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A focused special meeting set

Prince Edward County residents will be given a platform and the priority when the county Board of Supervisors holds a special meeting Tuesday, Dec. 17, in the Prince Edward County High School Auditorium to consider a proposed resolution that, if adopted, would declare Prince Edward a Second Amendment sanctuary county.

Many other localities in Virginia have adopted the resolution, motivated by the prospect of Democrat Gov. Ralph S. Northam passing significant gun control legislation once the General Assembly features Democrat majorities starting in January 2020.

Declaring itself a Second Amendment sanctuary signals a move on the part of a county to insulate itself from the effects of gun control legislation deemed unconstitutional.

However, Del. C. Matthew Fariss, who represents Buckingham in the Virginia House of Delegates, wrote in his column published in our Dec. 6 edition that “it’s important to realize that Virginia is a Dillon Rule state. That means that local governments can’t override state laws.

“That makes these resolutions symbolic but no less important,” he continued. “Counties are sending a very clear message to Democrats in Richmond that the public has no appetite for overreach regarding our Second Amendment.”

Jim Wilck

Farmville 701 District Supervisor and Board Chairman Jim Wilck gave an idea of what to expect for those considering or planning on attending the 7 p.m. Second Amendment sanctuary meeting in Prince Edward.

“First, based on what’s happening in other places, there should be probably a fairly large crowd, and the reason we’re holding it at the school rather than the courthouse is the courthouse just won’t handle a crowd like that,” he said.

The school auditorium is located at 1482 Zion Hill Road in Farmville.

Next, Wilck noted that while everyone is welcome to come, only Prince Edward County residents will be allowed to speak.

“There’s too many people, so bringing in outsiders to speak, that doesn’t really do anything for us,” he said.

As for the order of events, Prince Edward County Administrator Wade Bartlett said Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 11, that “the agenda for the special meeting has not been set yet.”

However, Wilck gave some insight into part of the order, indicating when public comments would be scheduled in relation to the board’s vote on the resolution.

“I think we’re going to have the comments before,” he said. “In other words, I don’t really see the value of comments after. We want to know how our constituents feel — we’ve all been getting phone calls and emails and so forth — but in a public setting where everybody knows. So, we want to hear all of the opinions and so forth, and then we’ll vote.”

Wilck also affirmed that there would be an opportunity for supervisor comments just like in regular board meetings.

“Absolutely, because the supervisors, like in any meeting, may try to change the mind of other supervisors,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a very interesting situation myself.”

Asked if there will be an increased security presence at the meeting given the size of the venue and expected size of the crowd, Bartlett said there is always a security presence at Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors meetings and that the level of security for this meeting will be determined by Prince Edward County Sheriff Wesley W. Reed.

Reed stated that security for the special meeting would still be a simple process and does not present an unfamiliar scenario for anyone involved.

“It’s not a lot that’s involved in moving it up to the county school because we’ve had meetings up there before with the pipeline,” he said. “It’s not a whole lot involved. We just want to make sure everybody comes in, (is) safe and leaves and gets home safe. That’s all we need and (are) concerned about.”

As was stated in a previous county press release, for more information related to the special meeting, contact the Prince Edward County Administrator’s Office at (434) 392-8837.