Dear Board of Supervisors of Northampton County, Virginia
RE: I almost moved there, but thank God I didn’t!
After following this re-zoning fiasco you people have going on down there, which, incidentally, thanks to the modern miracle of the internet, is not only national, but international news, as well, as people all over the world tune into the latest citizen broadcast as to the progress of the fiasco, all I can say is thank God that I didn’t.
Having lived out in the country all my life, I am well aware of the ripe odor of chicken manure, especially in August, when it is hot and muggy, and how it crawls up your nostrils and seeps down your throat, and that was from a literal handful of chickens compared to the giant chicken factories you people are planning to saturate your county with.
And as I follow this re-zoning fiasco, I am reminded of your County’s Mission Statementhttp://www.co.northampton.va.us/gov/administrator.html, wherein is succinctly stated as follows:
The mission of Northampton County Local Government is to provide the necessary services to protect the health, safety, welfare, environment, and quality of life of our citizens consistent with the communities’ values and priorities.
This mission is accomplished by encouraging citizen involvement, preserving the County’s fiscal stability, traditional values and unity of our people through the implementation of effective and efficient government programs; consensus building; managing the County’s natural, cultural, and historic resources; planning for the future; and representing citizen needs and desires to other levels of government.
I think as you people read that over in the light of the conduct of this re-zoning fiasco, which is being watched by the candid world as they follow this train of abuses, you will see, as do I and the candid world, that your Mission Statement on your county website is false advertising.
You say the mission of Northampton County Local Government is to provide the necessary services to protect the health, safety, welfare, environment, and quality of life of your citizens consistent with the communities’ values and priorities, which, of course, would be the values and priorities of the actual people who live there, as opposed to New Jersey land developers or out-of-state industrial chicken-growing operations, and you say this mission is accomplished by encouraging citizen involvement, and preserving the County’s traditional values, which again would be the values of those who actually live there, as opposed to New Jersey, preserving the unity of your people through the implementation of effective and efficient government programs and consensus building, and representing citizen needs and desires, as opposed to those New Jersey land developers or Delaware industrial chicken-growing operators, to other levels of government, but a look at ATTACHMENT B, the SWOT REVIEW of your 5 YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN 2014 – 2018 Adopted by the Board of Supervisors on April 8, 2014 with Updated Status Reports as of 1/23/2015 – Katie H. Nunez, County Administrator and With Modifications as made by the Board on February 23, 2015, as part of the initial Board of Supervisors retreat on March 10, 2012, the Board of Supervisors and the Department Heads identified as Threats to the County the very people whose values you falsely say you are preserving, to wit:
* “No Growth Crowd” – perception of the county; few landowners for the majority of the land
* Perception of “not business friendly”
* Retirees/groups who don’t want change
* Well-organized special interest groups
* Impacts of belief that county is not business friendly; county has excessive regulations, etc. end quotes
By labeling your own citizens as a ‘No Growth Crowd,’ and by singling out retirees/groups who supposedly don’t want change as ‘threats’ to your plans to re-zone your county to open it up to out-of-state business interests who want a place to put their businesses where regulations to protect the health, safety, welfare, environment, and quality of life of the citizens who already live there consistent with the existing communities’ values and priorities ARE IGNORED, you clearly are not trying to build consensus, nor are you encouraging citizen involvement.
Quite to the contrary, and contrary to the Virginia General Assembly recognizing that the system of representative government in Virginia is dependent in part upon citizen legislative members such as yourselves representing fully the public in the legislative process, which you clearly aren’t if you label those same members of the public as threats, and the citizens of Northampton County maintaining the highest trust in their public officers and employees, which they obviously can’t, since you have rendered them into second-class citizens with your proclamation to the candid world that they are “threats,” you certainly appear to the candid world to be using your public positions to retaliate or threaten to retaliate against these same persons you have branded as “threats” for expressing their views on matters of public concern or for exercising any right that is otherwise protected by law in connection with this re-zoning.
Thus, it seems to me that to be truthful with the candid world who like me, reads your County Mission Statement, that you should change its wording to reflect those facts, that in Northampton County, Virginia, not all are equal.
Paul R. Plante
50 Liberty Lane
Averill Park, New York 12018