Bath County Board of Supervisors Meeting
At the recent supervisors meeting on Tuesday February 14th, the Bath County Board of Supervisors listened to concerns about the county’s proposed noise ordinance, and the way a joint work session with the supervisors and planning commission was conducted on February 8th. Citizens also asked the board to address a proposed resolution, and improvements at the courthouse.
Marty Plecker voiced his concerns over the noise ordinance omitting concerns over industrial properties- specifically the Speyside sawmill. County Attorney Julian Harf shared that according to VA Code, industrial properties cannot have a civil penalty imposed on it by a noise ordinance. Marty Plecker said he was told in the beginning by Chris Singleton- the lawyer for the Economic Development Authority, that he wouldn’t even notice it was there.
There were complaints about other lumber mills in the area. Tracy Baldwin pointed to Augusta Lumber Company as one that would take advantage of that industrial exemption in the proposed noise ordinance.
“If they start a night shift, it will not be local people, I can guarantee you that. Because right now, down there, there’s more … maybe they’re legal, but maybe some of them is not…immigrants. So that’s one reason why I don’t want to see a night shift ever started.”
Rocky Phillips and Brandon Woodzell were opposed to the animal section of the proposed noise ordinance. They specified hunting dogs in the community and said the dogs bark at wild animals throughout the day.
Carl Chestnut accused supervisor Roy Burns of attempting to make Sheriff Robert Plecker remove him from the lengthy Feb. 8th joint meeting. At the meeting, Burns did not ask Plecker to remove Chestnut. Carl then said, “The next time you want me out, you come and get me and put me out… I promise you, it ain’t gonna be nice. And that’s no threat, that’s a promise.”
Chestnut also accused Burns of telling Baldwin to “sit down and be quiet” at the same meeting- Burns did not speak directly to Baldwin during the three-hour work session. Chestnut also claimed supervisor Shelton Burns, board chair Roy Burns, and school board member Zach Burns constituted a conflict of interest, since two brothers sit on the board of supervisors and one son sits on the school board. Chestnut incorrectly said chairman Burns had two sons on the school board; chairman Burns’ son, Zach Burns, is the chairman’s only son on the school board.
There was some confusion among citizens because the word “participate” was included in the county’s published notice about the Feb. 8 work session. Some felt that meant there would be time for public comment, but the county does not include public comment periods for work sessions. It read, “For more information or to request special accommodations in order to participate, please contact Bath County Administration.”
Chairman Burns explained that because the meeting was in the circuit courtroom upstairs, the board wanted to make sure that they were open in case citizens needed special accommodations getting upstairs and listening to it.
Alan Seacord of Millboro wrote a proposed resolution in November declaring Bath a constitutional county. Seacord has resubmitted the resolution to supervisors. The proposed resolution guarantees no state shall make any law that deprives its citizens of rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution. Supervisors did not comment on Seacord’s resubmission.
Stephen Hiner asked the board to make a decision on Seacord’s proposal, though he said he did have some reservations about it. He also asked which entity in the county would decide which laws were constitutional and which laws were unconstitutional, and about legal fees associated with such an entity.
Members of the Bath County Community Policy and Management Team were reappointed Tuesday. They include:
Jason Miller, Department of Social Services director; Kayla Dabbs of the health department; Shirley Thompson, supervisor CSU; Kimberly Shaw, director, Rockbridge Area Community Services Board; Jane Hall, director of special education/pupil support for Bath County schools; Shelton Burns, county supervisor; and Stephen Hiner, parent representative.
Other action items at the board meeting include the following:
- A presentation was held on the 2022 audit. The audit will be approved at next month’s meeting.
- The board set a work session for March 9 at 6 p.m. at the Bath County courthouse.
The board will meet Wednesday, Feb. 22nd in a joint work session with the Bath County School Board. That meeting will be held at the School Administration Building at 6 p.m. The next Board of Supervisors meeting is scheduled for March 14th.
For AMR News, I’m Abby Dufour.