Letter: Issues of a growing county
The July 15, 2010 issue of the Gazette-Journal illustrated what a growing county like Gloucester has to deal with: School Board vs. Board of Supervisors, Those Four vs. The Forty, and our Strategic Plan. All most likely solved or caused by a 4-3 vote.
School boards crave autonomy and boards of supervisors control the purse. The question is, did the school board do the right thing or send the right message when it gave its employees a bonus and should the board of supervisors, a custodian of public funds (tax revenue) demand more oversight?
You tell me; seeing what has come of our economy, should the financial institutions get another mulligan? On Sept. 7, that is what the question will be for the school board, not whose feelings are hurt or who is insulted.
The Supreme Court case is more about what do we do when Gloucester does it wrong. The state legislature has already decided the right to recall is not a crime, but a right, and the Good Old Boys (and Girls) can’t punish you for trying. Who said timing isn’t everything.
The Strategic Plan worries me most for several reasons. I didn’t see rural broadband (important to our future) mentioned, which I take as still unimportant to the board, and public utilities where a big important question has to be resolved. Small counties cannot afford sewer or treated water without complete cooperation from the communities they are trying to serve. I do not know if it is only an ordinance change, a referendum (hate those) or simply forcing folks to do their job, but everyone who can hook up should be mandated.
Hookup fees need to be flexible enough to cover most cases. If they can’t get enough participation funded up front, don’t dig. Ground-water decline and sewage leakage into the water will force the issue sooner than later anyway.