"Drones and Laggards" in Pimmit Hills?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 12:27 PM | Deleted user

The following was written in the January 1960 Pimmit Hills Dispatch by a member of the PHCA Board who had served as PHCA President and later went on to become the Dranesville District Supervisor. He was also chiefly responsible for getting Fairfax County to make a retired judge's estate into Lewinsville Park on Chain Bridge Road in the early 1970s.

At the last monthly meeting of the Association, after proper compliance with all constitutional requirements, the following amendment to the Pimmit Hills Civic Association constitution was introduced for consideration:

“The members present at any duly constituted meeting, as defined in the P.H.C.A. Constitution, shall be a quorum and be authorized to do business as such.”

The question never came to a vote, just as so many other important issues have died in the past. The reason: Lack of a quorum - precisely the issue which was being voted upon.

On the surface, this may seem a relatively unimportant issue to the citizens of this community. However, the converse is true.

A decision one way or the other will establish whether or not the affairs of the community will be guided by a relatively small group, whether major issues will be killed by "parliamentary shenanigans", or whether the citizens of this community will go forth with a united banner with policies that will be truly representative of the desires of the majority.

It therefore behooves me to speak frankly with each one of you as a member of this community and explain to you the importance of your attendance at Association meetings, I am convinced that the majority of you are drones or laggards who are willing to sit idly by and let a handful of citizens, knock themselves out for your welfare. And as long as things are going smoothly you'll never lift a finger to help.

But let something backfire just once and there will be many who will criticize and complain about the faults of the Association.

Just let a heavy snowstorm disable this community as it did two years ago and there will be no stopping the phone calls to the president of the Association with gripes about his failure to get the streets cleaned, to stop children from throwing snowballs, and a thousand and one other complaints.

And ninety-nine out of each one hundred complaint will be from those of you who have never attended a meeting or lifted a finger to help in any way.

There is much to be done in this community and the majority of it has to be done by the citizens themselves. It takes effort and cooperation.

And whether you like the community or not, as long as you live here in Pimmit Hills, this is your home and you should be ready and willing to assist in making it a place of which you can be proud. If you don't have this kind of spirit, then you'll never be an asset to any organized community.

It has become pretty much a national past-time to gripe about juvenile delinquency, school problems, tax rates, etc. In my opinion we have a far greater number of delinquent parents than we have delinquent children.

What have YOU done lately to foster the development of recreational facilities for our youth? What kind of excuse did you give the last time you were ask to chaperone the Teen Club? Did you vote in the recent Bond referendum? Are you going to vote on the School Bond issue this spring? Do you vote at all?

Do you know what the issues are facing your community? Or don't you care?

I have not written this item for the newsletter with the hope of winning any popularity contest, and I am sure I won't. There's only one way to prove to the officers of the Association that you are not the kind of a person I have described above. You can prove me wrong by coming to the meeting at the Pimmit Hills School at 8:00 P.M. on Tuesday, February 2, 1960 and voting on the proposed amendment to the Constitution. If you don't, you leave the way open for any question to die on the floor by having me or any other member: in attendance kill the issue by simply raising the quorum question. This is the way to defeat progress in our community.

See you at the meeting! J. P. SHACOCHIS


Don't be a drone or laggard letting others care about our community -- Join PHCA and come to PHCA meetings!


John P. Shacochis was born May 30, 1915 in West Pittson, Pennsylvania. Mr. Shacochis began his thirty-three year career with the Federal Government in 1940. During these years he worked for the Social Security Administration, Veterans Administration, Salary Stabilization Board, and for twenty years, as a Management Engineer with the Bureau of Naval Personnel. In 1973, Mr. Shacochis became a Community Planner for Fairfax County, Virginia, and in 1975 was elected Supervisor for the Dranesville District. He served as supervisor until December 31, 1979. During his term he served as a member of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, Fairfax County Transportation Safety Commission, Board of Supervisors Fire and Police Committee, Fairfax County/Fairfax City Liaison Committee, COG Air Quality Commission, and Fairfax County Ad Hoc Committee for Prevention of Drug Abuse. He also served on the boards of the Washington Area Transit Authority and Fairfax Hospital Association. He died on Feburary 21, 2004.

Celebrating the life of John P. Shacochis (2004 HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 441)
Former Dranesville supervisor remembered as 'a bear' who cared deeply about area (Fairfax Times, 2004)


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