Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
Caroline County postponed its board meeting, but Spotsylvania is forging ahead. Actually, there is no snow here at the Administrative Building.
The Board of Supervisors has changed leadership: Benny Pitts is now chair and Jerry Logan vice chair. Both votes were unanimous.
The supervisors also recognized the employees of the quarter: Andrew Deci from the planning department and Mark Buccola with the sheriff’s office.
Supervisors are learning more about how other localities use citizen advisory committees during redistricting. You may remember from an earlier meeting that many special interest groups in the county requested such a committee.
Supervisor Hap Connors suggested creating a draft plan for the committee at the next meeting. He recommends nine people on the committee, including one person from the minority affairs committee to address the concerns that minorities are often underrepresented during redistricting processes. Connors also said the committee should work under the premise that there will be seven districts in the county.
Supervisor Gary Skinner is hesitant to create a committee of appointed citizens. “If I elect someone for this committee, I’m going to elect someone with the same mindset as me. And I’m not sure that’s good for the county.”
He suggests instead making sure the county keeps the process open and informs the public about redistricting. He wants county groups to offer plans but for the county team led by administrator Doug Barnes to head the process.
The motion to bring a draft of a citizens’ advisory committee failed 5-2.
Supervisor Emmitt Marshall made a motion toward keeping the districts at seven. Supervisor Gary Jackson said getting the data should be the first step and talked about making sure the public is involved and informed along the way.
He said: “There’s a lot of interest in this process, understandably so.”
Pitts reminded the board to use “any and all media” to get the word out about the process. “The last thing I want to hear from a citizen is that they wanted to get involved in the process and didn’t know how to do it or that they got involved and didn’t feel welcome.”