Sunday, March 15, 2009

LTE: "Perhaps Augusta needs new supervisors"

Letter to the Editor
Waynesboro News Virginian
March 13, 2009

By K. W. Stanley

Tonight, my wife and I traveled to the Augusta County Government Center in Verona to address the Augusta County Board of Supervisors to protest inaccurate, unfair and inequitable county real estate assessments (“Motion defeated,” March 12).

We arrived by 6:45 p.m. but were denied entrance to the government center by three Augusta County sheriff’s deputies. About 2,000 vehicles were parked in lots surrounding the government center. Many hundreds of citizens were standing outside the building on the sidewalks. Hundreds more were inside the government center, most having arrived by 5 p.m., although the meeting was not scheduled until 7 p.m.

Many patrons outside the government center chanted, “Do away with unfair assessments now.” Attorney Francis Chester from Churchville exited the government center and said the Board of Supervisors had denied his request to allow all citizens to enter the building. Many citizens were seen shivering outside the building. Some people leaving the building said supervisors were allowing some citizens inside the chamber to speak for only a minute.

It quickly became apparent to citizens inside and outside the Augusta County Government Center that the Board of Supervisors did not want to hear from any of their constituents who were protesting the real estate reassessments. They had already made up their minds and they did not want to hear complaints from their constituents.

I was both incensed and distraught that Augusta County supervisors had denied hundreds of citizens the right to speak to their representatives. The supervisors had apparently forgotten they were elected to be servants of the people.

This is the first time my wife and I have been denied the opportunity to petition our elected representatives for a redress of grievances. We need supervisors who will listen to legitimate “pocketbook” concerns of their constituents. Perhaps we should vote these charlatans and scoundrels out of office at the next election.

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