Should all Hopewell officials be required to live in the city?

This article in the Progress-Index on Wednesday morning raises an issue that is re-arising in Hopewell, but has been at issue in many localities, including Prince George.

Should all Hopewell officials be required to live in the city? – News – The Progress-Index – Petersburg, VA.

The article lays out some of the arguments on both sides and all may have some merit. For many localities which are rural and distant from nearby populations centers which might serve as pools for recruitment, it has always been a thistle of concern.

In this case Hopewell is a small urban center of much less than 20 square miles and a population of  33,000 people.  It is within a thirty to forty minute drive of large population areas so it has reasonable access to skilled individuals to fill city positions, unless the person(s) is required to live in the city.

Some recent discussion with folks who are moving out of the city cite the lack of available quality housing options, the struggling school system, and the lack of cultural, dining, and shopping options. This all before the issues of crime and the general deteriorating commercial and residential base of the city.  The alternate positives are the history of the city, the Library System, and the access to the James and the Appomattox Rivers.

The reality is that Hopewell, like many localities, (Prince George included) does not have its own pool of highly qualified people to fill professional positions.  It must turn to professionals and skilled labor from other nearby localities to fill these important roles. Requiring them to relocate to Hopewell might require them to uproot a working spouse who may have residency or commuting issues that come into play, uprooting children from their familiar school systems, and may require that the employee move his or her family  into housing stock not up to the standards to which they are accustomed.

Xena’s opinion.  Residency requirements for pubic positions are antiquated and out of touch.  It is reasonable to factor that issue into the hiring decision, require modifications to work hours or required commuting time to the locality, and to make exceptions for certain types of law enforcement, public safety, or other similar types of positions, unless the candidate can make some reasonable accommodations to relieve this concern on the part of the locality.

What do you think?  Leave a comment.


What’s in an address?

Where does Joe Preston live?

Who is Joe Preston?  Well, he is purportedly a resident of Petersburg from which he was elected to the 63rd Virginia House of Delegates in a special election last Fall.  Subsequently, he has entered the Democratic Primary race for the 16th Virginia Senate District to which Rosalyn Dance, formerly the 63rd Delegate, was elected, also in a special election, last Fall.

Joe’s supposed credential is that he is the true Democrat, not that the Prince George Democratic Committee has ever seen him at a PG Dems meeting, other than at our post election social last December.

Why would one expect to see him at a PG Dems meeting?  Well, though it is only a small portion, the 63rd and the 16th both have footprints in Prince George.

Further, Joe has lived in and still maintains a residence in Prince George County.  His home is in the upscale Jordan on the James subdivision on the rivah.  The address is 10465 Jordan Parkway.  Neighbors in Jordan on the James have noted him returning to the residence late and night and leaving early in the mornings.  Why might this be one might ask?

Easy, 10465 Jordan Parkway is not in the 16th Virginia Senate District.  It is not even in the 63rd Virginia House of Delegates District.

Hmmm …  to be sure, Joe will have an explanation.

Promises to keep?

The Prince George Board of Supervisors seemingly was of like minds when it came to one criteria required for the person appointed to finish the term in the vacant District 2 seat.  That requirement was that the person would promise to not run for election to the seat in the November election.  The general consensus of the Board is that by appointing a person with plans to run in the Fall it would be seen as an endorsement by the Board of Supervisors, giving that candidate an unfair advantage in the election.

Constituent satisfaction with sitting Supervisors is an ephemeral thing.  Just ask Reid Foster the incumbent who lost his District 2 seat in the last election. So …  being a sitting Supervisors may not be an advantage at all.

This is made murkier by the fact that Prince George County has two at-large voting districts with three Supervisors from District 2 and two Supervisors from District 1.  It is hard to know who one’s constituents really are and it is impossible for constituents to know which Supervisor to hold accountable for actions taken or not taken.

The Prince George Democratic Committee is considering adopting a resolution supporting single member voting districts so there would be only one Supervisor (or School Board Member) elected from each precinct.  The resolution is in the drafting process and may be considered for a vote at the Committee’s May meeting.

Any thoughts on the matter?

Did you know about the malaria project?

The elimination of malaria was a major effort during World War II in the southern United States and that the predecessor of the Centers for Disease Control” was the Office of Malaria Control in War Areas.

“CDC’s predecessor, the Office of Malaria Control in War Areas, had been established in 1942 to limit the impact of malaria and other vector-borne diseases (such as murine typhus) during World War II around military training bases in the southern United States and its territories, where malaria was still problematic.The center was located in Atlanta (rather than Washington, DC) because the South was the area of the country with the most malaria transmission.

Aircraft spraying insecticide, 1920's

Aircraft spraying insecticide, 1920’s

These efforts were so successful that at the end of the war and at the founding of CDC, one of the initial tasks was to oversee the completion of the elimination of malaria as a major public health problem.”  Visit this article HERE.

This tiny bit of research was prompted by watching Karen Masterson’s interview on this morning.  She wrote The Malaria Project. This will definitely go on my reading list.

