Open Forum: ‘Slanted’ appraisal

Posted: March 13, 2013

After reading a recent Winchester Star article that summarized an interview with me about the General Assembly session that is now coming to a conclusion, I found that the information forthcoming was a bit slanted.

I will be the first to take responsibility for my votes. I have a very conservative track record and have gained the trust of the friends and neighbors I represent. What I did find curious is that the reporter put forward the premise that I might be less than effective because of the number of bills that I introduced. What was not mentioned is that the bills I patroned directly affected public safety or made government more efficient.

As a conservative, it is my belief that less government is the ideal. I do not put in bills just to keep a scorecard. Additionally, the reporting in the article did not mention that much of my time and energy is centered around the budget process, budget amendments, and ensuring that the constituents I represent are well-served in the process. This leadership role takes a great deal of time and energy, and I am glad that I am positioned to be in a place where I can be readily around the table.

There is nothing that I enjoy more than having folks from back home come to visit during the legislative session. This year it was my pleasure to meet with several groups from Shenandoah University, students from the Pharmacy School, students and staff from Lord Fairfax Community College, the CEO from Valley Health, Farm Bureau representatives, School Board members from the region, Tea Party members, 4-H students, Soil and Water District members, and local bankers, doctors, and dentists. I also tried to meet with other groups that traveled from my district to Richmond.

As you might imagine, although I relish visiting with all the visitors, my number-one responsibility is to make sure I am attending the many, many meetings that are scheduled in the small window of time during a short session of a citizen legislative session to consider the multitude of bills before us and to develop a budget that is responsible and keeps the Commonwealth running in an orderly fashion. It is important that I be around the table casting votes to make sure that the bills that pass reflect the values and concerns of the constituents I represent, and to also cast negative votes on issues that jeopardize personal rights that are embraced by so many in the Valley.

It is truly an honor to represent the residents of the 29th District in the General Assembly, and I am thankful for the opportunity to serve.

Beverly J. Sherwood, R-Frederick County, represents the 29th District in the Virginia House of Delegates.