Sunday, March 03, 2013

The County "Fathers"

Every month I attend the county's Board of Supervisors meetings. I cover it for the local weekly newspaper. They used to hold the meetings in Fincastle, which is the county seat, but now the  meetings are held at the Greenfield Education and Training Center located in Amsterdam.

Aren't they an official looking bunch?

This is Steve Clinton, the supervisor chairman. He's been on the board a long time. He represents the Amsterdam District, which is the area around LBHS, Daleville, and out my way. He is my supervisor.

On the left, Mac Scothorn is a newbie on the board. He represents the Valley District, which is the Cloverdale Elementary/Read Mountain area of the county. On the right is Terry Austin, another long-time member and the vice-chair. He represents the Buchanan District, which is, logically, in the Buchanan area.

On the left is Jack Leffel, another newbie, who represents the Fincastle District. That area takes in Fincastle/Eagle Rock - the northern end of Botetourt. On the right is Billy Martin, who represents the Blue Ridge District, which of course takes in the Blue Ridge area. He has not been there as long as Austin and Clinton but longer than the other two.

This is what it looks like from my vantage point. I sit and listen, take lots of notes, come home, write about what I heard. I try diligently to keep my opinions to myself when I am doing my newspaper work, and just report on what they said and did. I let the readers decide if they are doing good or bad. The meeting last week was a little boring so I got out the camera. Unfortunately the only one I had with me was not my good one so the photos are not the best. But what do you expect out of a $69 camera?

The public rarely attends these meetings. Only a few people (other than county employees or other county officials) come almost every time. One is a member of a homeowner's association, the other is a county surveyor. Another who comes somewhat regularly is ... well, I am not sure what he is, other than an interested citizen. Other people show up when they have some reason to - maybe they need help with something, or they want something changed. But for the most part the county does its business and the public doesn't seem to care, until it time to raise taxes. I wish more people would come to the meetings, to watch and see how the regular business of the county is handled.

I like all of these fellows; they are nice men. I think if they had a bit more input from the citizenry - everybody, not just the ones in their own political parties or their own cronies - things might work a little differently, and probably for the better. But a lackluster citizenry tends to end up with the governance it deserves, I suppose.

The board meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month at 2 p.m.


  1. Oh dear. Middle aged, white, male and in all probability middle class as well. What's wrong with our democracies made visible at one table.

  2. oh i don't envy you this job...i would fall asleep!


I enjoy your comments and always appreciate the opportunity to visit the blogs of my readers. I hope you have a great day!