Supervisor Candland Proposes Reforms to BOCS Rules
Gainesville, VA – During the January 7, 2014, Prince William Board of County Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Pete Candland proposed several reforms to the current Rules of Procedure by which the Board conducts its official business.
The proposed initiatives would facilitate transparency and promote more citizen engagement. Supervisor Candland proposed the following measures:
* The primary BOCS meeting times would be changed from 2:00pm to 7:30 pm in order to allow greater public participation. The vast majority of items would be voted on during the evening sessions to allow more citizen input.
* BOCS meetings would expand “Citizen’s Time” to accommodate increased participation.
* Citizens would be able to subscribe through the County website to automatically receive the BOCS agendas and supporting material at the time that these materials are made public.
* The County website would offer a section for public comment on agenda matters.
* Supervisors must provide a written resolution and supporting materials to the Clerk for inclusion in the published agenda to allow appropriate review by other BOCS members.
* Any waiver of the Rules of Procedure would require a 2/3 majority vote of the BOCS instead of the current simple majority vote threshold.
“These simple and straightforward reforms will go a long way towards increasing government transparency and restoring trust in our local government,” said Candland. “We serve at the will of the people, and as such, it is important that we take every step possible to provide them with adequate information about the work of their elected representatives.”
To see more details on these reforms and to read Supervisor Candland’s letter to other Board members, visit http://www.SupervisorCandland.com, where the letter and presentation to the Board has been posted. Supervisor Candland’s proposal will be discussed at the next Board meeting on January 14, 2014.
I could not agree more with these proposed reforms. Our Board of Supervisors is supposed to be a part-time position and represent the typical county citizen. Due to the county’s lack of quality employment, many residents must travel to other parts of Northern Virginia or into Washington, DC for their jobs. Most people have 9-to-5 types of jobs, yet too often our county supervisors hide in broad daylight by way of afternoon meetings that citizens cannot attend without taking time off from work. As a result, a majority of current supervisors are either self-employed or retired because they are the only ones who can participate. In order to encourage better civic involvement, both in terms of residents attending meetings to have their voices heard as well as encouraging them to serve on the board themselves, these meetings should be held during the evening.
Kudos to you, Pete, for raising this basic issue of transparency.