|FAQ: County Administrator|
It depends on the nature of the matter that you wish to present to the Board of Supervisors. The general rule is that the matter must be both germane and actionable by the Board. “Germane” means that the matter is something that the Board as the governing body of the County has an official interest in. “Actionable” means that the Board can legally do something about the matter through official action as the governing body of the County. Not all matters that involve or effect Washington County, the County government or County residents in some way meet these general criteria. The County Administrator at his discretion may determine what matters meet these general criteria and place persons or organizations on the Agenda to present their issue to the Board. Likewise, individual Board members may place matters on the Agenda brought to their attention by resident-constituents of their Election Districts. Persons or organizations may also approach their Supervisor or the Chairman of the Board immediately prior to the start of a Board meeting and asked to be placed on the Agenda by way of Agenda amendment. The Board must approve Agenda amendments.
In many cases matters may be more readily addressable by County administrative personnel than by the Board of Supervisors. In other cases matters may be more effectively brought to the Board’s attention by way of correspondence to the Board, which may be directed by mail or fax to the Office of County Administrator. Generally speaking, expressions of opinions, comments, compliments or criticisms are best addressed to the Board by way of written correspondence. The Office of County Administrator will copy such correspondence to the Board.
The Board provides for a Public Comment period at the beginning of its second regular monthly meeting Agenda (fourth Tuesday of each month). The period is limited to three (3) minutes per speaker and runs from 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM.
Article 3. of the Washington County Board of Supervisors' General Policies reads as follows:
Article 3. Freedom of Information
3.1. It is the policy of the Washington County Board of Supervisors (hereinafter the Board) that all public records of the County shall be open and accessible to citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the news media for public inspection and review in accordance with the guidelines and requirements of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, §2.1-3700 et seq. of the Virginia Code, as amended (hereinafter the Act).
3.2. In furtherance of the policy, the Board authorizes the County Administrator, in consultation with the County Attorney, to develop and implement such administrative practices, and/or written administrative policies and procedures as deemed necessary and appropriate for the handling of requests for information made pursuant to the Act.
All requests for records in the possession of Washington County's Administrative Offices and Departments should be directed to the Office of County Administrator or Office of County Attorney. It is preferred but not required that such requests be made in writing and forwarded by regular mail, e-mail, fax or hand-delivery and state that the request is being made pursuant to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA). Telephonic and in-person verbal requests will be accepted only during regular County office business hours (8:30 AM - 5:00 PM Monday-Friday) and should be directed to the County Administrator, County Attorney or the head of an administrative department. Requests for information should be as specific as possible so as to clearly define or identify the exact records to which access is sought. In most cases, the County will provide photocopies of the requested records mailed to the requesting party. In some cases depending on the volume or nature of the records, arrangements will be made for supervised access to the requested records.
For your convenience, the Office of County Administrator has developed a form for use in requesting access to records pursuant to the VFOIA. Please refer to the Office of County Administrator Forms webpage for access to this form.
Requests for information in the possession of Washington County's various boards, authorities and commissions (other than the Board of Building Code Appeals, Board of Supervisors, Board of Zoning Appeals and Planning Commission), the County's elected Constitutional Offices, and certain other county offices and agencies should be directed to the Constitutional Office holder or department/agency head. Access to these County records are not subject to the administrative procedures governing access to records of Washington County's Administrative Offices and Departments.