"When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…."
The Sept. 13 Board of Supervisors meeting has catapulted JCC back into staggered terms for board members. Without any prior discussion or forewarning, John McGlennon, 19 years on the Board, made the motion to return to staggered terms. Concurrent terms, where all board members serve together four years, and which Michael Hipple ran on and subsequently initiated in 2014, are now rescinded with a 3-2 vote, with Hipple "about-facing," voting for staggered terms, along with McGlennon and Ruth Larson.
The reason these supervisors cited for a return to staggered terms were stability and institutional knowledge.
An election every two years hardly promotes stability on the Board. What it does promote is difficulty removing board members, as it requires two or more election cycles to remove unsatisfactory ones, and contributes to the domination of some well entrenched members whilst promoting a "fraternal" atmosphere.
Institutional knowledge? Kevin Onizuk said it best, that he "caught on pretty quickly" as a new supervisor. He stated supervisors were replaceable, and rightly believes it is more important that board members have four years together to plan policy, rather than the disruption and turmoil of unsettling elections every two years.
Corporate Boards use staggered terms routinely, to prevent takeovers. In government, it should be an easier task to remove undesirable elected officials.
Very troubling and disappointing.
James City County