McDonnell announces local-government task force

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced this week the creation of the Governor’s Task Force for Local Government Mandate Review.  The five-member Task Force is a result of legislation introduced during the 2011 General Assembly session by Sen. Steve Newman (R-Bedford County) to review state mandates imposed on localities and to recommend temporary suspension or permanent repeal of such mandates as appropriate.

“I understand the challenge local governments face when trying to balance their budgets during complex financial times,” McDonnell said. “This difficulty is exacerbated when the state places burdensome mandates on localities.  As part of my continuing effort to support only justifiable and reasonable mandates on localities, I am pleased to create the Governor’s Task Force for Local Government Mandate Review.  This group will identify mandates that are overly burdensome or unnecessary and recommend appropriate changes, providing relief to local governments.”

The governor appointed the following citizens to serve on the Governor’s Task Force for Local Government Mandate Review:

·         The Honorable Bob Dyer, Member, Virginia Beach City Council

·         The Honorable Pat Herrity, Springfield District Supervisor, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

·         The Honorable Shaun Kenney, Vice-Chair, Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors

·         Kimball Payne, City Manager, City of Lynchburg

·         The Honorable Joan E. Wodiska, Member, Falls Church City School Board and President-elect of the Virginia School Boards Association

Additionally, City Councilwoman Alicia Hughes of Alexandria and City Councilwoman Suzy H. Kelly of Chesapeake will serve as the Government Reform Commission liaisons to the Task Force.

Sen. Steve Newman said, “I am pleased that Gov. McDonnell has decided to use the new legislation to gather feedback from local government professionals to reduce mandates on localities.  When the state asks local governments to right size their organizations we need to provide them the tools to accomplish that goal.  The governor’s actions today could lead to a better relationship between state and local government and more cost cutting decisions being made at the level that is closest to the citizens, local government.”


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