The controversy over the hiring of Lance Terpenny as Floyd’s new town manager after Christiansburg dumped him raises a few other questions:

  1. Does Floyd really need a Town Manager?
  2. Does Floyd even need a town government?
  3. Does Floyd, as a town, even need to exist?

With a population of about 436 residents, Floyd is one of the smaller Virginia towns with a formal government. Most towns that small in the Old Dominion fall under county jurisdiction. Perhaps the residents of Floyd (and the county) would be better served if Floyd joined the county in a unified county government.

Virginia has one such all-inclusive county: Arlington, where Amy and I lived for 23 years. No cities or towns exist in Arlington County — the county has governmental responsibility for all residents. It worked very well.

Residents of the Town of Floyd has water, sewer and trash collection — services county residents do not enjoy — but are those services worth the extra cost in taxes to town residents?  A number of those who live inside the county have raised that issue lately.

Floyd does not offer many services that town or city residents normally enjoy. Floyd does not have a police department, a fire department or a rescue squad. Those services come from the county. Most county homes with wells enjoy better water pressure than town residents. Parking enforcement in Floyd is non-existent because, under the town code, only a “town magistrate” can write parking tickets. Floyd hasn’t had a town magistrate for a long time. The town’s only street sweeper is out of service and has been for some time.

Floyd’s population has remained static for 50 years.  It stood at 435 when I left in 1965. It was 434 when I came back in 2004 and stands at 436 today. My granddaddy used to say that Floyd has zero population growth because every time a baby was born some guy left town.

At a time when taxpayers need to get more bang for their bucks, perhaps residents of both the town and county would be better served if the town dissolved its government and merged with the county.

Something to think about.

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