Of fire halls and wineries

Yes, the county needs the help of its citizenry to sort through the different levels of dysfunctionality being experienced here these days. I attended the UCOR-United Citizens of Rappahannock civility recruitment event at the Quievremont Winery the Sunday before last. Civics, politics, comprehensive planning were all part of a confusing agenda. At least they are trying, but will they make a difference?

One of the things I have learned living in Rappahannock County is this: venue is everything. If you want to know the concerns of the “born heres” and ordinary working folks, you need to have meetings in the public schools, rescue squads and fire halls. If the UCOR organization is to be taken seriously, its representatives should engage with a true cross section of the county and listen to those who have lived here for generations and would like to stay here, and die here. A little empathy for “the other” could go a long way.

Oh yes . . . reduce the 97-page comprehensive plan to a readable 5-page summary that is in plain English — highlighting the Big Issues. This could be a challenging extra curricular assignment (or competition) for English students at the high school. The adults aren’t likely to do it. This could be a starting point for mobilizing young minds.

And, as extra topping on the cake, solicit their input to the comp plan. They can’t do worse than the so called “grown ups.”

John W. Kiser
Slate Mills

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