New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | April 8, 2020

Editorial: A refreshing start to mending fences in Charles City

By Andre Jones | March 10, 2020 10:03 pm

Tuesday night’s joint board meeting between Charles City County supervisors and Charles City’s School Board was a refreshing one.

While both boards have met in the past, it was usually a tension-filled experience, with each side choosing to stand their ground and not obtain a firm understanding of what each other one is doing. With changes in leadership there comes new ideas and a chance to make a fresh new start. That is what these boards chose to do.

Sometimes people don’t give credit where it’s due, and that can go for any situation at any time. But sitting through Tuesday’s discussion showed that intentions to figure out a solution instead of making a problem bigger is the first step to compromise. Give credit to County Administrator Michelle Johnson and Superintendent of Schools David Gaston for their patience in explaining their viewpoints and recommendations to the boards.

The interaction with both boards was filled with questions and answers. And I think one of the things that I took most out of the meeting was the truthfulness and honesty when discussing topics of the budget. Johnson commented that everybody had a wish list when it came to the Capital Improvement Plan. Even more of a truth is that even though many people already knew, not everything in the desired budget through requests will be granted.

As a person who has sat through many meetings over my several years writing through the paper, it’s good to see initiatives taken by county leadership working with other entities. Even on Monday, New Kent County Administrator Rodney Hathaway invited me for a sneak peek of the proposed budget. At that meeting, I had questions and made inquiries about the future. He didn’t have to do it, but he provided the opportunity for me to be there and to partake in this interaction.

In conclusion, now that local leadership is making strides to work with each other, even if they don’t agree on certain issues, I am hoping this continues in working with constituents. As information on several projects and concerns rise, I hope county leaders at all levels in Charles City and New Kent continue to provide these extra incentives to make our localities stronger.

Working together is the best way to build each other up. You can’t build a strong, solid organization if the foundation is rocky. Right now, it looks like the construction process is off to a good start.