Citizens for Civility hold Rally to Support Supervisors

Some of those attending the “Citizens for Civility” meeting in Hot Springs on Monday night might have thought, almost three weeks since the last Bath Supervisors’ meeting they would learn some answers to “Why?”  Anyone seeking answers to the questions would have left disappointed. As one of the speakers, John Fisher, emphasized at the beginning, and again towards the end, answers and solutions weren’t the goal of this meeting.

“We’re here as a rally. Our plan now is to say what we have to say, and if at the end of the meeting, you have any questions, we would be happy to talk with you about that. Yes, I will be happy to take questions, but this is not a public hearing. No this is a rally. I’m going to shut this off.”

The rally was to support the board, and a few of the speakers offered their perspectives on why the Board must have made the choices they did. Again John Fisher,

“I support our current Board of Supervisors mainly because I think they are fiscally conservative, and I think they are watching out for our money, for our tax dollars. I think that’s the general tone of our current board of supervisors.”

Carl Chestnut offered his opinion on why the board was not willing to continue with their annual funding to the Chamber of Commerce.

“They wanted to show the papers. They want ‘em to bring papers to ‘em and show, if you need some money, and they would ‘ave give it to ‘em. But they don’t do that, because they wanted it handed out to them, and they don’t have to say where it goes or anything else.” It is accurate the tax which funds the Office of Tourism, and a piece of which is specifically intended in state code for capital improvement or construction of facilities for Visitors has not been threatened by board actions.

Again John Fisher,

“The controversy of the last board meeting had a lot to do with control of two percent tourism budget, 2% of the four percent that was given to the Department of Tourism. They tourism tax has not been touched.   The tourism budget remains the same.”

The tourism budget, however, did include, at the time the whole county budget was approved by the sitting Board of Supervisors, a salary for a full-time Director of Tourism and Economic Development. The public is still waiting to hear how the Board intends to redirect funding since eliminating that position on September 13th.

Mary Susan Blankeship cited the nursing home, the Senior Center and the Retirement home all as community projects that had been successful because of the support and the fiscal responsibility of the board during some of the years when she was County Treasurer. Mary Susan Blankenship,

“The way that I feel, is that if the people vote for some one, they know who they’re voting for; people of Bath County are not stupid. They know exactly who they’re voting for. And they know what the people are.”



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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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