reading endless documents, meeting notes, and informational sources as he researched the job he was running to win. In November, he beat incumbent Jeremy Shifflett to become Beverley Manor supervisor.
Incumbents Tracy Pyles (I) and David Beyeler (R) are the only returning members of the seven-member board. Larry Wills (R), newly elected, once served on the board in the 1990s.
Bob Stuart at the Waynesboro News Virginian talked with Karaffa about the meetings designed for newly elected supervisors to learn more about various county departments, budgets, and more. “For me, it will be a lot of review of things I already know,” [Karaffa] said. “But it is also an opportunity to fill in holes that exist. It would be nice to get those gaps filled.”
Karaffa became interested in county government after watching the supervisors' handling of the botched real estate assessments and he has attended supervisor meetings on a regular basis for the two years since that time.
He also became involved in the 2010 fire issue, attending meetings along with Kurt Michael (I), who barely lost his bid in November for Wayne District Supervisor, as both talked with firefighters, read the fire plans that date back to 2000, and listened to boots on the ground. Both men, with young children, were concerned for the welfare of not only their own families but those of all county residents. The lack of fire coverage had caused homeowners insurance to increase and even double for some residents.
While learning more about the internal workings at the Government Center, Karaffa also sought counsel from Supervisor Pyles whose 16 years of experience on the board offered a wealth of information and background. At the age of 28, Karaffa is the future of Augusta County and the country.