The Rockbridge Greens

Meeting Minutes

  Rockbridge Greens

July 9, 1998

Members attending: Kathy Fox, Eric Sheffield, Shannon Spencer

1. Treasurer's Report: As of July 9, there was $378.94 in the Rockbridge Green's bank account. We have paid the second half-year levy to the Greens of Virginia (GOV)

2. We are on the web site of the Blue Ridge Environmental Network, which keeps a list of environmental organizations. We agreed to pay BREN $20 in annual dues to maintain our place on that list.

3. Eric noted that he is interested in having Hats made for the Greens to sell. We approved $150 for having the hats made if we can come up with a good design that we like. Eric will contact printers & Elise regarding graphic; Shannon will contact a graphic designer regarding a graphic as well.

4. Community Festival: The following people are signed up to sit at the Community Festival on August 29, booth B43. Please remember that we would like to have two people for each time!

9-11 Eric Sheffield, 11-1 Karen Ahnemann, 1-3 Kathy Fox, 3-4:30 ??

We still need two people between 3-4:30pm and we need a second person for all other times.

5. State Newsletter is coming out on August 15th. Anyone who would be willing to help stuff envelopes for the mailing of the newsletter on August 15th at 7pm should contact Eric at 261-4306.

6. Sarah Raz put together the Rockbridge Greens Newsletter for July 1998.

7. A House meeting was tentatively set up for Common Ground on July 23rd.

8. Kathy and Eric reported on conversations that they had had with local residents.

9. Shannon will print out and filter through the suggestions for Rockbridge County's future that came out of the November 14-15th meeting of the Visioning Group.

10. Rockbridge Platform: We decided to begin drafting the platform at our monthly meetings while continuing the process of individual conversations and house meetings.

The following suggested planks were preliminarily approved in concept. The wording will be changed in most cases and final approval will be by a vote of the entire Rockbridge Greens membership.

1. Encourage farmers markets, community supported agriculture, and other efforts to bring locally grown food to Rockbridge residents.

2. We oppose restrictions which have the affect of applying only to low-cost housing. We will seek low-cost housing which provides a more energy-efficient, longer lasting alternative to mobile homes.

3. County taxes should be structured so that all residents pay as equal a percentage of their income as possible.

4. County government should be run as democratically as possible. Citizen input should be encouraged and respected at all stages and levels of governing. The Board of Supervisors should support any effort to have a referendum placed on the ballot, regardless of their personal views on the question. The Board of Supervisors should respect the results of any advisory referendum. Closed meetings should be kept to an absolute minimum and the proceedings of those meetings should be made public as soon as feasible.

5. There are serious problems at Rockbridge County High School. We intend to find out why so many students don't want to attend and so many parents want to send their children elsewhere.

6. We oppose the local sales tax on food (not restaurants).

7. Recycling should include more plastics and make an effort to get businesses involved.

9. We need to preserve our rural quality. We need to preserve woodland.

10. We will encourage a diverse economy to provide meaningful, living-wage employment opportunities for our children who wish to remain in the area.

11. We will support domestic violence prevention and specifically the efforts of Project Horizon.

12. We need to prevent the increased flooding caused by development. More needs to be done to prevent erosion.

13. The negative impacts of developments on ridgetops must be stopped.

14. Minorities should be better represented in County government.

15. We support increased recreational opportunities for all Rockbridge residents and acknowledge a special need for teens and seniors.

16. The county should be more involved in developing adequate housing opportunities for its low-income residents.

17. The County should have an aggressive, voluntary program to purchase and accept donations of conservation easements.

18. Planning must be a top priority. We must plan for a Rockbridge that not only meets our current needs, but will provide our great-grandchildren with the same quality of life that we enjoy. We support the immediate addition of at least two staff persons to the County planning office. We should encourage cluster development and require all developments to submit at least one plan showing this option.

19. All taxes on the books need to be collected in an aggressive even-handed manner in order to ensure fairness to all tax-payers.

20. We support community elementary schools and will seek to eliminate the need for classroom trailers.

21. We will cooperate with the city governments to reduce unnecessary duplication of infrastructure and administration wherever possible.

22. Feedlots shouldn't be next to streams.

24. We will encourage peer mediation in our schools

26. We will seek to ensure that housing and agricultural land remain affordable for Rockbridge residents by discouraging speculation and absentee ownership.

28. Support small family farms.

29. The citizens of Rockbridge should not have to pay increased taxes to cover the costs associated with new residential development- including roads, schools, water, sewer, emergency services, waste disposal, law enforcement, etc.

30. Write a Night Sky Ordinance to protect against light pollution at night.

31. Determine job skills that are required by local businesses and meet them through training/retraining programs and coordination of programs

32. Support locally-owned businesses

33. Tax real estate sales and use proceeds to purchase conservation easements

WE DECIDED THAT THE FOLLOWING SUGGESTIONS NEED MORE CONSIDERATION:

34. We will seek ways to encourage more diversity in our agricultural production.

8. There should be more citizen and local government input into the operations of VDOT.

35. Encourage telecommuting.

23. For more than 100 years the population of the Rockbridge area has been essentially stable. Our population is an integral component of the rural and small town quality of life that we seek to preserve. Therefore we will support policies that encourage a stable population.

36. We will oppose any curricula which teaches our schoolchildren to use violence as a means for resolving disputes.

25. No more stop lights.

27. We support the volunteer fire departments and rescue squads and will respect democratically made decisions of their representative organizations.

37. All additions to infrastructure should be initiated by the Planning Commission.


Rockbridge Greens