Monterey Town Council December Meeting

After the routine procedures of being called to order and approval of minutes, the Monterey Town Council began its regular December meeting by hearing a presentation from Josh Umar, Youth and Community Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. Mr. Umar had given a similar presentation to the Highland Board of Supervisors earlier in the week. He explained the status of the Center’s initiative being undertaken with cooperation for the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship to attract new residents to the County, and answered several questions from the Council relating to project timeline and marketing. For more details on this initiative, tune in to Allegheny Mountain Radio News next week for an interview with Mr. Umar.

Under old business, Vice Mayor Ronald Wimer reported that the Planning Commission had forwarded a favorable recommendation to the town on a conditional use permit for a food processing facility to be located in the Ernie’s Market location in town. Mayor Rich Holman expressed his favorable impressions of the future business owners, and said he looked forward to seeing progress. It was also reported that a young man has been approached to provide help for town employee Mike Isles – the person was agreeable, and the Council will move forward with hiring procedures. Mayor Holman also noted that 6 applications had been received for the town clerk/treasurer position – the search was now closed, and he would begin interviews the following week.

During open public comment period, town attorney Melissa Dowd spoke up with a request. The Council will be meeting state legislators Senator Creigh Deeds and Delegate Dickie Bell at a meeting at the county modular building December 10th, along with the Board of Supervisors and School Board. Ms. Dowd asked that the Council raise the issue of the unfunded judgeships in the 25th Judicial District. She noted that the Circuit Court judge from Rockbridge County is retiring at the end of the calendar year, creating a vacancy. While five judgeships are authorized, the fifth is unfunded. She noted that the workload for other judges is high, creating scheduling issues, and justice delayed can be justice denied. The Council agreed to raise this issue if Ms. Dowd would create a document to guide their presentation.

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Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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