****CORRECTED 4:18 pm****
By. Neil Williamson, President
Over eight years ago, the Free Enterprise Forum called out the Greene County Board of Supervisors for holding a public meeting and not notifying the media [Greene Supervisors Hold Secret Public Meeting]. This morning, in a moment of Deja Vu all over again, Greene County alerted the media, of a special meeting on December 18th at an “undisclosed location”. Here is the proposed agenda:
Greene County Board of Supervisors
Tuesday, December 18, 2018 – 8:00 a.m.
1. Call to order
2. 8:00 a.m. – CLOSED MEETING
Matters pursuant to Section 2.2-3711 (a, 1-7) of the Code of Virginia
3. – OPEN MEETING
4. Reconvene, certify closed meeting
We applaud Greene letting us know they are meeting. We anticipate this is regarding the hiring of their new County administrator which is absolutely a proper use of the closed meeting provisions provided by Virginia State Code.
We believe holding the meeting at an “Undisclosed Location” is a violation of the **spirit but not the letter [added at 4:13 pm nw]** of public meetings law.
§ 2.2-3707. Meetings to be public; notice of meetings; recordings; minutes.
C. Every public body shall give notice of the date, time, and location of its meetings by:
1. Posting such notice on its official public government website, if any;
2. Placing such notice in a prominent public location at which notices are regularly posted; and
3. Placing such notice at the office of the clerk of the public body or, in the case of a public body that has no clerk, at the office of the chief administrator.
Emphasis added – NW
After publishing this post, I learned of a different code section that explicitly permits closed meetings at an undisclosed location.
B. The notice provisions of this chapter shall not apply to closed meetings of any public body held solely for the purpose of interviewing candidates for the position of chief administrative officer. Prior to any such closed meeting for the purpose of interviewing candidates, the public body shall announce in an open meeting that such closed meeting shall be held at a disclosed or undisclosed location within 15 days thereafter.
Greene County Board of Supervisors is hosting a legal meeting at an undisclosed location. Despite being just as legal as the secret public meeting was in 2010 — it does not make it right.
Yogi Berra said it best, “Deja Vu all over again”.
Neil Williamson, President
Neil Williamson is the President of The Free Enterprise Forum, a privately funded public policy organization covering the City of Charlottesville as well as Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna and Nelson County. For more information visit the website www.freeenterpriseforum.org
Photo Credit: davescottblog.com
By Brent Wilson, Field Officer
Greene County Administrator John Barkley gave his report to the Board of Supervisor’s at their first April meeting. The highlight of his report was the new County website . The website is much more user friendly and allows more transactions to be performed on line than in the past. In addition, it is much better organized and a separate tab on “how do I….” to help users find information they are seeking.
A major enhancement to financial information to the public is the link to three financial reports – 1) March Financial Reports, 2) YTD Expenditure Summary and 3) AP 4-12-16. The one comment from the public was thanking the Board of Supervisors for making this data available on the county website.
In addition to the website, Barkley updated the Board on several other issues. He announced that the new budget and tax rate (which has a 2.5 cent increase) has been advertised and there will be a public hearing on April 26th starting at 6:30 pm at the William Monroe High School auditorium. .
The reservoir project continues forward with two more properties needed to be acquired to complete the purchase of land required. Financing scenarios are being reviewed and comparing those to neighboring counties and should be presented to the Board in May or June.
The last major issue that Mr. Barkley covered was that the county is reviewing several vendors to provide live streaming video of the Board of Supervisor meetings so that citizens can view the meeting without physically attending to the meeting.
Brent Wilson is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization. The Free Enterprise Forum Field Officer program is funded by a generous grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR) and by readers like you. To support this important work please donate online at www.freeenterpriseforum.org