Bath Board of Supervisors Chairman encourages input for public hearings
As Supervisors we meet with many of you and we talk about government and things that are going on in the community. We invite you to become engaged in the decisions we make by attending Board meetings and failing that, invite you to provide us with your thoughts on what the County could be doing to address a particular concern.
Essentially there are three ways in which you can observe and or participate in the governance of your community:
The first is citizen comment at our monthly Board of Supervisors meetings, held the second Tuesday of every month at 7:00 in the District Court room of the Court House in Warm Springs.
The second is a public hearing the purpose of which is to receive additional facts, comments and opinion on individual cases.
The third are work sessions which the public may observe the discussion that takes place amongst supervisors as they work to develop opinions and or decisions going forward.
I would like to use this column to discuss the second option which is the public hearing. A public hearing is conducted because the law requires it and because certain matters are of such importance to the community that advance notice to the public through a public hearing is required.
For example, the Commonwealth of Virginia requires counties to conduct public hearings on the following matters:
- Adoption of the annual budget.
- Proposed increases to taxes.
- Land use control or regulation.
- Leasing or selling of real public property.
- Highway route locations and abandonments.
Additionally, the Board of Supervisors will conduct a public hearing before adding, deleting, or amending the County Code which identifies the locally adopted laws and regulations that govern the County of Bath.
Public Hearings are scheduled as needed. These are then announced and advertised in the newspaper, on the local radio station and on the county website (www.bathcountyva.org).
These hearings are designed expressly for the citizenry to communicate their thoughts, opinions, suggestions about the proposed changes being considered by the Board of Supervisors.
The Bath County Board of Supervisors understands that the public cannot always attend meetings in person. There are other ways in which to make your opinion known—the Board and Administration have email and mailing addresses. Jot your comments down, send them and they will be read and entered into the public record. And everyone has equal say—whether you attend in public or provide written comment. You need to know that your input does matter.
I want you to know that there are actually two public hearings scheduled which deal with two very important issues. The first one, scheduled for the second Tuesday of October deals with amending the budget by an additional $680,000 to fund a water project in the Cedar Creek district and consideration to amend the comprehensive services act fund and the Virginia public assistance fund to provide a direct transfer from the general fund to the CSA fund. The second public hearing is scheduled for the second Tuesday in November and deals with staggered terms for both the supervisors and the school board. For more information about either of these public hearings please contact County Administration.