The editorial titled “Fauquier County’s Minority Report” encapsulates the essence of the Boneta bill brilliantly.
The author also encapsulates the “why” of the opposition by County government, and the warped beliefs of the cheerleading Minority Report, which sneers and snarls at the mere mention of individual rights.
The County government is controlled by a certain three letter special interest group and its affiliates, and the Minority Report has good reason to support them; if you read on you will learn why.
It has been said many times by a well-known Fauquier zoning attorney; you cannot do anything on, or with your property in Fauquier County without first receiving permission from county zoning.
It is a wonder that one is even allowed to breathe on their property without a special exemption and a $150 permit.
It is also a complaint driven system, meaning the Zoning Administrator and her staff do not drive around the county, sneaking on to property (although they have encouraged citizens do this for them), to locate violations. They only get involved when there is a complaint.
Complaints are the basis of the Boneta case, the Hawkins case, and the Winery cases; several law suits that are currently in litigation in the county, all filed by citizens who believe they have been wronged by county zoning ordinances and officials.
The Boneta’s were not even on the radar of the ZA until one day there came a complaint.
Martha Boneta was doing nothing that dozens of other farmers do not do all around the county and across the Commonwealth, she just happened to be doing it across the street from the property, not the residence mind you, but the uninhabited property of Phil and Patti Thomas who do not even live in the county, but are members and facilitators of the three letter organization that runs this county; members of what I will call the “Three Letter Minority” (TLM).
And that was the beginning of the entire hubbub that led to the Boneta bill.
At this point I would like to digress a bit, and point out that the apparent source of the complaints against a certain winery which led to the passage of the horrendous Winery Ordinance, were made by a “neighbor” who lives over a mile from the winery he was complaining about.
The ordinance was proffered by Citizens For Fauquier County, a member organization of the TLM, and as passed remains remarkably similar to their “suggested” ordinance, both of which can be viewed on their website, at least until they read this and take them down.
Now back to the Boneta situation.
It should be noted that the Thomas’ actually sold the property to the Boneta’s, who fixed the place up including removing tons of accumulated junk that had been dumped over the years, and renovating the barn which actually had trees growing in it when they bought it. Not until all this was done did the Thomas’ initiate the campaign against Martha Boneta.
Once the renovation was complete and she began to farm the property, sell her products, and take in animals to her rescue, the Thomas’ suddenly had all kinds of issues with her, even though she was only open for business 7 hours a week on Saturdays.
Is this coincidence? Who knows what is in the hearts of Phil and Patti Thomas, but this is one of the most picturesque and pictured farms in Paris, and Phil Thomas is a high end realtor who caters to the TLM crowd.
Perhaps the property they had just sold suddenly became a lot more attractive once the Boneta’s had spent all the time and money to renovate it; who knows?
The TLM used Fauquier county animal control officers to try to seize her rescued animals, and reportedly threatened an Animal Control Officer with his job if he did not take action against Boneta.
They used Hilleary Bogley, court appointed animal investigator, and owner of the Middleburg Humane Foundation (MHF) to try to seize Boneta’s animals as well, but to no avail.
Is it further coincidence that Hilleary Bogley was looking for a farm in the area about this time so that she could relocate MHF to a larger property? Is it possible that the Thomas’ indicated she might be able to have the Paris farm if Boneta were evicted?
Again, who knows; Boneta remained on the farm so Bogley found another property.
In the end nothing was found to be wrong with the animals in Boneta’s care; they were all healthy, well cared for, and loved. It should be noted that unlike Bogley, Martha Boneta runs a “Forever” rescue where the animals are never adopted out, and no fees are “recouped”, they are just cared for and loved the rest of their lives funded by the Boneta’s and their farm profits.
