Hands tied?

Louisa County and other parties to the water agreement claim that Fluvanna violated the contract when supervisors denied permits last week (Dec. 2). Those groups threaten to sue. Fluvanna had no right to refuse the permits, they insist.
Does that mean that the public hearings on the two permits were a sham? Did Fluvanna residents who packed the hearing room for hours waste their time? Was the vote supervisors took that night no more than an exercise in public spectacle?
As one supervisor said after the vote, Fluvanna had the process backward. All issues, including special use permits, should have been submitted to public hearing and resolved before any agreement was inked.
Surely, there are prohibitions in the code or Constitution of Virginia against contracting away the responsibility of elected officials to make reasoned decisions. Surely, that former Board could not bargain away the public’s right to be heard. Surely, the members of that Board had no standing to dictate to the current Board the outcome of a vote required by ordinance.
We citizens must hope that this Board will stand up against the threat of legal action and that Fluvanna’s attorneys will vigorously defend our county and our right to public hearing and open vote. If not, our hands are tied.

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