Purchase of Radio Consoles and the Opioid Litigation Discussed in Bath’s Recent Board of Supervisors Meeting
The Bath County Board of Supervisors met November 12th at 6 o’clock at the courthouse in Warm Springs. A few minutes before the regular meeting, board member, Eddie Hicklin, made a motion for the closed session, members Bart Perdue, Ron Shifflet, and Eddie Hicklin- along with County Administrator, Ashton Harrison, and Attorney Michael Lockaby met upstairs in the conference room.
Board member, Stuart Hall, was absent from this meeting- making it 4 members. After completing the routine opening procedures, there were no public or board comments at the beginning of the meeting so the board moved on to action 140-19 which was to request to surplus a 2013 Ford Explorer from the Sheriff’s Office fleet to the Bath Service Authority. This passed 4-0.
Next, Emergency Service Coordinator, Andy Seabolt, and Teresa Phillips discussed a potential purchase agreement for radio consoles from Motorola Solutions with the board. Mr. Seabolt said,
“We have to have reliable communications coming out of the 911 center, out to the folks in the world that our out here first responding, so this is a critical thing we do. If we don’t do it tonight, we’re going to have to do it in the near future.”
Vice-Chair, Bart Perdue, made a motion to approve and it went 4-0. Next, County Administrator, Ashton Harrison, and Attorney Michael Lockaby then discussed the actions from the closed session where they discussed the National Opioid Litigation. Lockaby said,
“Every time somebody files a case in federal court anywhere in the country, the judge and wherever it’s filed sends it to Ohio. And all of those cases are consolidated and the judge in Ohio has created what’s called a negotiating class. And that means that the judge has designated a team of lawyers to negotiate on behalf of all city, towns, and counties in the country, again, on the one side against all of the opioid manufacturers and wholesalers that have been sued in that litigation. Unless that city, town, or county opts out. Bath County, we discussed in closed session to take no action, given the small amounts of money involved for us, based upon any of the models that have been floated, and as part of the litigation, it makes more sense for us probably to sit back let the negotiating class process take its course. And so the decision on a closed session is to do nothing. But we did want to make sure that citizens and the media understood that we ended that taking that non-action to continue to let the situation in Ohio take its course.”
The board then approved the consent agenda containing invoices, appropriations and transfers, and monthly reports. The also authorized surplus of a tractor blade from the Parks and Recreation as a trade for a comparable blade.
During the second public comment, Bruce McWilliams from Williamsville shared his opinion on the closed meeting.
“I appreciate the insight for the closed session conversation about the opioid situation in the future- as the opioid conversation will come back again that it’s treated with some seriousness in that I think it’s affecting all of this region into Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Wherever you want to go in a rural environment, and so I hope it’s not just dismissed as it’s not beneficial for us, because it will impact our community and already is.”
Sherrif Robert Plecker asked if there were any updates on a new noise ordinance. Ashton Harrison said they don’t plan to present a new ordinance until January when the new members of the board are present. Lockaby noted that he is working on it.
Mr. Harrison then shared that on Monday, December 16th at 6 pm, there will be a swearing-in ceremony for all the new board members in our local government.
The Bath County Board of Supervisors meets every 2nd Tuesday of the month at the courthouse in Warm Springs. The public is always welcome to attend.
For AMR News, I’m Abby Dufour