Welcome to The Maysville Voice, the newsletter for those who reside and vote in the Maysville District in Buckingham County. I am pleased to bring you much information, links, and resources to inform and engage with you as your County Supervisor.
Some topics we will be considering or hearing about during our meeting on this Monday include: Honoring Jenna Oliver, Virginia Miss Agritourism; consideration of scheduling a VDOT Six Year Road Improvement Plan Work Session in March; two public hearings (one regarding an Air BnB on Rock Mill Road and another regarding using 28 acres on Route 20 for future Buckingham County Firefighter’s Association Tractor Pulls); a request to amend the FY23 school budget due to an increase in enrollment, state funds, and an adjustment in federal money; and several appointments to the EMS and Recycling Committees, among others.
Our upcoming Board of Supervisors regular meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 13, 2022 in the Peter Francisco Board Room in the County Administration Complex on Route 60. I encourage you to attend to learn more about your County Government and how your tax dollars are spent. If you’re unable to attend in person, you can view our meeting live here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1q2Ntsq_gk.
Here is a link to our agenda and full Board Packet: https://buckinghamcountyva.org/administration/boards___commissions/board_of_supervisors/board_agenda_minutes_youtube.php. Should you have any questions or concerns about anything contained in the packet or on the agenda, please reach out to me. My contact information is below at the end of this newsletter.
Public comments may be made in person during three minute increments. You must sign up before our meeting to speak.
Twice a Year Personal Property Tax Billing Proposal
The Board will also hear from our staff along with the Committee on Finance’s comments on twice a year personal property tax billing, similar to how we administer twice a year real estate tax bills, which I fully support. It will cost more money, but it will also add to the convenience of the taxpayers in the long run, taking the burden off the pre-Christmas due date which can be enormous and untimely. I serve on this committee.
Electoral Board Fiasco
If you have been talking to many people locally, our Electoral Board is having its fair share of struggles. The two new members seem to misunderstand the importance of having public input, Roberts Rules of Order, and overall good governance. These two people were allegedly, and I have been told with great authority, appointed by their party with the condition that they would oust the Registrar, who does an outstanding job, along with her election officers and her staff. You can read the many, many letters to the editor of the Farmville Herald regarding this matter here: https://www.farmvilleherald.com/category/opinion/.
I, along with more than 60 people, attended the Tuesday night meeting where public comment, for a second time, was limited and/or shut down. The
Electoral Board has changed their public participation policy at least three times, and now they only allow 30 minutes total of public comment, and party leaders/chairs who wish to speak must submit their remarks in advance of delivering them verbally. They have essentially gone to unlimited time for public comment and now have resorted to a very restricted one. The following are my abbreviated remarks from the public comment portion of the meeting, which, again, was limited to only a handful of people despite nearly 20 people being signed up.
Not allowing public comment during a meeting, when the preceding meeting had a very informal public comment with no guardrails is not good governance. It sets a bad precedent and leads one to wonder if there is something to hide, even if there is not.
People with influence in political or bureaucratic appointed positions who perpetuate falsehoods, twist the truth, intimidate election workers directly or indirectly is not good governance and should not be tolerated by our leaders or citizens. Nor are situations of political leaders who condition political appointments with pledges that affect the livelihood of others based on these falsehoods – again, that is not good governance.
Tonight you all failed to vote on two key motions, a motion to enter back into open session and a motion to appoint officers of election–a list which was not read. Again, not good governance.
These actions are not only good governance, but they’re wrong. It is wrong to lie and not tell the truth. We were taught that when we were young. It is right to stand up to bad actions and lies.
The eyes of us who live in Buckingham are on the three members of the Electoral Board, and again, I appreciate all your work and dedication. I also appreciate you all not letting a small handful of those who are in this county who are driving this effort to fire our registrar and drive off election workers control your decisions. Margaret Thomas was Registrar here for 28 years and she never had to deal with any of this crap.
I have no doubt that we have honest and fair elections in Buckingham.
When you vote, represent Buckingham in the public, and make decisions, please remember that you all work for and represent the 17,000 of us who live and vote here, not a political party, Democratic or Republican. Thank you.
Committee on Gold Mine Study Meeting is Monday at 4:30 PM
Please take note that there is a meeting of the Committee on Gold Mine Study on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023 at 4:30 P.M. in the County Board Room. Supervisor Harry Bryant, Heidi Berthoud, and myself, along with County Staff, serve on this committee to consider the response from the HB 2313 State Gold Mine Study Committee. The Committee, which I serve as Chairman of, will hear from Virginia Association of Counties’ Joe Lerch, a local government expert, along with Dr. Ben Price, who will discuss the Rights Based Ordinance regarding Metallic Mining. There will be no public comment. I hope you can attend! The final Gold Mine State Study/Report can be found online at the end of this board packet: https://cms9files.revize.com/buckinghamcounty/dec%2012%202022%20bd%20pckt.pdf.
Update on Mixed Use Project, County Buys Back Property
The Board of Supervisors held a special meeting last Friday regarding the mixed use development of the County Industrial Park. I led with the motions to purchase the land back from Atlantic Investment Corp., which led to the County purchasing the land back for $170,000 more than what the developer paid for it. This represented some of the investment the developer invested in the property.
As I said before I offered the motion to purchase our former Industrial Park property back from Atlantic Investment Corp., I believe the mixed use housing and commercial business development would have been ideal for that location and for our local economy. There is a nationwide housing shortage and a clear demand for good paying jobs in our community. This project would have elevated wages and I believe improved the lives of our neighbors.
It is my hope that the Economic Development Committee, which I serve on, will offer the Board clear, evidence-based suggestions as to how to market the property to private industry and bring good paying jobs to Buckingham. The committee has been tasked to do so with a report by our April 2023 Board of Supervisors Meeting. We will see more appointments that represent the business community in District Two, which I fully support.
It was my hope that Atlantic Investment would have followed the process that was agreed to by allowing the Planning Commission to weigh in on the matter, and make further recommendations to the developer and then allow the Board of Supervisors to review the rezoning application the developer needed. This never happened, thus the project stalled, and placed us in a situation where a decision had to be made regarding the property.
Regarding the former project, though the county and the developer agreed that Atlantic Investment would add $15 million to our tax base in five years, a conservative estimate demonstrated a value added of $33.73 million to the county’s tax rolls upon completion of the project when examining the housing aspect of the project.
I feel the need to share my committee assignments with my constituents. In committee, we get a great deal done for recommendations for the full Board’s consideration. I serve on the following committees, which I am proud to work on:
- Committee on Finance
- Committee on Gold Mining Study, Chairman
- Committee on Utilities
- Committee on Economic Development, Co-Chairman
- Committee on New Animal Control Facility
- Committee on Courthouse Repair and Renovation
- Buckingham Representative/Treasurer, Commonwealth Regional Council
- Buckingham Representative, Crossroads Community Services Board
Should you have any questions, concerns, ideas, or opinions about this newsletter, county government, services, opportunities, etc., please never hesitate to contact me. You can reach me at 434-390-7023 via text or phone, email me at email@example.com, or write me at PO Box 188, Buckingham, Virginia 23921.
Thomas Jordan Miles III
District Four Supervisor (Maysville)
PO Box 188
Buckingham, Virginia 23921