The Consent of the Governed

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”

With these words our Founders began defending their choice to declare independence from England.  Their explanation was so profound that it changed the world.

They said that we are all equal, that we have all have the same exact rights, and that those rights are part of our physical being and can’t be separated from us.  They said that the Government exists to protect and secure those rights, and that its power to do so is derived solely at the consent of the Governed.

With Scotland’s failed independence bid last week, thoughts of why our Founders and the people who lived here nearly 235 years ago chose to throw the English out have been floating around in my head quite a bit.  It was in the midst of those rather deep thoughts that I ran across an article in Bristow Beat that raised my hackles.  My representative on the Board of County Supervisors has just resigned.  He’s been appointed to the judiciary, and, while he won’t be a judge until January, he has resigned his position as my representative because judges aren’t supposed to engage in politics.

That means that everyone else who lives in Brentsville District is without representation on the BOCS.

The thing about elected representatives is that if you don’t like how they behave or vote, you can vote for the other person in the next election.  You can run against them, if you like.  There are no lifetime appointments to representative positions here in the US, and there is no hereditary progression. Our leaders are elected to their posts and continue to serve in them until we get so sick of them that we fire them and elect someone else.

The ability of the electorate to vote someone out of office is what forces our elected officials to pay attention to us.

Between now and the special election, we citizens of Brentsville District have no elected representation on the BOCS.  There is no one who has to listen to us because his / her job depends on how well they listen to us.

Several major projects that will impact the lives of every Brentsville District resident are likely to come before the board before the special election: Stone Haven, Birkwood at Braemar, and, possibly, opening the rural crescent to development.

A three month delay won’t stop or otherwise impair any of these issues.  Other school divisions build schools much faster than PWCS, at lower cost, so a three month delay in acquiring the land for the 13th high school shouldn’t have adverse consequences on the school’s construction schedule.  If the school division was so concerned about acquiring a site for the 13th high school then they should have made acquiring land for it a priority; after all, they’ve had since 2009 to do so!

We deserve to have elected representation on the board before those projects, or any projects that affect Brentsville District,  are considered.  I find it unconscionable that the Board of County Supervisors would consider allowing votes on projects that will have a impact on the daily loves of Brentsville residents, when we don’t have an elected representative.

If you have the time, send an email to every BOCS member, asking them to delay votes of projects in the Brentsville District until our next representative is sworn in and takes his / her seat.  You can find their contact information here.  


One Response to “The Consent of the Governed”

  1. John Gray Says:

    I have sent an email to all members of the BoCS in support of your position. Any action by any member of the BoCS contrary to your completely logical request is anti-democratic.


    Please note: Because I spend most of my time personally with clients or talking with you on the phone, I am unable to check my email and phone calls as quickly as I would like. Please allow me up to 24 hours to return your email or telephone call. I am committed to providing you excellent client service, therefore, please allow me time to return your call or email.

    John S. Gray CPA PC

    Virginia Lic. # 13419

    Twitter: @johngraycpa

    Office / Voicemail: 703-497-0430

    Fax: 703-497-9038

    12510-A Lake Ridge Drive

    Lake Ridge, VA 22192

    This digital transmission is for the private use of the above named addressee only. Receipt of and use of the information contained in this transmission by any party other than the above named addressee may be a violation of federal and state privacy laws. If you have received this transmission in error, please call the sender immediately, at the above number, collect. Thank you.

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