The Thomas’ apparently contacted the Boneta’s mortgage company and tried to buy their mortgage out from under them, which seems to also be a tactic of the ZA’s office, where Kimberley Johnson is documented in emails offering to “work with” Mr. Hawkins’ mortgage company if they foreclosed on him. She then monitored the status of his foreclosure multiple times daily for quite a while waiting for them to foreclose so they could take subsequent action against Hawkins by revoking his permits. Ms. Johnson has since gone after Mr. Hawkins’ at his business as well, after a complaint by a neighbor of over 40 years who suddenly has an issue with Hawkins after he decided he wants to sell his adjoining property.
But I digress again.
Phil Thomas’s long-time secretary, who lives in a house owned by Phil Thomas, filed an affidavit for the ZA saying that Martha Boneta was selling furniture in the barn at the Paris farm, and this became a key piece of evidence against Boneta.
The TLM also appears to have enlisted the aid of another TLM member with very close ties to the IRS, to initiate a tax audit on the Boneta’s; something that Supervisor Schwartz apparently knew about over a month before the Boneta’s themselves, since he was telling people in the TLM crowd that it was coming long before the IRS contacted the Boneta’s.
The TLM may have also enlisted the assistance of a retired government law enforcement official who is also a TLM member, to monitor the email correspondence and God knows what else of Boneta and her supporters, something that is supposed to require a court order signed by a judge.
But who knows, there may be a judge in this county that is willing to do that for the TLM; it’s possible.
There is evidence that the TLM also demanded, through Supervisors Schwartz and Trumbo who are themselves TLM members and benefactors, that ZA Kimberley Johnson “aggressively enforce” county zoning ordinances in regard to activities on the Boneta farm that the TLM was dissatisfied with.
Remember, all of this came about because the Thomas’ particularly Patti, took a personal dislike to Ms. Boneta; a dislike that could have more than a little something to do with jealousy on the part of Patti Thomas if the truth be told, and eventually it might be.
Not only has the TLM gone after Boneta, but they went after her supporters as well.
Right here on these pages there have been stories documented by emails obtained through FOIA requests showing that former Supervisor Nyhous and current Supervisors Trumbo and Schwartz were spying on citizens, calling them [property rights] “Nuts”, and apparently assigning each other shifts to “keep an eye on the nuts”.
There are some indications that Supervisor Granger may also be part of this ring of spies, since he is the only other Supervisor who was copied on these emails.
It is abundantly clear that Schwartz and Trumbo are two of the “three wise supervisors” that Hope Porter, founding member of the TLM talked about recently in the Minority Report, and it would appear that Granger may be the third.
So why do I bring all this up, and what does it have to do with a piece of legislation amending the Right to Farm Act?
Because it highlights the need for legislation just like the Boneta bill to protect the Constitutional rights of citizens against an abusive government.
Fellow citizens and neighbors, that is EXACTLY what we have here in Fauquier County; an abusive law breaking county government run by special interest groups who have managed to keep control for over 40 years.
In the process they have implement one of the most onerous and oppressive zoning regulations in the country, all to protect the personal interests of the TLM at the expense of the public at large.
Hope Porter, matron of the TLM summed it up in a recent letter to the Minority Report when she said “turning the planning of the county over to a disparate group of residents who answer to no one is an idea whose time should never come.”
Who must these residents answer to Ms. Porter? The government? The TLM?
In America the government answers to the People, not the other way around.
This is what is wrong with government today and publications like the Minority Report; they believe the citizens are not to be trusted.
Funny, the Minority Report cannot see that the very Zoning Ordinance that they cherish so much does EXACTLY that thing which they say they deplore; it forces the will of the few in the TLM on the majority, the citizens of Fauquier.
So the next time you read another editorial or article involving the rights of citizens in the Minority Report, the local TLM mouthpiece; consider the source.
You may also want to start researching some of the regular Minority Report letter writers who oppose farm rights, vintner rights, and anything else they “feel” needs opposing, and who regularly advocate for more regulation by government, since many of them are incognito members of the TLM.
If like me you have had enough of the TLM, their paid for government officials and their local mouthpiece then stand up for your rights!
Dump your subscription to the Minority Report and start thinking ahead to the next election where we can change the county government through the power of the ballot box.