I will write more later to explain this, but in the meantime, please visit my blog post on October 3rd to learn the origin of this presentation to the JCC VA board on Oct. 8, 2013. Thank you.
To: JAMES CITY COUNTY, VA Board of Supervisors
October 8, 2013
Chairman McGlennon, board members, staff, ladies and gentlemen in attendance. I am Joe Mann, 148 The Green. Robert's B District.
I rise to express concerns about some decisions of this board and the incivility toward citizens who earnestly present their concerns to you in open session. I will add a few points to the op-ed The VA Gazette published for me a week ago. I assert with sincerity that it's not at all pleasing for me to come before you with such criticisms. We are still a rather small community.....we're not like strangers talking behind shields of anonymity.
Your changing law in session on September 27 to deny the rights of a group to build a church in Grove was just wrong.
Your purchasing control of rural land for inflated prices is fiscally irresponsible. Please, no more.
What appears to many, especially those who live in “rural,” to be an effort to control all rural land and people must be addressed forthrightly to all citizens. If your efforts are truly just for more control, stop and reevaluate your motives.
Call a timeout. Encourage critique, don't discourage it as you are now.
Don't use law-abiding gun owners' protest of the questionable privilege of fungible administrative policy to abrogate Sheriff Deeds' right to freely speak out against gun confiscation to discourage open dissent. And, don't use it as a ruse to explain why more people decline to speak out in your favor. Why did they not come out to praise you in the past?
And, rethink the reported initiative to hold “Online town hall meetings” as a substitute for face-to-face public commentary. I'd suggest that hiding behind the anonymity of a computer is no substitute for open conversations where there is dissent. Same applies to all managed e-mails. The nature of the data base you will “create” will also be highly suspect.
SENSE OF COMMUNITY IS THE GLUE THAT BINDS PEOPLE FOR COMMON PURPOSE.
JAMES CITY COUNTY IS STILL OF THE SIZE THAT THIS SENSE OF COMMUNITY IS IMPORTANT....IT IS THE ESSENCE OF LIFE IN “RURAL.”
CONTROL OF RURAL LAND, PORTENDS CONTROL OF PEOPLE ----WHO THEY ARE, HOW THEY LIVE, WHAT THEY GROW, HOW SOME OF THEM MAKE A LIVING. WHAT'S YOUR PURPOSE?
DECLINE OF THE SENSE OF COMMUNITY PORTENDS DECLINE IN AMERICA. IT'S HAPPENING ACROSS THE NATION. LET'S STOP IT HERE.
Finally, civility derives from a state of mind and is expressed from the heart. Civility is demonstrated, not proclaimed, and surely cannot be mandated. Hence the Democratic Committee's declaration that their candidates will pledge to be civil, while not contestable as to purpose, is of questionable intent as a new initiative. What's the motive? Is it simply for mitigation after we exposed the incivility of the Democratic members in my op-ed of October 2, and the excellent editorial of The Gazette editor alongside it? Who can doubt this legitimately? == J. Mann