Tomorrow night the Surry County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to meet.
That’s a normal occurrence, but Monday’s meeting will have a different wrinkle in the form of three new faces on the board — Garry Scearce, Eddie Harris, and Buck Golding. That is fully 60 percent of the board, and represents quite a change in the level of experience in the governing body.
These men, along with Paul Johnson and Jimmy Miller, are the leaders which voters in Surry County chose, and we look forward to seeing what they can do for the residents of this community.
We do ask the board members, as they take on the task of governing Surry County during these tight economic times, to govern with these principles in mind:
• This is not the time to raise taxes or fees, nor to spend money if it can be avoided in any way, shape or form. There might be exceptions to that — spending money now to grow the economy later, or spending a small amount now to avoid larger payments later in areas of, say, maintenance, might fit that definition — but overall, local government spending needs to remain level or decrease.
• The adjective “republican” or “democrat” really has no place in describing a locally elected leader, and we hope these five men will forget their party allegiances — as well as the allegiances of those who might appear before the board — in making decisions.
• The board seat is not a stepping-stone to bigger and better things. In recent years at least two commissioners have tried, unsuccessfully, to parlay their position on the board into a bid for statewide office. We would argue that there is no bigger and better thing than serving your community on a local level, and that all decisions be made based on the best interest of the community, not on how it might be viewed in a later election.
• Most of all, the operative word to remember when serving on an elected board is “service.” When one is chosen to take a seat on the board, one is entrusted with the great opportunity and responsibility to serve all those who come to the county government for whatever purpose.