Saturday, November 8, 2014
The people speak
No, this is not about Tuesday’s election. This is about an essential facet of rural character--attitude.
Goochland County is still mostly rural in persuasion, where folks believe in self-reliance and being neighborly. Our population, about 21,000, is small enough that people can know their elected officials and vice versa. Got a bone to pick with your supervisor? Give them a call and they’ll be happy to hear you out. (For contact information, go to the supervisors’ tab on the county website www.co.goochland.va.us)
This week, thanks to Election Day, the Supervisors and Planning Commissioners held back to back meetings on Wednesday and Thursday. At both meetings, citizens rose to address several issues, each with a unique constituency. (There was a great deal of information for GOMM to digest--detailed posts will be along soon.)
Issues that raised the most comment included ordinance amendments addressing kennels and expansion of the Tuckahoe Creek Service District, and a proposed cell phone tower in the heart of Deep Run Hunt Country. At the start of the Supervisors’ afternoon session, speakers used the citizen comment period—reserved for remarks on items not otherwise on the agenda—to protest the recent adoption of an ordinance that allows the county to mow grass on occupied homes in areas zoned residential, after exhaustion of all other remedies, as an infringement of Constitutional rights.
All of the speakers were passionate about their subjects. The Supervisors and Planning Commissioners respectfully listened to all remarks.
Board Chair Manuel Alvarez, Jr., District 2, and District 5 Supervisor Ken Peterson attended the Planning Commission meeting. Their presence indicates an interest in the concerns of all citizens.
Long time—some multi-generational—residents expressed their love and attachment to the land that is Goochland. They pretty much want local government to butt out of their lives and protect their peace and privacy.
The small town feel of these hearings, and the required community meetings that are an important part of the process to change land use, is rural character at its best.