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The wrong approach

We think supervisors in Buckingham County went about changing the hours of the county’s manned solid waste sites with roll-off containers the wrong way.

Over a series of two meetings, supervisors agreed to change the hours of the Dillwyn Recycling Center on Wingo Road, the Route 655 site, the Arvonia site on U.S. Route 15 and the Route 600.

The notion to change the hours based on abuse of the roll-off containers at the sites came from District Four Supervisor Morgan Dunnavant during the end of a meeting on April 17 under the agenda item “other board matters.”

The subject was not listed on the meeting’s agenda, which didn’t allow the public the needed opportunity to know the matter was going to be discussed during the meeting — much less afford the taxpayers an opportunity to speak about the subject during public comment, which was held much earlier in the April 17 meeting.

The following Monday, the board met to adopt the then-fiscal year 2017-18 proposed operating budget and tax rates — a meeting that had no opportunity for public comment. On the agenda was discussion of the solid waste site hours change, where supervisors fine-tuned their earlier decision.

We believe and understand supervisors and county staff when they say there’s abuse of the county’s solid waste sites, which costs the county and its taxpayers extra money for practices at the hands of others that could be quelled.

What we don’t understand is why the board wasn’t more transparent about the matter before taking it up on April 17. Why wasn’t the matter placed on the agenda so the public could weigh in?

The citizens of Buckingham should have been afforded an opportunity to weigh in on the matter before supervisors took action. Moreover, we think supervisors should have held a public hearing specific to the subject.

Supervisors should delay the change until July and hold a hearing in June to gather input from those who use the sites before making a final decision.