Good steps by council

Published 11:25 am Friday, June 17, 2016

Kudos to the Farmville Town Council for taking some overdue steps to strengthen citizens’ faith in local government.

Mayor David Whitus got the ball rolling on a proposed overhaul of the town’s planning commission to ensure representation of all wards and to remove the town manager and a council representative from the advisory board. He looks to have consensus support.

At-large Councilman Dan Dwyer has become an unabashed advocate of transparency, including a requirement that citizens be fully informed in advance of all special meetings. In other words, no more planning commission meetings about a sensitive topic at 9 a.m. on a Monday without bending over backward to let citizens know. Dwyer should keep pushing.

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The recent controversy over a proposed 120-unit apartment complex on South Main Street has exposed major perception problems for town government. A few more changes like those proposed by Whitus and Dwyer are needed to convince citizens that Town Hall is on their side.