eNews October 29, 2021Friday, October 29, 2021 - 04:34pm
In this issue:
- Carter School Political Leadership Academy accepting applications
- ARPA equity webinar; engagement package for smaller localities now available from Polco
2022 Policy Statements now available
The 2022 Policy Statements were approved on October 4, 2021, during the Annual Business Meeting in Leesburg. The policy statements are developed by VML’s six policy committees.
The most recent policy statements can be found on the webpage for each of the committees:
- Community & Economic Development
- Environmental Quality
- Finance Policy
- General Laws
- Human Development & Education
VML Contact: Janet Areson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council holds second meeting
The Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council met for the second time on October 28. At this meeting the Advisory Council reviewed the Freedom of Information Act and Conflict of Interest Act guidelines, appointed a Chair and Vice Chair, addressed the goals of the council, and reviewed the purpose for the formation of the council.
As a reminder, the Cannabis Public Health Advisory Council was created by in the 2021 Acts of Assembly according to Chapter 551 making this council the fourth cannabis related commission. The Advisory Council was established as an advisor to the Cannabis Board for the purpose of assessing and monitoring public health issues, reviewing trends in the Commonwealth, and looking at potential and actual impacts related to marijuana legalization. It is also the duty of the Advisory Council to make recommendations to the Board regarding health warnings, retail marijuana, safe utilization of marijuana products, and related educational resources.
The Advisory Council consists of twenty-one members with an array of backgrounds ranging from academic professional to medical cannabis proponents as well as the Virginia Health Commissioner.
VML will continue to follow the actions and recommendations taken by the Advisory Council.
VML Contact: Josette Bulova, email@example.com
DEQ convenes Site Suitability Regulatory Advisory Panel
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality convened a Site Suitability Regulatory Advisory Panel (RAP) of industry, community representatives, environmental organizations and local government officials and representatives for the purpose of providing information on regulations that are expected to be developed about the suitability of the locations of permitted facilities that generate air pollution. The panel was formed after the passage of the 2020 Environmental Justice Act to consider questions such as what makes a site suitable or unsuitable and how this new legislation impacts existing state air pollution control law (Virginia Code §10.1-1307 (E)).
RAP members include environmental advocates, elected officials, industry officials, economic development experts, and heavy industry representatives. Over the course of four meetings the members were unable to reach a consensus on interpreting how state air pollution control laws interact with the new Environmental Justice Act. However, there was clear recognition from all parties that changes are likely necessary, and any regulations developed could take months before they are released to the public. Furthermore, it became apparent during the final meeting that either litigation or further legislation is likely over how site suitability is interpreted.
One of the primary issues with the term “site suitability” is that it is not code defined and therefore has been interpreted in various ways or ignored all together by the State Air Pollution Control Board which is the entity charged with permitting air pollution facilities. As such, there is very little precedent in practice or in the Code of Virginia as to what the term means in a practical sense.
Local governments should be aware that there may be legislation that attempts to pre-empt local zoning authority or economic development authority with regards to facilities that require air pollution permits. These can range from relatively common permits for activities such as paint booths or dry cleaners up to larger permits for heavy industrial facilities. VML will continue to monitor this issue and any relevant legislation that may be proposed.
More information on the final meeting of the Site Suitability Regulatory Advisory Panel is available on its website here >.
VML Contact: Mitchell Smiley, firstname.lastname@example.org
Events & Opportunities
Carter School Political Leadership Academy accepting applications
Discount available to VML members
VML Community Business Member the Carter School Political Leadership Academy at GMU is now accepting applications for its next cohort. Carter School fellows learn from and dialogue with scholarly and practical thought leaders regarding conflict resolution in the American political context.
Throughout the 10-week in-person / online hybrid course, the instruction covers:
- Strengthening and preserving democracy
- Conflict resolution strategies for collaboration
- Personal and professional communication skills
- Leadership in public policy
24 fellows will be selected through an application process that is open now here >.
The portal will remain open until the cohort is full. However, all applications received by December 10, 2021, will receive an early bird rate. Additionally, any member of VML will receive an additional $300 discount off tuition (just mention your association with VML during your interview or otherwise make it known during the application process).
More information about the program is available here >.
Carter School Contact: Charles Davidson, Ph.d – Director, Political Leadership Academy, email@example.com
ARPA equity webinar; engagement package for smaller localities now available from Polco
VML partner organization Polco is dedicated to transforming how local governments, representatives, and community organizations interact with the communities they serve. The following opportunities are now available from Polco.
ARPA equity webinar
Recently, Polco hosted an “Equity and Allocating ARPA Funds” webinar in which local government thought-leaders and survey scientists at Polco shared how towns, cities, and county governments can best spend ARPA funds equitably.
The webinar covered:
- Best practices in community engagement around equity and inclusion
- How best to prioritize and allocate funds for ARPA-related initiatives
- How to measure performance and evaluate programs
- How other local governments identify and assess disparities
- The definitive ARPA Engagement Package, designed by experts around Treasury guidelines
A recording of the webinar is now available here >.
ARPA simplified engagement package
The ARPA Engagement Package is available to those with a premium or performance subscription. It includes a survey of residents and business owners/managers, sent out twice each year of your subscription. The Package focuses on building a panel of respondents to continue to engage with, tracking needs and progress over time, online interactive reporting, and opportunities to learn about best practices and engage with other local government leaders through our Polco Connect online forum and semi-annual next steps workshops.
More information is available in this presentation and by contacting the Polco representative below.
Polco Contact: Lisa Dowling, VP of Sales, firstname.lastname@example.org or (858) 295-3872