Bath BOS hears about Warm Springs special election

Bath County, Virginia is looking for a few good citizens. The Warm Springs district will be holding a special election on March 17th. Bart Purdue is temporarily filling the vacated seat, but as County Registrar, Charles Garratt pointed out at Tuesday evening’s Board of Supervisors meeting, true representation only comes from voters choosing between multiple candidates.

“ I wanted to take this opportunity, that a week from tonight at seven o’clock is the deadline to get on the ballot. January 17th 7:00.  That doesn’t mean, just bring your papers in at five to 7.  It means at  7:00 you have all your signatures, and everything is approved; and if you’re not, you’re not on the ballot.  I will say too, that so far, we have not had any candidates file, and we’re not really happy with having a write-in based election.

Mr. Garratt also emphasized there will be another election in November, when due to staggered terms, residents of Cedar Creek and Millboro Districts will be voting too. The deadline for filing for those candidates is in June, and he strongly encouraged interested people of those districts to file to be candidates soon.

And by the way, Bath County has many more than a few good citizens. It’s just a question of their deciding to run for public office.

In other board business, they amended the agenda to include a closed session to discuss a personnel issue later on in the meeting. Then Richard Bird, Valley Springs District was elected to the position of Chair, Eddie Hicklin, Millboro District is the new Vice Chair. Stuart Has was reappointed as the Emergency Management representative. The board also decided to change one of their procedures they had initiated at their first meeting together last January. Members are returning to using a second for motions before discussions and voting. Richard Bird asserted that any concern brought forth by constituents deserves discussion. Robert’s Rules of Orders, which is the accepted process for this board uses a second for motions, and this board, after a motion from Bart Purdue, and a second from Claire Collins voted 3-2 to return to that. Purdue, Collins and Hicklin were the three in favor.

The board also approved sending a letter to the Virginia Association of Counties stating their opposition to legislation coming up in the General Assembly that would limit local authority when developing broadband access and improved cell service. Bath and Highland have already begun working together to establish a joint authority knowing that smaller localities have more specialized needs.

Another item the board agreed to was to set a public hearing, during their next meeting that will enable them to then establish a schedule for hearing appeals to the Board of Equalization. These appeals are something that could take place anytime throughout the year after an assessment, but setting the schedule will make the process more efficient; and the ordinance to do so is uncodified. In other words, County Code will not need to be amended, but the opportunity for public comment is required.

After moving swiftly through those initial items the board left the room for closed session. They returned fairly promptly, and each was asked to confirm nothing other than what they said would be discussed in closed session had been discussed. Then they voted to take no action on what they had discussed.

Because a majority of the board may be together again on Saturday at the touring of the Mitchelltown Visitors Center property the meeting was continued to include that 12 until 2 pm event. The public is encouraged to visit the Mitchelltown property during those hours too, and to share your ideas with your representative. There will be another opportunity to discuss future Visitor’s Center plans on Tuesday, January 17th at 6pm at the courthouse in Room 115.


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Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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