A thankless job

Published 9:29 am Friday, July 10, 2009

We doubt there will be many takers, but Southampton County officials are wise to solicit volunteers for service on the soon-to-be-retooled Southeastern Public Service Authority board of directors.

It beats arm-twisting an unwilling participant, which might be the only alternative.

A law passed by the General Assembly earlier this year will, effective Jan. 1, remove elected officials from the regional garbage agency’s board. In their place, the governor will appoint a private citizen from each of SPSA’s eight member localities. The governor will choose from a list of three names submitted by the governing board of each locality.

The law specifies that each nominee should have business knowledge. It should have added to the job description a heart for selfless community service, because that’s exactly what the job will require.

The new SPSA board members will not be compensated. They will inherit responsibility for an agency that, despite some modest progress of late, remains a fiscal mess and the object of taxpayer scorn. Meetings are long and tedious. The subject matter just plain stinks.

Still, Southampton’s supervisors — as well as Franklin’s City Council and Isle of Isle of Wight’s Board of Supervisors — must come up with three names to submit to Gov. Tim Kaine and stay in compliance with the new law.

Here’s hoping at least three competent, caring people heed the supervisors’ call and step forward to serve their community and region in a thankless — but critically important — job.