County supervisors, school board issue calls for help

By Susan Gibbs

The economy is slowly improving, but many of us are still focused on trying to make ends meet while bracing for an increase in taxes, if not at the federal and state levels, then at the local level.

Gas prices are still high, food prices are up, and more than a few of us are worried about simply surviving until happy days are here again.

For almost a decade the county has been divided between those who want much of it placed under conservation easement with a focus on tourism as a major industry, and those who want the rooftops that will attract commerce, adding both property and sales taxes to the county’s coffers.

There are those who would like to ride their bikes down country lanes, savoring the landscape and the wildlife, and those who relish the excitement and camaraderie found at county fairs, hootenannies and volunteer fire department barbeques and breakfasts.

There are also those who would like to see a balance struck between the two factions.

The county, along with the rest of the country, is in transition, struggling to achieve what economists are referring to as “the new normal” – and the time has come for those who care what that “new normal” will be to help lead the way.

There are vacancies on county boards that need filling, and the school district, faced with federal mandates that the county can no longer afford to finance, is asking residents to help decide what programs to cut.

The Greene County Board of Supervisors is currently accepting applications from people interested in serving their county on the Greene County Planning Commission, the Greene County Economic Development Authority, the Jefferson Area Board for Aging Advisory Council, the Piedmont Workforce Network Board and the Blue Ridge Committee for Shenandoah National Park Relations.

And the Greene County School Board is asking that folks take a survey on-line.

The planning commission meets once a month, on each third Wednesday. Commissioners, for whom no prior experience or training in planning is required, develop land-use plans and provide recommendations on their implementation to the Board of Supervisors.

The Economic Development Authority, which is currently meeting as needed, manages the county’s economic development office.

The Jefferson Area Board for Aging Advisory Council, which meets in Charlottesville the first Thursday of every month, is responsible for developing a comprehensive and coordinated system for services for people aged 60 and over. This Council advocates for the interests of seniors and resources for agencies, organizations and individuals.

The Piedmont Workforce Network Board is a business-led board that acts as the principal adviser to the governor regarding the state’s workforce development system. It strives to create a strong workforce aligned with economic development objectives and employer needs. The Council also serves as the state board for the federal Workforce Investment Act, setting policy and standards for the local Workforce Investment Boards and One-Stop Career Centers so to build innovation- based regional economies. The Blue Ridge Committee for Shenandoah National Park Relations, which is comprised of one representative from each county bordering the park, provides communication between the park and adjacent counties.

And last, but by no means least, the school board needs to know what you think the schools can do without, should cuts have to be made to its budget for Fiscal Year 2013-2014. Should it eliminate or adjust dual enrollment classes, art classes, music classes, career and technical education, athletic teams, or after-school programs other than athletics, such as tutoring and clubs?

Should it enlarge classes, go to a four-day school week, stagger bus routes, charge a fee to ride a bus or eliminate transportation altogether, have athletes pay to play or students pay to participate in fine and performing arts, eliminate summer school, reduce staff, eliminate the preschool program, or have teachers take furlough days?

Those interested in an appointment to a board can fill out an application available for printing on the county’s Web site at www.gcva.us, and submitting it to the County Administrator’s Office, 40 Celt Road, Stanardsville, VA 22973.

Those who would like to take the school survey can do so on-line at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?fromEmail=true&formkey=dF9hc2FscEhqbTlsR0pnUnF5a1ZMNUE6MQ.

Posted in: Editorials

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