Public Access to Government Meetings
Page County has long promised to install audio and visual equipment in order to record government meetings. We were excited when they announced a date, Tuesday, November 17, to begin live-streaming audio and visual for Page citizens. Unfortunately, it seems we are going to have to wait a little longer as the equipment was not in place this week. Below is a letter to the editors of Page News and Courier and Page Valley News on the issue. We look forward to citizens being able to access the meetings in the very near future.
As a resident of Page County, and a staff member of the Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley, I am especially pleased to hear that the county will begin recording government meetings as both audio and visual and making the recordings available to the public, starting on November 17, 2020. No longer will Page County citizens have to make multiple trips into the administration building and provide their flash drive to obtain an audio-only recording of county meetings.
Government functions best when it includes public participation. Legislators should hear from their constituents and citizens should have the ability to be engaged and informed on the decisions local officials are making. These decisions directly affect lives and communities.
Public access is particularly important now, as the county begins the process of completely updating the subdivision and zoning ordinances. This process will take many months and has enormous implications on the community. Zoning and subdivision ordinances designate where growth is allowed, the density of that growth, if there are any provisions to protect open space and agricultural lands, as well as the number, size, placement and use of buildings, etc. Ultimately, the decisions made during this process will determine how Page County looks in the future.
In my role at the Alliance, a community-based non-profit organization that advocates, educates and connects people to conserve the natural resources, cultural heritage, and rural character of our region, I will continue to monitor the ordinance review and updates and will look for opportunities for public participation. Ordinance updates like these are great opportunities for community members to get involved and help shape decisions that affect the future of the county.
Page & Warren County Coordinator
Alliance for the Shenandoah Valley