Bath’s December meeting introduces Recall and Interim Supe

It’s been three months since the Bath Board of Supervisors took some actions that led to citizens petitioning first, for four of their resignations, and now a recall on their continuing to serve at all. One member did resign, and the others are remaining tight-lipped. Millboro district supervisor, Eddie Hicklin opened an opportunity during closing comments for those members who had voted in favor of eliminating the position of Tourism Director to explain themselves, but all declined to comment.   So the process of recall is underway.   County administrator, Ashton Harrison was authorized by the board’s unanimous resolution to retain legal counsel from the firm of Sands and Anderson to represent them.   The new county attorney, Mike Lockaby explained more.

“I simply wanted to bring up that, two points that I think are important to remember, the first of which being that no contract has been entered as yet, between the county and the law firm Sands Anderson. This is an authorization for Mr. Harrison to negotiate, and for me to draft a contract. The second thing to not is that this is, uh, very common, not this type of case in which there is a lawsuit to remove a supervisor is rather uncommon, especially under these sorts of circumstances, however the idea of a county retaining an attorney to represent a board of supervisors member in a lawsuit, is not the least bit unusual, and I in fact have been retained either by city councilors or board of supervisors members, of different types, but under similar types of circumstances several times in the past year. So, just wanted it to be recognized by you Madame Chairman, and also for the benefit of the public, that this is not an unusual action for a board to take.”

Earlier in the meeting the board members had also voted four-zero to appoint Philip Bart Purdue as the Interim Warm springs district supervisor. Steven Terry and Connie Simmons were the two other residents of that district who had expressed interest in that position. When Connie Simmons said she was disappointed none of the board members had even contacted her to talk about her application, a few members assured Mrs. Simmons that all three were strong candidates, and that they simply had chosen the one with experience. Board members also encouraged those interested to consider running in the special election on March 14th. For anyone who may be interested in completing the term through 2020 as the elected representative of the Warm Springs District, the necessary information is available from the county registrar.

Part Two  

In other business on Tuesday evening the board voted to amend the county solid waste ordinance so that it will have “more teeth”. Currently, issues of excessive trash on private property are handled on a complaint basis only.   Planning and Zoning administrator, Sherry Ryder explained clearer definitions of trash, and confirming the time frame in which an offending party must become compliant with code will make it easier to enforce. The Board, and local solid waste service providers and representatives from the waste management agency in Covington will have a work session about other solid waste issues on the January 31st.

The accounting firm of Robertson, Farmer, Cox and Associations presented findings from their audit for Fiscal year 2016, and gave an unmodified opinion, which is the highest qualification for the county’s books. After discussion of pension liability, fund balance, and accepted procedures, the board endorsed the audit, and congratulated the Treasurer and other courthouse staff for all of their hard work preparing for the successful audit. Then Richard Bird actually complimented the previous board for the role they played in making ends meet.   One more work session that may interest the public will be on January 17th at 7pm in the evening. This will be to get public input on use of the Mitchelltown property for a Visitors Center.

Story By

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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