Former Jamaican bobsled team founder seeks energy independence as mayor

It’s a career crisis we’ve all faced at some point: what comes after you’ve created the Jamaican Olympic bobsled team? For George Fitch, now the mayor of Warrenton, Va., the answer stinks. Fitch wants to make the 8,000-person town energy independent by 2010 by building a $30 million biomass plant at the local dump. Are you in love like we’re in love? “You don’t have to be a big fan of Al Gore to realize that this is critical to our community and our national security,” says the Republican mayor, whose optimism and fiscal sensibility seem to be winning over residents of the farming community 50 miles west of D.C. But let’s get one thing straight: they’re not environmentalists. “My idea of an environmentalist is somebody who wears Birkenstocks and carries a knapsack and has too-long hair and spends his free time working for the Sierra Club,” says town councilor John “Sparky” Lewis. “But I have a great respect for the land, and I think we could all be better stewards of it.” That’ll do, Sparky.