Augusta County Votes "No" on Staggering Board of Supervisor Terms

In a 4-to-3 vote, the Augusta County Board of Supervisors decided Wednesday night to not have staggered elections for the supervisors.

The decision has at least one resident disappointed.

During the meeting, David Karaffa was the only resident to speak about the staggered terms issue.

He was excited about Supervisor Tracy Pyles' proposal, which would put four of the supervisor seats up for election at one time, with the rest going up two years later.

"I was intrigued. I thought it was a great idea. I thought, we do this on the federal level, we do it on the state level. We have input every two years, and we have an election here in Virginia every year," says Karaffa.

He says it would given constituents more influence on the board's decisions.

Not only was the proposal shot down, but so was a motion to put the staggered term issue out for public comment.

"We've got a hard economy right now and I think people would like to keep our elected officials, who are spending our tax dollars, a little bit more accountable," say Karaffa.

However, the local economy is why Wayne District Supervisor Wendell Coleman says he voted against staggering supervisor terms.

"It's important that, I believe, that business that's here and business, that we're looking to draw here, that they know with some confidence what they can expect," says Coleman.

He says staggering terms takes away security to businesses looking to invest their millions in the county.

"The learning curve for this job is steep. I do not feel like if we were to go to staggered terms, that is would serve our county and our constituents,"
says Coleman.

A number of board members, who opposed the proposal, say residents get the opportunity to chime in on these issues during each meeting, and that they hear from their constituents regularly.

Meanwhile, one resident says the board should have made a better effort to get the word out about the staggered terms issue.