Letter – Drewry explains his resignation
Published 7:43 pm Thursday, August 11, 2022
Editor, The Smithfield Times:
Thank you to The Smithfield Times for reporting on local government in our region. Such reporting is necessary to provide the information needed to our citizens to ensure open government.
In performing this duty, a report was written on my resignation from the Surry County Board of Supervisors. I wanted to provide additional information to the readers. The article uses the term “lawsuit” and correctly reported that a couple of board members used the term “sue this board.” I want to clarify that I filed a declaratory petition with the court. This is not a criminal, civil or monetary lawsuit. It simply asks the court to decide if correct notice procedures were utilized in accordance with the Virginia Code by the local government.
If the court decides the county did not, the result would be to void the board vote and re-hold the public hearings properly. I optimistically hoped my fellow board members would desire to discuss the procedural issues, and if needed, implement guidelines to improve the notice processes. Board members did not share my concerns. To avoid a potential conflict, I had to resign.
As a local government attorney, I appreciate the Virginia Code public notice procedures, which are there to increase citizen participation. I personally desire increased citizen involvement in our local governments. It is the citizen who votes us in to represent them.
In my case, I found it necessary to resign to truly represent the interests of the citizens in the district in which I live. Surry County must do better to reverse the economic and population decline of our county.
Michael H. Drewry