Transparency in Prince William County
Posted in the Haymarket Forum
#1 Aug 9, 2012
Our system of representative government is dependent upon transparency and trust in our public officers. To ensure that trust in local government a single body of law applicable to all local government officers on the subject of conflict of interests is essential. The General Assembly is empowered to enact a Local Government Conflict of Interests Act that would create uniform standards of conduct.
To that end, the current provisions of 15.2-2287.1 of the Code of Virginia requires that all local government officers in Loudoun County make a full public disclosure of any business or financial relationship or any gift or donation having a value of more than $100, singularly or in the aggregate, they have, or have had within the 12-month period prior to a public hearing in a land use case hearing with the applicant, title owner, contract purchaser or lessee of the land, trust beneficiary having an interest in such land or (the agent, attorney or real estate broker of any of the foregoing; and requires that upon such disclosure those local government officers in Loundoun County shall be ineligible to vote or participate in any way in such case or in any hearing thereon.
Given the unwillingness of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors to address perceived inequities regarding budget allocations to charitable organizations and land use applications submitted by those who have made significant campaign fund donations, the extension of the provisions of 15.2-2287.1 to all local governments or in the alternative, to at least Prince William County would ensure a measure of transparency our local elected officials are unwilling to provide.
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