Supervisor Tracy Pyles originally brought up the subject and wanted a public hearing to listen to input from Augusta County residents. Wednesday night, after the vote of 4-3 shot down the proposal, Supervisor Pyles said he would initiate a petition drive to force the issue. As reported by the Staunton News Leader:
"I have noticed a real lack of desire from this board to hear from the public," [Pyles] said. "If you only listen to yourself, you are only going to hear your echo."That brought a sharp retort from fellow supervisor David Beyeler:
Supervisor David Beyeler said there is no reason for a public hearing because a majority on the board already said the election process is not broken and should not be changed. He also said Pyles further pushing the issue is disruptive and is "not good for the county."The public has been fairly quiet on this issue but that may be because it's summer, school is out, and they are otherwise occupied. Supervisor Wendell Coleman made is a point to mention several times he had not heard from one single constituent in his district about staggered terms. Others mentioned it had been on the front page of the newspaper and they still didn't hear from people. However, Supervisor Pyles had heard from a number of folks and it may be that they went to the one who was in favor of it.
"Just because you don't get your way," Beyeler said, "it doesn't mean you should go out on the limb."
It was obvious from a split board vote and Supervisor Pyles' plans to start a petition drive that this issue is not dead.
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