Supervisor McGlennon (D-Roberts) is proposing once again to reinstate staggered terms for James City County Board of Supervisors elections. What is with this local fixation on staggered terms? Nationally, liberal Progressives have relentlessly pursued eliminating staggered terms from private-sector publicly traded corporations' Board of Directors. Why? Staggered terms thwart stockholder initiatives.
Locally, the best argument that staggered-term advocates can up with is: What happens if all 5 Supervisors are thrown out simultaneously? There will be no institutional memory. No one will be there to put these neophytes on the right path. How condescending is that? It never occurs to these folks that maybe, just maybe, normal citizens have no use for their institutional memory and desire to go in a totally different direction.
Every 10 years, JCC undergoes a redistricting process. JCC is a growing county with its population center relentlessly moving westward. The up-shot: The Roberts District will continue to geographically expand westward. OK, so what?
Supervisor McGlennon was elected from the Jamestown District in 2009. Due to redistricting, Supervisor McGlennon's neighborhood moved from Jamestown to Roberts district. In 2011, his neighborhood voted again for Supervisor. However, Supervisor Hipple's neighborhood in Stonehouse District voted in 2007. But, Mr. Hipple's neighborhood (now in Powhatan) did not vote again for their Supervisor until 2013 — 6 years later. And if that is not unfair enough, both Jamestown and Powhatan citizens were represented by Circuit Court appointed and unelected Supervisors (2012 & 2013 respectively).
Staggered terms deprive ordinary citizens of equal protection under the law. Where you live shouldn't determine how frequently you vote for your supervisor! Where you live shouldn't determine if your supervisor representative is Circuit Court appointed without elections!
Staggered terms routinely disenfranchise citizens every 10 years. The only solution: elect all at large or all at once.
Jay H. Everson
James City County