The Commitment of Our Partnership with New Kent
New Kent County (NKC) is located directly between two dynamic metropolitan populations: Richmond‐Petersburg and Williamsburg‐Hampton Roads. At the heart of the Central East Coast, New Kent is within 750 miles of over 55% of the nation’s population and nearly 60% of the nation’s personal income and consumer expenditures. It is bisected by I‐64 with four high‐traffic count exits, and its intersection with I‐295 is just 4 miles to the west.
At the time of the 2000 census, the population of the county totaled 13,530. From 2000 to 2017, the population grew by over 60% to 21,700, a growth rate of nearly 3% per annum, making it the second fastest growing jurisdiction in the Commonwealth. Accelerated growth is likely, and the county is developing a Strategic Plan to address and leverage this growth to the benefit of all citizens. The overwhelming sentiment of today’s citizens is a shared desire to remain a distinctive community characterized by its rural character, its centuries’ old heritage, and communal quality of life. It is the commitment of our Partnership with New Kent to support County leadership in preserving and enhancing these qualities through proactive participation and continuous engagement.
In the Summer of 2018, a series of actions and inactions by local government drew the attention of a group of New Kent County citizens. Some of these citizens were generational residents, while others had arrived in the last decade or two. All shared a passion for the rural nature and historical heritage of New Kent as well as a heightened awareness of the potential impact of accelerating growth upon a modest, rural infrastructure.
Government best practices dictate a Strategic Plan must serve as the foundational document for developing and deploying the Comprehensive Land Use Plan. The New Kent County Comprehensive Land Use Plan remains overdue for an update. The impending update to the Comprehensive Plan is anticipated to commence once the Strategic Plan has been ratified by the Board of Supervisors.
These considerations converged to energize a dialogue between like-minded citizens with a shared willingness to invest their time, energy and money for the sole purpose of having a positive influence on the future of our beautiful county. This shared commitment produced a search for a successful Virginia county government with challenges similar to those confronting New Kent. These citizens found such an experienced Virginia leader and author and engaged him as a consultant. The short version of the consultant’s message was simple and intuitive: “If you want good government, you must participate.”
Participation: Our Partnership for New Kent is actively reaching out to our fellow citizens of New Kent who have interest in participating in the success of our county’s future. Every prospective Partnership member’s level of participation is determined solely by that member, ranging from: 1. routine attendance at the meetings of County leadership; 2. attending meetings of our Partnership; and/or, 3. serving on one of our committees as either a member or leader. There is no requirement for financial contributions, but any contributions are welcomed, auditable, and will be invested in the future of NKC.
How does The Partnership work?
The Executive Committee is comprised of the chairs of the eight committees chartered by the Partnership:
- Citizens’ Outreach Committee
- Education Committee
- Financial Oversight Committee
- Governance Committee
- Infrastructure Committee
- Land Use and Ordinance Committee
- Social and Health Services Committee
- Strategic Planning Committee
The Chair of the Executive Committee is elected by the chairs of these eight committees. Mr. John Poindexter is the currently elected Chair of the Executive Committee. Our Partnership does not have a Strategic Plan. It is our intent to embrace and endorse the Strategic Plan being developed by county leadership and the citizens. [Read full charter…]
Where might you fit? An executive summary of each committee’s charter and their respective top level 2020 objectives is provided below:
The Citizens’ Outreach Committee is charged with building broad public support for our Partnership. The principal responsibilities of this Committee are: recruiting new members; fundraising to support goals and initiatives; and, external communications between our Partnership and the citizens of New Kent County. [Read full charter…]
The 2020 objectives of the Citizen’s Outreach Committee are:
- Increase membership.
- Communicate the commitment of the Partnership across the County.
- Maintain and expand the Partnership’s connection with members and prospective members through social media, direct mailings, and newspaper ads.
