Good change by supervisors

Published 1:08 pm Saturday, January 7, 2012

A new-look Southampton County Board of Supervisors has much heavy lifting ahead, but its first step was a good one.

Newcomers Alan Edwards, Bruce Phillips, Barry Porter and Glenn Updike, over the objections of veteran colleagues, moved their meeting time from morning to night in an effort to make county government more accessible to citizens.

It might seem like a symbolic gesture, but the change is meaningful — and an appropriate response to a November election in which voters delivered a clear, resounding message: County government must become more transparent, more responsive and more accessible.

Returning Supervisors Ronnie West and Carl Faison, who were unopposed in their re-election bids, must not have been watching or listening very closely on election night. They opposed changing the meeting to a time of day when most citizens are off work and available to attend.

Accessibility is only one piece of successful governing, and the new supervisors have much more to do to meet voters’ high expectations created by a campaign season of big promises. It’s an encouraging start, though.