Friday, June 17, 2011

Accomack County Lobbyist Is OUT

The Accomack County Board of Supervisors said no to the lobbyist and yes to Eastern Shore Rural Health at their meeting on Wednesday, June 15.

A motion was made by Supervisor Wanda Thornton to approve the contract for the lobbying firm for the next six months. During discussion, Supervisor Grayson Chesser said there was no way he would vote in favor of the lobbyist. He stated that the people of Accomack County have spoken overwhelmingly and not one person who he has talked to was in favor of it. Chesser added that he was willing to go to Washington D.C. if needed to represent the County.

Supervisor Wanda Thornton told the board "If you don't have a lobbyist, you dont get anything." She went on to say that the Wallops Research Park and NASA are an extremely intricate part of jobs for the County and if the board abandons that, people will go to Maryland and there will be no jobs here resulting in our young people not being able to find jobs. She said the board needs to do everything they can to create jobs in the County.

Supervisor Robert Crockett told the board that everyone who has contacted him was against the lobbyist and that it is his duty to represent and to listen to the people in his district.

Supervisor Ron Wolffe was in favor in the lobbyist noting that Accomack County should be on the same playing field as other Counties. He said the County needs a lobbyist to get things done.

Supervisor Reneta Major approved of the lobbyist and said Accomack County needs to be innovative. She said this is a good chance for infrastructure and called it a "no brainer." She added that no one from her district called her in opposition.

The motion failed to carry 6 to 3, with Thorton, Wolffe and Major voting in favor.

In other action, Eastern Shore Rural Health was given approval of a conditional use permit to construct a new health center near New Church. Mrs. Nancy Stern, CEO of Eastern Rural Health spoke to the board and told them that the health care organization had been serving people on the shore for 35 years and that as of June 1st, 29,000 have chosen them for health care, whether insured or not.

Stern urged the board to move forward because they were on a timeline, noting that the process was two months behind. She added that Eastern Shore Rural Health complied with everything for their new Onley facility and would do the same for the new Atlantic Medical Center.

Several citizens spoke in favor of the new health care facility and there was no opposition to the new center.

The board unanimously voted to approve the permit with a few minor revisions.


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