I knew that economic development in the south was impossible without the development and widespread installation of air conditioning in businesses and in homes. Similarly, the elimination or control of malaria was essential to the south becoming a magnet for economic growth post World War II.

Personally I have only known  one person who suffered from marlaria.  He was an Irish Catholic priest at our Newman Club at college.  He had traveled widely in his career and periodically was very ill with recurrence of symptoms.  Hopefully treatment options have improved since then.

Little House in the Woods, Lapped in Snow

No irony or cynicism today.  Today I am just another Prince Georgian enjoying the snow. Yes, enjoying the snow.  

I can bask in my warm house whilst watching the juncos, cardinals, red-bellied woodpeckers , and other birds feeding on the bird seed and suet cakes.  I am rapidly recovering from the month-long sinus infection. I have a full pantry. Chicken soup is already made and there is a pot roast in store for dinner.  Most importantly … and knock on wood …  we haven’t lost electricity.  The seven or so inches of snow outside is a calming companion on a deliberately slow day.

Jack is enjoying the snow much more than our lab.  Aussies are such rugged little dogs. Jack has a pad  in the cave under my desk and another pad under the table behind my desk.  He can keep a close eye on me that way and pity the cats or the lab daring to intrude on his, that is , my work space.  He is usually my walking companion but with the snow and frigid temps last week and now this deeper snow our walking has been curtailed.  Hang in there pal.  Spring arrives soon.

Vocabulary, What Words Are Important?

Fashions change in everything … popular book genres, clothing, jewelry, everything.  I stumbled across a list that leads me to believe that word fashions change too.  We all know each year new words are added to our common English language … bot, blog, LMAO (is is really a “word”?).  This article, though, was focused on everyday vocabulary, not memes (speaking of a new word) or acronyms, but the ‘100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know’.

Being much more than a high school graduate I decided to test myself.  Here I share 10 of the 100 words.  These 10 words either have confused me as to meaning or pronunciation. Let’s see what you think of them:

abjure, bowdlerize, churlish, evanescent, gamete, hegemony, hubris, moiety, quotidian, and ziggurat.

Greats words to discuss with friends over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

Does anyone agree?

My Life Ate My Homework

My intentions were to be a sterling student in my #blogging101 class.  I did the preparatory steps on Sunday per the instructions and was all set to go for my first assignment on Monday.

Cold weather descended on central Virginia complete with dead car batteries, low tires, an unexpected near medical crisis with my granddaughter (all turned out well), a choir concert, and a travelling husband testing positive for flu and on bed rest in his business hotel room.

So, here I am attempting to catch up.  I know I will, I know I will, I know I will, I know …

I now begin my Monday (last) assignment.Carol's madmen avatar

Who am I? #Blogging101 Redux

My introduction of myself was so whiny.  Allow me to try again.

I am a very involved sixty-five year old (sixty-five is the new fifty active in politics and Rotary.  Soon I will be winding up my law practice which by now is really only very part-time.

Blogging is an outlet for me, as well as an additional tool I hope to use to promote some of my causes and to communicate with fellow volunteers.

Though I admit to be not being very ‘techie’, I enjoy the learning process and find satisfaction with I work through my frustration to figure out how to do something.

Politics and Rotary don’t leave much time for other pursuits, but I enjoy reading English murder mysteries, drinking Italian Roast coffee and Virginia wines, and watching documentaries on YouTube and Netflix.  I am fond of animals, particularly my Australian Shepherd, Jack.  He is the star of my header.

I am not a sports enthusiast but could watch major and international league soccer for hours.

So, this laconic pundit has shared … a lot, for her.

Rosalyn Dance — Why I support her for the 16th Virginia Senatorial District

Richmond does not own the 16th Virginia Senatorial District!

Seventy percent or so of the district lies south of the James River, yet Richmonders assume that the seat is inherently theirs.

Those of us who reside outside of Richmond and its annexed neighbors want a Virginia Senator who well understands the entire district and that person should be Delegate Rosalyn Dance who ably represents the 63rd Virginia House District.  The 63rd includes all or parts of five of the localities contained in the 16th.

Her legislative experience and know-how is deep, having served as a Petersburg City Councilwoman and mayor and having served as a leader in the minority Democratic Party in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Her accessibility and responsiveness is legendary and her ability to assess issues dispassionately to serve her constituents is unrivaled by those competing with her for the Democratic nomination for the special election in the 16th.

Political enemies in her last primary attempted to label her as disloyal to Democratic stands on issues, but that effort was total fabrication as testimonials from fellow House Democrats, actual video tapes of her floor speeches, and the House Record demonstrate.

Why do I support Rosalyn Dance to be the Democratic nominee for the 16th Virginia Senate District?  I have personally observed her critical thinking skills, her compassion, her attention to detail, her responsiveness to citizens, her accessibility, and her just plain honest demeanor. From working legislatively and in the community to curb domestic violence, to improve schools for all, to prevent a return of the tolls on I-95, to support effective care for the mentally challenged, to support military veterans and their families, to support voting rights and many other efforts, she has worked tirelessly for the citizens of the 63rd Virginia House District.   I want her representing the 16th Virginia Senatorial District.

She represents the citizens, not personal gain or special interests.