EDITORIAL — Initiative to improve relations is a good start

Published 6:00 am Friday, February 19, 2021

A new initiative to improve county-town relations between Prince Edward County and the Town of Farmville began this month.

Farmville Town Manager Dr. Scott Davis appeared before the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors to provide an update on issues the town currently faces. Then, at the Farmville Town Council meeting, County Administrator Doug Stanley returned the favor as he gave a presentation to the Town Council about county issues.

“Since I have been in town, a number of folks tell me that one of the things that needs to be worked on is the relationship between the town and county,” Stanley told the Town Council before his presentation last Wednesday, Feb. 10. “I can tell you that Scott and I are going to work as hard as we can to make sure, at the staff level, the relationship is a good one and work toward the betterment of the citizens of Farmville and Prince Edward County.”

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Both Davis and Stanley are relatively new to their positions. Davis officially became town manager last year about this time after serving as assistant town manager since 2017. Stanley was hired in mid-November.

It is good to see the two managers form a solid relationship with open lines of communication and a sense of partnership. It is also an extremely wise move for the two to periodically appear before the Town Council and Board of Supervisors to provide updates, answer questions and keep both governmental bodies in the loop with each other.

It is critical that the town and county maintain a solid working relationship. We have seen that begin to devolve this past year. Mayor David Whitus took some public shots at the county leadership after the town received some criticism from the Board of Supervisors.

Disagreements will happen from time to time. What cannot occur is an escalation into turf wars that develop between so many other towns and counties.

The town and county are partners in economic development, public safety and tourism. One cannot succeed without the other.

It is good to see that early on in their tenures Davis and Stanley recognize the importance of this partnership and have taken steps to solidify this relationship and quell any mistrust between the two boards.

A strong Farmville Town Council and a strong Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors working together is the best-case scenario for all of us.

(The views in this editorial are of The Farmville Herald editorial staff. This editorial was written by Editor Roger Watson. He can be reached at Editor@FarmvilleHerald.com or (434) 808- 0622.)