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Smart Growth Advocate Was There Before Buzz

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"Growing Up" (News & Features, May 23) was an excellent article featuring the one person in Chesterfield County who has been championing smart growth for several years: Marleen Durfee.

Marleen has been speaking to elected officials at the state and local level and county staff, and organizing groups of citizens on the many issues incorporated in "smart growth" since she founded the Responsible Growth Alliance in 2002.

Five years later, an election year no less, we are now seeing others come to the table discussing and advocating the same principles that Marleen and members of the RGA and Partnership for Smart Growth have been urging county leaders to incorporate in their decisions regarding rezoning requests. Until 2007, such pleas were to no avail.

Yes, 2007 is an election year. The voters of the Matoaca District will have the choice between a proven veteran of smart growth, Marleen Durfee, and others who, only after deciding they want to be the Matoaca supervisor, decided that smart growth was a good buzz word to add to their agenda.

While Marleen was in the trenches working on behalf of the citizens, the others were nowhere to be seen or heard.

Bob Herndon
Matoaca District
Chesterfield County

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