IOW supervisors likely had reason to gripe about GA

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 27, 2004

It’s rare that one governing body openly criticizes another and names names in the process – kind of like honor among thieves.

That’s why it was so refreshing, and humorous, to read in Wednesday’s Daily Press about the Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors identifying area lawmakers in the General Assembly who, the supervisors contended, were not doing all they could to help local governments. The paper ran a transcript of the board’s meeting in which the remarks were made.

While it made for interesting reading, when you get right down to it, it’s really a sad situation.

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We don’t profess to know the issues that made the supervisors feel they had no choice but to lash out, but we’d give odds that the General Assembly’s response to Isle of Wight’s woes has been just as lame as its response to Suffolk’s woes and those of virtually every other municipality in the Commonwealth.

As a reminder, Sen. Fred Quayle of Chesapeake introduced legislation at the request of the City of Suffolk that would have given city the power to delay residential developments until funding was in place to pay for schools to accommodate the influx of students. The shelter industry did not like the bill, so of course the Senate Local Government Committee shot it down.

The reason Suffolk needed the bill was because of the General Assembly’s failure to live up to its obligations to fund education.

It’s likely Isle of Wight experienced something similar. Not only does the General Assembly refuse to fulfill its responsibilities, but it refuses to give localities the power to deal with them as well.

So localities like Isle of Wight have little choice but to do what they did and hope that if lawmakers don’t have a sense of responsibility, they might at least have a sense of shame.