Open the doors

Rappahannock Record, March 27, 2014

The Lancaster County Board of Supervisors’ (BOS) deliberations regarding the proposed boat ramp at Simmons Cove were conducted in secret.

Loon spilling water after a dive on Dymer Creek

Loon spilling water after a dive on Dymer Creek

This was the worst sort of backroom dealing between local politicians and a developer who stands to gain if the ramp is constructed. The developer offered the land (five acres) to the County if the County would agree to build the ramp. The County agreed to build the launch facility and accepted the gift of land.

The County then sought and received a grant from the Department of Game & Inland Fisheries and paid $17,000 of taxpayer funds to develop a preliminary site plan—all in secret.

There were no public hearings, there were no public announcements, there were no discussions involving the public. The only ones who knew what was going on were those in the ”backroom.”

None of the residents in the affected area were told about these deliberations until just one day before the BOS voted to approve the project. They were kept in the dark until the BOS had voted.  It was a sneak attack, plain and simple.

This sort of backroom dealing discredits the BOS and undermines the trust that is so vital to the partnership between citizens and government that must exist if we are to solve the many problems we face in Lancaster County.

We have schools that need serious community attention, and roads that are littered with trash. We all need to work together to solve these and other pressing problems.  But who will trust a government that conducts its business in secret, and treats citizens with such disrespect?

Wendy Smith
White Stone

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