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Posted at 3:16 PM ET, 07/28/2010

How many potato commissions does Va. need?

By Paige Winfield Cunningham

Acupuncture, eggs, midwifery … if you’re interested in it, it’s likely to be the focus of a special board, commission, council or panel in Virginia.

From groups like the milk commission to the psychology board, the state’s 347 resume-enhancing boards have garnered some 2,500 applications from Virginians over the past six months. Of those, 1,000 are being selected by the secretary of the commonwealth and given final approval by Gov. Robert F. McDonnell.

McDonnell expects to fill about 4,000 seats over the course of his term. He’s about 40 percent of the way through filling the current round of vacancies, after many terms ended June 30.

Some of the boards make headlines all the time, like the Commonwealth Transportation Board and the Board of Health. But do we really need a Seed Potato Board and an Irish Potato Board? At least we know what those groups care about -- which isn’t the case for boards with vague and baffling names like the “Complete Count Committee” or “Council on Virginia’s Future” (I’m guessing this board is for clairvoyants to sit around gazing at tea leaves … ).

Since most of the positions aren’t compensated -- except for travel -- eliminating a few of these boards probably wouldn’t save much money. Still, Virginia employs three full-time staffers just to weed through all the applications.

If the governor’s reform commission succeeds in trimming needless and redundant groups from the long list, I’ll lose some amusing reading material and Virginia might be a tiny bit better off.

Paige Winfield Cunningham is an investigative reporter and managing editor at Old Dominion Watchdog. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Paige Winfield Cunningham  | July 28, 2010; 3:16 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Virginia  
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We need those boards because people like you are too ignorant to know the difference between Seed and Irish potatoes. Quit trying to destroy people's jobs and try to find something productive to do with your life.

Posted by: jiji1 | July 28, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

You say potayto, I say potahto.

Let's call the whole thing off.

Posted by: krickey7 | July 29, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

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