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The League View appears weekly on Sundays in the Hendersonville Times-News.

JULY 2011

July 3, 2011

On July fourth 1776 the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the thirteen colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. Check out www.usa.gov for the place to start a review of Fourth of July history and current activities. This site provides links to the Census Bureau to review the populations facts about the holiday. There is also a link to the Library of Congress to listen to patriot songs. Citizens may also link to the US archives to review historic documents, especially the Declaration of Independence. And, finally, it s possible to explore the celebrations that will be held at the National Mall and at Mount Rushmore. Picnics, patriotic parades, personal reflection and fireworks - Fourth of July is the day to celebrate US independence.

July 10, 2011

The North Carolina General Assembly has a lot of useful and interesting information on its website, www.ncga.state.nc.us. The legislature wrapped up the biennial budget process days before the beginning of the fiscal year. They kept this schedule by overriding the historic veto of the budget by the Governor. There is still important work to do. This is the year that the legislature must address redistricting. They are scheduled to reconvene July 13. Posted on the website is the proposed agenda for the opening session. Although the legislature worked diligently through the session, they have many bills awaiting action. This web page also offers in addition to offering information on calendar, committees and legislation, they have a separate tab for Redistricting. This is a timely topic for voters to review. Check out the history and impact on Redistricting in our state.

July 17, 2011

On June 15 the League of Women Voters presented to the county commissioners findings and recommendations on our study, Do Appointed Bodies in Henderson County Encourage Citizen Participation/Democracy, the study of transparency in county appointed boards and committees. Key findings in the surveys and research revealed that Henderson County uses a consistent process in the appointment of citizens to boards and committees; that a majority of the citizens responding to our survey found attending meetings to be a positive experience and that most appointees feel their service is appreciated and their experience positive. One hundred and four appointees to advisory boards and fourteen citizens observing the meetings responded to our survey. The entire report and survey results are available online at www.lwvhcnc.org.

July 24, 2011

One of the key findings regarding transparency of county appointed boards and committees from the recent League study, Do Appointed Bodies in Henderson County Encourage Citizen Participation/Democracy, reveals that several boards and committees which operate under the staff support of county departments provide relevant information for citizens to stay informed. The information online includes: minutes, meetings and membership. Those boards that are examples of Transparency are: Board of Health, Environmental Advisory Committee, Henderson County Planning Board, Department of Social Services, Historic Resources Commission, Solid Waste Advisory Committee, and Henderson County Zoning Board of Adjustments. It is apparent through this study that all advisory boards operate under the open meetings law with the above boards making more information available online than others

July 31, 2011

One of the key findings regarding transparency of county appointed boards and committees from the recent League study reveals that although all committees operate under the open meetings law, the public does not take advantage of open government, and do not attend meetings of these appointed bodies. Those who serve on boards and committees are enthusiastic and committed volunteers who generally reflect the league’s guiding principles of Open Government. To encourage ease and access, league recommends that the county commissioners standardize agendas, and include opportunities for public comment at every meeting. in addition, the commissioners should review their methods of publicizing meetings. Notices may need a wider distribution. Placing meeting notices at a prominent location on the website would be helpful to all citizens interested in specific meetings.



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P. O. Box 2238, Hendersonville, NC 28793