New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | January 23, 2019

Editorial: Take advantage and speak up at town halls and meetings

By Andre Jones | May 9, 2018 3:03 pm

As Spring approaches, budget season and other meetings are in full swing. But for most people, they tend to lean more to being reactive than proactive.

In the last few weeks, the buzz of town halls, budgets, and upcoming meetings. Usually, these meetings have low attendance. But with the uptick and concern raised by citizens, county and government leaders are making adjustments to their schedule in order to address these concerns.

Let’s give credit where it’s due to the county leaders on this issue. In New Kent, concern about a possible casino and the reopening of Colonial Downs led District 1 representative Thomas Evelyn to call a town hall meeting. However, with the number of phones ringing and emails that these leaders were receiving, New Kent’s Board of Supervisors made the call to have a special town hall meeting. That was definitely the right decision.

In Charles City, the county’s school board has faced budget issues and continues to hope for additional funding. With supervisors electing to hold a meeting on the same day as the school board’s regular meeting, the decision was made to bump up the school’s convening to the early evening to be able to attend the public hearing on the county’s budget later that night. This was also the right decision.

As a writer (and social media monitor), the Chronicle’s Facebook page is flooded by comments when an issue comes up. While schedules may conflict, it doesn’t take much to attend one of these meetings to speak your mind. That’s why town halls and monthly meetings are made available to the public. It’s an opportunity to voice your opinion. Questions may not get answered but those leaders actually depend on feedback in order to make the decision that benefits the county, the student population, and the citizens.

Remember, to get something done requires more than words; it requires action and the ability to stand-up among the crowd and speak up. Silence is deafening, but words are powerful.