Sunday, May 27, 2007

Increasing the Seats on the BOS

I recall the issue of increasing the number of Supervisors on the Board being raised last Winter after the election of 2006. I think it was the Alliance for Responsible Growth that blogged about the issue.
The RTD in its Chesterfield this Week section addressed the issue in the Sunday edition. The real issue however that must be realized is that the Board itself must vote to approve the creation of or addition of districts in order the increase the number of Supervisors. Again, we are faced with the political dilemma of what is best for the party or what is best for the county.
Only 1 of the 5 Supervisors has expressed a favorable opinion in increasing the number of Supervisors. The Clover Hill Supervisor, Art Warren, is the sole memeber of the Board it appears to favor raising the number of local distrcist to 7. Currently, each Supervisor represents 60, 000 residents but that number would surely be increased with all the new developments that are pending that have ten to fifteen year growth phases. Mr. Warren I am sure realizes that upon completion of the 360 corridor and areas like Magnolia Green the number of residents would surely increase that district substantially.
In typical Republican fashion it appears as many on the Board dismiss the idea as simply increasing government, thus supporting it would be in favor of "big" government and increasing expenditures required to run that government. This view is far too simplistic.
We are constantly being reminded just how our local government is overwhelmed and understaffed, especially in terms of those departments concerned with urban planning. In this case less in certainly not more.
Hanover County currently has 7 seats on the County BOS. Hanover is not nearly as populated as Chesterfield. There is the view that by increasing the number of seats you increase representation. I believe that is true.
However, politicians would rather have to convince two rather than three other members and that is what it comes down to. It currently takes 3 yeahs for majority. It would be interesting to review just how much of our county business passed 3-2. And let us not forget those who seek to influence the BOS, they would not be too supportive of increasing the number of members they would have to lobby. Call be a pessimist but what usually goes agianst the lobbyists interests is probably good for the rest of us.
The number of seats is not limiting to this government but a lack of leadership is. It may just be time to raise the issue of accountability to such an extent that the public will demands adding additional seats. Let them make the case that 5 can lead better than 7.


Anonymous said...

The current memebers of the Board seem to be saying that we plan on allowing the county to grow rapidly virtually approving every major development proposed from Magnolia Green to Roseland thus adding some ten thousand homes on one hand but then saying that a 5 member Board can represent the County efficiently and adequately given its current growth rates. It seems to me this Board is pro-growth in every way, except growing the actual Board itself.

Anonymous said...

Where do the current candidates in the BOS races stand on the issue of increasing the Board membership?

James D said...

If you take into account the number of approved developments or at least ones that will eventually be approved its only a question of when they will have to do it. Since this board seems to always be late to the ball it will probably be much later before they do it...