Res­i­dents unite to pro­mote ci­vil­ity

‘Cit­i­zens are sick and tired of the ob­struc­tion­ism, bick­er­ing, per­sonal at­tacks, and ill-will that has in­fected county af­fairs’

Rappahannock News - - FRONT PAGE - By BoB Hur­ley

Over 100 Rap­pa­han­nock County res­i­dents at­tended the first pub­lic meeting of United Cit­i­zens of Rap­pa­han­nock (UCOR) at the Quievre­mont Win­ery in Gid Brown Hol­low on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

UCOR board co-chair­men Stephen Brooks and Al Reg­n­ery gave a brief run-down of the new group’s struc­ture and plans for the com­ing year, and then turned the meeting into a pub­lic fo­rum, ask­ing at­ten­dees to voice their con­cerns and sug­ges­tions for ad­dress­ing them.

The re­sponse, ac­cord­ing to UCOR board mem­ber Wayne Dick­son, was “very grat­i­fy­ing, and made it abun­dantly clear that Rap­pa­han­nock cit­i­zens are sick and tired of the ob­struc­tion­ism, bick­er­ing, per­sonal at­tacks, and ill-will that has in­fected county af­fairs, and are anx­ious to make some changes.”

In­cluded among those who at­tended were Roger Welch, Chair­man of the Board of Su­per­vi­sors, Chris Bird, mem­ber of the Board of Zon­ing Ap­peals and Gary Light, mem­ber of the Plan­ning Com­mis­sion, as well as a broad cross-sec­tion of county res­i­dents, in­clud­ing many promi­nent Democrats and Repub­li­cans.

Ac­cord­ing to co-chair­man Stephen Brooks, the UCOR lead­er­ship was pleased with the size of the turnout and the gen­eral di­ver­sity of the crowd.

“The fact that so many peo­ple at­tended a Sun­day af­ter­noon meeting rep­re­sent­ing such a po­lit­i­cal cross

sec­tion of county res­i­dents demon­strates that there is a real need for a non-par­ti­san group such as UCOR which will pro­mote ci­vil­ity, fact­based de­ci­sion-mak­ing, and pro­fes­sion­al­ism in Rap­pa­han­nock County government af­fairs,” Brooks said.

One of UCOR’s first ef­forts is to urge county of­fi­cials to adopt a code of con­duct and ethics that would ap­ply to ev­ery elected and ap­pointed of­fi­cial and ev­ery county em­ployee. UCOR board mem­ber Reg­n­ery ex­plained that many coun­ties in Vir­ginia, as well as across the coun­try, have adopted such codes.

“Their ben­e­fit,” Reg­n­ery said, “is that they ap­ply to all county em­ploy­ees and of­fi­cials equally and give the cit­i­zens sat­is­fac­tion that county of­fi­cials and em­ploy­ees are work­ing for the best in­ter­ests of the county at large.”

UCOR mem­bers will, Reg­n­ery em­pha­sized, be work­ing with BOS mem­bers and other of­fi­cials to get such a code en­acted this year. In fact, as the meeting ended, a pub­lic pe­ti­tion was cir­cu­lated to urge the BOS to adopt such a code.

BY RAY BOC

More than 100 Rap­pa­han­nock cit­i­zens lis­ten to UCOR board co-chair­men Stephen Brooks (stand­ing) and Al Reg­n­ery speak about civil and non-par­ti­san ways to deal with Rap­pa­han­nock County government af­fairs.

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