Commission should change

Published 2:43 pm Thursday, July 7, 2016

I’m glad that Town Manager Gerald Spates suggested that the membership of the Farmville Planning Commission change to add better representation.

Right now, only two wards have representation — A and B.

Wards C, D and E have none, which constitutes a majority of those who live in the town’s corporate limits.

The town code regarding the commission now mirrors the state code, reading that one council member and administrative official may serve on the commission — a change unanimously adopted by the council.

“I would like to ask council that we consider changing the way the planning commission members. I don’t need to be on the planning commission, and I don’t think a member of council (should be on the commission),” Spates said during a recent work session.

I agree. The town manager nor a member of council should be on the planning commission. It should be made up of the same representation as the town council — a representative from each ward and two at-large members.

The commission members, as they are now, should be appointed by the council.

I suggest that the council take the changes a step further.

The planning commission, like that of Buckingham’s, should meet monthly during the evening hours, regardless of whether or not any permits, rezoning cases or requests come before it.

This move would allow for more time for the commission to be more proactive in planning, looking at projected growth and its impacts, reviewing ordinances for effectiveness, pursuing ways to control and project growth and work with other local governments and entities.

The shift change in representation is a great first move for the commission to take other actions to be more active in planning for the town’s future.

JORDAN MILES is managing editor of The Farmville Herald. His email address is