Comment articles reflect the opinion of the writer(s), not the Rapp News. Comment below or by writing a letter to the editor: editor@rappnews.com. 

From 1990 to 2020 I served as a member of the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) of Rappahannock County and worked extensively with fellow BZA member David Konick during part of this time. 

My experience is directly contrary to recent letters supporting his legal and policy experience. Konick has used his legal expertise in ways that result in tense, hostile and difficult situations, including suing the very body he was supposed to be serving. He has also publicly and personally insulted county  staff, local board members, and members of the public often resorting to derogatory language. Mr.  Konick was convicted by a Rappahannock County jury in 2005 of making an obscene phone call to the  Clerk of the General District Court in Rappahannock, fined $1000 plus costs and received a Reprimand  from the Virginia State Bar Association. Despite this reprimand, his behavior did not change.

A Resolution of the Board of Supervisors from Oct. 1, 2018, noted that members of the public voiced their objections to “offensive” comments made by Konick. The Board’s Resolution stated: “In  light of the circumstances, this Board believes it has a duty to assure the public that the County government does not condone personal attacks on individuals by its public officials, even when acting in  their private capacities … This is contrary to the beliefs and values of the County government, and to the rules for civil discourse by which it is guided.” 

Faced with decisions he disagreed with, Konick brought, or threatened to bring, lawsuits against the  county, local officials or local entities. While acting as a member of the BZA, Mr. Konick sued the BZA  when he disagreed with a ruling on a permit case before it, then again sued the BZA for a resolution it  took regarding this case. Both suits included me in my personal capacity, as well as the BZA. Both suits  were eventually settled, but not before costing county taxpayers in legal fees, and countless staff hours diverted from other important county business. I question whether suing people as the desired means for trying to get one’s way is the best qualification for a representative of the most  important local governing body — the Board of Supervisors. Such tactics are often costly and divisive and can simply generate more conflict; in a word, this is bullying.

I personally experienced loud and derisive verbal statements from Konick during my tenure on the  BZA. I personally found it deeply counterproductive, and clearly he does not exhibit the temperament  nor judgment that benefits local government. I do not believe this is the kind of ‘experience’ most  people would like to see carried onto the Board of Supervisors.  

Rappahannock will be better served by a candidate who works cooperatively and constructively with  others for the collective good of the County. I therefore urge voters in the Stonewall-Hawthorne district  to choose Van Carney for the Board of Supervisors. Carney demonstrates the consistent ability to work courteously with others, as well as showing keen business acumen, and a strong desire to maintain the precious rural and scenic attributes of Rappahannock — the county he was born in and in which he is  raising his own children. That strikes me as the kind of real experience Rappahannock needs on its Board  of Supervisors. 

Jennifer Matthews

Hayes, Va.


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