The Education Committee will assist the Partnership in developing and maintaining strong and productive relationships with the elected members of the New Kent County School Board, other County Officials, and local government leaders for the purpose of providing substantive information on the wide variety of educational issues facing New Kent County (NKC) during the current period of accelerated population growth. [Read full charter…]
The 2020 objectives of the Education Committee are:
- Recruit Committee members.
- Establish a working relationship with the School Board.
- Advance educational awareness and related issues of interest to our citizens.
The Financial Oversight Committee will assist the Partnership in strengthening the economic infrastructure that supports future growth and viability of the New Kent residential and business communities while providing citizen oversight of the financial activities of the New Kent County Board of Supervisors and its subdivisions. [Read full charter…]
The 2020 objectives of the Financial Oversight Committee are:
- Alignment of the County’s first Strategic Plan with attracting new businesses.
- Recruiting additional Financial Oversight Committee members.
- Regular Committee representation at all Board of Supervisors meetings.
The Governance Committee will assist the Partnership in developing and maintaining strong relationships with elected and appointed County Officials, as well as partner with for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, for the advancement and strengthening of New Kent County during this period of unprecedented growth. [Read full charter…]
The 2020 objectives of the Governance Committee are:
- Create an online calendar where members of the Partnership can sign up to attend each scheduled meeting and work session of the Board of Supervisors, the Planning Commission, and the School Board.
- Create a database to track the voting record of each elected official
- Install a link to a reporting form to be completed and returned after Partnership volunteers attend the County meetings described in objective #1 above.
The Infrastructure Committee will assist the Partnership in developing and maintaining an Infrastructure Plan for the advancement of New Kent County during this period of unprecedented growth. [Read full charter…]
The 2020 objectives of the Infrastructure Committee are:
- Recruit additional members to serve on the Partnership’s Infrastructure Committee.
- Build a working relationship with the County’s Dept of Public Utilities’ leadership.
- Compile the County’s residential rates for comparison with neighboring municipalities and counties.
Land Use and Ordinance
The Land Use and Ordinance Committee will assist the Partnership in developing and maintaining a proposed Comprehensive Plan and Ordinances for New Kent County during this period of unprecedented growth. [Read full charter…]
The 2020 objectives of the Land Use and Ordinance Committee are:
- Acquire technical knowledge of Comprehensive Plan development process.
- Define Partnership goals for development objectives and limitations across the County.
- Ensure County officials remain on-track and successfully engage a qualified firm to draft a new Comprehensive Plan.
Social and Health Services
The Social and Health Services Committee will advocate for the strengthening of existing services and the development and implementation of needed social and health services in collaboration with County government and business leaders, the citizens of New Kent County and the Committee. [Read full charter…]
The 2020 objectives of the Social and Health Services Committee are:
- Establish a baseline of comprehensive data profiling New Kent citizen’s demographic, social, health and financial status.
- Based on New Kent’s demographic, social, health and financial profiles, perform a gap analysis utilizing New Kent Resource Guide and interviews with county leaders and stakeholders.
- Establish an on-going dialogue and long-term partnership with VCU Health leaders as they open New Kent’s first emergency center.
In coordination with the Executive Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee is represented on the New Kent County Strategic Plan Steering Committee chartered to draft New Kent County’s Strategic Plan and oversee execution of that Plan. [Read full charter…]
The 2020 objectives of the Strategic Planning Committee are:
- Broadband Internet access for all citizens of New Kent County
- A Strategic Plan for New Kent County
- A Comprehensive Plan for New Kent County
As advocates for citizens of New Kent County, the Partnership’s Executive Committee seeks continuous alignment of the activities of the county government, the best interests of its citizens, and the county’s financial resources in pursuit of the goals and objectives of the county’s first Strategic Plan. Of equal importance, our Partnership will actively participate in the transition from the Strategic Plan to the forthcoming update of the county’s Comprehensive Plan. On behalf of the citizens of New Kent, our Partnership will press for governmental transparency, citizen-centric decision making, integrity, and leadership accountability in the execution of the county’s Strategic Plan and Comprehensive Plan.