Residents unite to promote civility
‘Citizens are sick and tired of the obstructionism, bickering, personal attacks, and ill-will that has infected county affairs’
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.
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.