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Goochland County pulls out of state association

The Associated Press

The Goochland County Board of Supervisor is withdrawing from a state association that supports counties and lobbies on their behalf, saying some of the group's legislative positions do not reflect the county or its citizens.

The resolution unanimously approved Tuesday cited the Virginia Association of Counties' position on eminent domain legislation. It also stated that the county isn't getting sufficient value for its $4,700 annual dues.

"It was an organization that we felt really didn't represent us or our views and we were spending money on it," Supervisor Susan Lascolette told the Richmond Times-Dispatch ( http://bit.ly/MSl5V6).

Goochland County becomes the only county in Virginia that isn't a member of the association. The board also is withdrawing its membership from the National Association of Counties.

James Campbell, executive director of the state association, said he is disappointed by the decision. He said the association has represented the county in more than a dozen other legislative positions.

"We certainly represented their interest in November, but maybe not when the new board took over in January," he said. "We're now in the process of developing our next position, which may well be consistent with their philosophies."

A proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot more narrowly defines the use of eminent domain and would bar the taking of private property for economic development. The Goochland County board supports the change, while the association expressed concern about putting the issue on the ballot.

Campbell said the association is not actively opposing the ballot measure.

The Goochland County board's withdrawal from the association was touted Tuesday by the Richmond Tea Party. Four supervisors said they are not affiliated with the tea party and were not lobbied to pull out of the association.

Lasolette, who founded the Goochland Tea Party, said the decision was "absolutely not anything to do with a tea party initiative." She also has served on the board of directors of the Richmond Tea Party

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.timesdispatch.com