To the editor: As a result of the recent megasite proposal, the Shoosmith landfill expansion application, other zoning cases and school issues, the leadership...

To the editor:
As a result of the recent megasite proposal, the Shoosmith landfill expansion application, other zoning cases and school issues, the leadership of Bermuda Advocates for Responsible Development realizes there is a need for a county-wide citizen advocacy group.

Our experience with the county Economic Development Authority’s lack of transparency, communication, processes and timelines has led us to believe that a coalition of Chesterfield County citizens and community groups would benefit the citizens, county staff and our elected officials.

The purpose of this group, first and foremost, will be to communicate with and connect all interested groups and citizens concerning issues affecting the communities of our county. Our intent will be to encourage increased transparency within county government and authorities, to raise citizen awareness of government processes, activities, and actions, and to insure that citizens retain a voice in their government’s policy making processes. We will serve as a watchdog group for issues which may negatively impact Chesterfield citizens.

Our recent experiences have informed us of the deep level of citizen expertise in many areas. By forming this group, we intend to organize this wealth of knowledge and abilities, utilizing it when needed. We also realize that for too long many citizens have been frustrated by the feeling of powerlessness when county decisions are being made. We will encourage the county to involve citizens in the decision-making processes far sooner than has been their practice recently. In short, we want a seat at the table before decisions are made, not after.

We intend to have an organizational meeting in the near future. We welcome all interested citizens groups, homeowner associations, neighborhood groups and individuals. We don’t expect that everyone will agree on every issue, but as is often said, communication is the key to success.

If interested, email uzelsells@comcast.net.

Mike Uzel