Buckingham To Help Madeline's House If Others Do

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, November 27, 2012

BUCKINGHAM – If all the other localities served by Southside Center for Violence Prevention-Madeline's House agree to provide a one-time donation of $3,000 to go toward a down payment for its new location, Buckingham will too.

The action followed a presentation Emily Marshall, Executive Director of SCVP-Madeline's House, made to the board of supervisors during its November 13 meeting.

After the presentation, the board, with a motion by Supervisor Cassandra Stish, unanimously approved the donation if the other localities agree to contribute.

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Since 1999, Madeline's House has offered a safe haven to battered women and children. Not only does the shelter provide temporary housing but it also offers its clients comprehensive support services.

According to Marshall, Madeline's House is currently located in Nottoway County on land that was formerly part of Fort Pickett and is now the future site for FASTC, Foreign Affairs Security Training Center.

Marshall explained that the SCVP-Madeline's House has been searching for a new location because of the impending sale of the property.

Although they hoped for a donated space, they were unable to find one, said Marshall. She advised, however, that they have found a suitable property that they would like to purchase.

To do so, help is needed for the down payment, explained Marshall, which is why they are asking each of the 12 localities served by Madeline's House for the special one-time donation.

She added that Madeline's House has launched a capital campaign but with the sluggish economy, they have not been able to come up with the necessary funds for the down payment. However, Marshall said the money raised thus far through the capital campaign would help with the moving expense.

“So I'm coming on behalf of our board of directors to ask you to consider along with your fellow sister counties a gift to Madeline's House of $3,000 to go solely for that down payment,” said Marshall.

“It would be put in a restricted fund and used for absolutely nothing else,” she stated.

Marshall said that thus far they have five localities responding that they would donate; one that is going to consider the request this month; and two that say they will agree if all the other localities do.

Stish, referencing information provided in the board packet about Buckingham's utilization of Madeline's House, shared that since 2009, 44 individuals from Buckingham have used the facility for 564 bed nights and 1,128 hours of service.

In the board packet, County Administrator Rebecca Carter also noted that the board appropriates $5,000 annually to SCVP-Madeline's House.

Offering that the people who use Madeline's House are those who are in crisis and their lives may be in jeopardy, Stish stated, “It is a safety net when chips are down and things are very dire for these individuals.”

Marshall added, “We consider ourselves a part of the rescue infrastructure in each community.”

She shared, “No, we are not out there with the police and rescue squads. But, we are their critical resource when at two o'clock in the morning there is no where for a woman and her four children to go and she has been battered in the course of some kind of domestic dispute.”

Stish offered, “I tell you what fellow board members, I am in favor of this.” She added that if it turns out that not all of the counties support the request, she would be willing to consider the request as long as Madeline's House was working to get the rest of the money.

Addressing Marshall, Stish suggested that she look into using fundraising technology such as a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign.

Chairman Monroe Snoddy asked Marshall when she would need the money. She responded that the down payment would be due by the end of January.

Subsequently, Stish offered, “I would like to make a motion that we honor the request from Madeline's House, yes to honor the one time donation if the other localities come forward.”

Following the board's unanimous support of Stish's motion, Marshall shared that her plans include going back to the counties who have not committed 100 percent. She added that she would keep the board updated on their responses.

Stish told Marshall, “Thank you. Thank you for all your good service.”

Public Comments

During the public comment segment of the November 13 meeting, Pete Kapuscinski continued his plea that supervisors be more proactive in their approach to economic/industrial development.

Quoting from the comprehensive plan, he read, “Buckingham County will be a model of planned residential and business development that ensures sufficient managed economic growth to enhance the quality of life of its residents, to attract desired socially responsible new businesses, and to ensure a fiscally sound county government that is responsive to the needs of its residents and businesses while maintaining tax rates at a responsible level and while preserving the desired rural characteristics of the county.”

Noting that on November 6, Buckingham voters overwhelmingly turned down the proposed Meals Tax, he stated, “The taxpaying residents of this county do not want to pay this tax and I might even go so far as to say that the taxpayer majority in our county do not want to pay any new taxes.”

Kapuscinski offered, “But, the county needs money. So, as I have before, and will continue to do with you, I am speaking to you again about industrial development in Buckingham.”

Referencing his quote from the comprehensive plan, he shared, “It means to me, that besides finding ways to use our money efficiently and sparingly that you look, and I would hope aggressively, outside our county to find businesses that would locate here and help the county generate revenue.”

After sharing his thoughts on the need for the county to intensely market itself, Kapuscinski stated, “So again, and I know I've asked you many times, I'm asking that you please find time to create a committee and a plan and begin shopping for businesses that want to relocate here and convince them that Buckingham is a good home.”

Continuing, he stated, “With the utmost respect, and I mean that, I am asking that you not ignore this request nor the mandate of the approved Comprehensive Plan of 2008, and make the effort that is both requested and required of you.”

He concluded, “Choosing not to forces Buckingham taxpayers to dig deeper into their already worn pocketbooks to find the money needed to run the county.

“Lastly, and again with the utmost respect, choosing not to, you blatantly disregard the most trusted of your responsibilities and that is to prudently manage our taxpayer assets to the best of your ability.”

Wayne Sears was next to the podium. Referencing his letter to the editor that was published in The Farmville Herald, he said he wanted to clarify his stance.

Explaining that in the letter, he wrote about supervisors not going with the low bid for the upcoming real estate tax reassessment, Sears offered, “My attitude was I've always understood that you go out for bid to get the lowest bid.”

Offering that maybe something happened that was reasonable in that particular situation, Sears shared that regardless of whether a department head is elected or hired, they should be running their department in the most fiscally responsible manner.

He added that if a department head was not doing so, that should be addressed because of their responsibility to their employers, which he described as the taxpayers and the board of supervisors.

Likewise, Sears said utilizing local goods and/or services within the county should be considered. “It's only fair to the taxpayers,” he stated.

“My attitude is this, if you want to impose a meals tax, I do not have a problem with it,” stated Sears. “But don't put a tax on me if you are not going to spend the tax money I've given you in a fair and intelligent manner.”