Virginia Beach City Council will take more time to review appointments

Ed. — This story originally ran in the Friday, Oct. 4, print edition.


COURTHOUSE   The City Council on Tuesday, Oct. 1, unanimously adopted a change that will ensure members have more time to review nominees to the boards and commissions that advise them on a wide range of public issues and actions.

City Councilmember Barbara Henley, who represents the Princess Anne District, proposed the change in September. It adjusts the code section governing such selections so names of potential appointees to boards and commissions must be discussed during a meeting prior to the one in which the vote to approve them may take place.

The language in the draft applies to people nominated for appointment for an initial term. The process is more streamlined for a reappointment. Henley had said this would help members better understand the candidates they vote into important positions.

Before the unanimous vote on Oct. 1, City Councilmember John Moss, who holds an at-large seat, credited Henley with “distilling” thoughts of members of the council into “a solution that we could all support” to consider candidates.

Moss said the time would allow members of the council to receive names and “reach out into the community, ask questions, and then two weeks from that date when we meet next, that’s when we have a vote.” He said the change could help the council do a better job of making the advisory bodies reflect the community.

“Have we done that as well as we could?” Moss said. “No we haven’t. Are we trying to make it better? Yes we are, and this is a business rule on how to make it better.”

In September, Henley said members of the City Council needed more time to vet candidates.

“We’re appointing people to some pretty serious positions,” she said.

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