Snoddy Remains Chair

Published 2:23 pm Thursday, January 17, 2013

BUCKINGHAM – On January 14, during its annual reorganization, the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors re-elected I. Monroe Snoddy as its chair and Danny Allen as vice chair.

Following motions by Supervisor Bill Talbert and seconds by Supervisor Cassandra Stish, the board offered its full support on both nominations, although Snoddy abstained from the vote for his nomination.

Snoddy, who represents District 1, which includes the New Canton and Georgia Creek precincts, served as chair during 2012. He also served as chair in 2010 and 2009, in addition to three consecutive terms beginning in 2000.

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He told his fellow board members, “I appreciate your confidence.” Snoddy added, “We've got a lot of business to do this year and I hope that we can all work together for Buckingham County.”

This will be Allen's second term as vice chair. He represents District 7, Gold Hill Precinct.

Continuing with the reorganization, the board moved on to its by-laws and rules of procedures.

Prior to any discussion, Talbert moved that the board would no longer appoint two supervisors to serve on the finance committee.

His motion included that the finance committee would include the county administrator, assistant county administrator, and chair of the board of supervisors.

Talbert added that all issues that the finance committee deemed necessary would be brought to the full board.

Supervisor Joe Chambers followed with a second. The successful motion drew a four to three count with Snoddy, Talbert, Chambers, and Allen voting yes; and, Supervisors Stish, John Staton, and Donnie Bryan voting no.

Stish requested that rather than the board packets being distributed “at least four days before each regular meeting” as stated in the current by-laws and rules of procedures, the time-period be changed to four business days.

She questioned, “Is that possible or would that place too much strain on the staff?”

County Administrator Rebecca Carter explained that the difficult part would be getting all the necessary information together, including invoices, that close to the first of the month.

Stish explained that she would like to have several days to read over the packet, digest the information, research any issues that might come up, and talk with other board members.

Carter offered, “We can certainly try.” She added that she would also check on some of the deadlines required of other departments/agencies for providing information to her office.

In turn, Stish said that perhaps they could go with “attempt” to distribute the board packets to supervisors “at least four business days before each regular meeting.”

Continuing, Stish moved that the board's remaining committees-personnel, and utilities-stay as they are.

Almost simultaneously, Talbert moved that Joe Chambers be on the personnel committee. He noted that he and Chambers served on that committee for six or seven years.

Responding, Stish reminded Talbert that she was in the process of making a motion.

She continued with her motion, which in turn Talbert tried to amend to include appointing Chambers to the personnel committee. Conversely, Stish responded, “That would be a change.”

Subsequently, Stish's motion failed on a three to four count with Stish, Staton, and Bryan voting yes; and Snoddy, Talbert, Chambers, and Allen voting no.

Then, Talbert moved that Chambers serve on the personnel committee. Likewise, that motion failed three to four with Talbert, Chambers and Snoddy voting yes and Stish, Staton, Bryan and Allen voting no.

Leading with the next motion, Allen moved that Talbert be appointed to the personnel committee. That successful motion drew another four to three count with Allen, Talbert, Chambers and Snoddy voting yes, and Stish, Staton and Bryan voting no.

Stish then moved to appoint Bryan to the personnel committee. The motion passed six to one, with Chambers casting the lone vote of opposition.

Without any further discussion on the bylaws and rules of procedures, the board unanimously agreed to approve them as amended.


Supervisor Staton announced that he and Supervisor Bryan would be hosting a Town Hall Meeting for the citizens of Buckingham County on Thursday, January 17, 7 p.m., in the room where they were meeting-the Peter Francisco Auditorium of the County Administration Building.

“All who would like to hear more about the county or what we see is coming are welcome to attend,” invited Staton.

On Wednesday evening, with reports of inclement weather on Thursday evening, Staton postponed the meeting to Thursday, January 24, same time and place as long as the auditorium is available.

Public Comment Segment

District 3 resident Marie Flowers asked the board to consider adopting a resolution to submit to the state legislature stating that the board supports the ban on uranium mining.

“I know there are a lot of good reasons to have it but I have thought a lot about it and nobody can control Mother Nature,” said Flowers.

When Carol Duncan went to the podium, she addressed the board about the proposed VDOT project for Route 20 and Route 631.

She explained that 15 years ago she came before the board concerning the way VDOT wanted to reroute 631 at that time. “I fought very hard to get the road where it is,” stated Duncan, noting that project took over one acre of their property.

She said she could not understand the need for the proposed project because VDOT did the other project in 1998 and brought it up to state standards. Duncan shared that she intends to oppose the proposed project and plans to contact state legislators about her opposition.

“We lost the most land on that road…And now they want to take even more,” she stated.

Pete Kapuscinski, District 3, spoke on the new state mandates for localities regarding the treatment of storm water and sewage runoff.

Talking about the cost of another unfunded mandate handed down by state representatives to localities, he expressed concern about the potential cost for this mandate on county taxpayers.

Noting the rumors and speculations about that cost and the regulations/restrictions regarding the issue, Kapuscinski requested the board of supervisors host a public information meeting on the subject and invite experts “to tell us exactly what this is all about.”

Kapuscinski outlined some of the issues that he said needed to be addressed including what is required of those who are building new homes; and, what will be required of those who have built homes and are successfully using approved septic systems.

Additionally, he asked that the information include when taxpayers in Buckingham would see the effect of the county's plan and decisions; and, the suggested cost to the county and its taxpayers as well as what the cost includes.

Continuing, Kapuscinski stated, “Number five, does this edict have a termination, especially since it relates to cleaning up the bay, which by the way is cleaner now than it has been even without this action.”

He added, “And, last, why isn't it enough to have the entire matter handled by our existing board of health since we are already paying for that service.”

Kapuscinski concluded by reiterating that the meeting should be separate from the regular board meeting and include “an expert who can detail what all this means in a clear and understandable way.”

Review of Comprehensive Plan and Ordinances

During the public comment segment, Alice Gormus introduced herself as a resident of District 7 and the vice chair of the Buckingham County Planning Commission. She shared her concern about the request made last month by the zoning administrator/planner for a third party review of the county's comprehensive plan, zoning ordinance and subdivision ordinance to ensure they mesh and are not contradictory to one another.

She asked the board to consider all the options and not spend that amount of money at this time. Gormus, offering that she understood the need for the documents to be in agreement and the legal implications if they were not, reiterated that she felt the proposed amount for the review was too much.

Referencing the work the commission has invested in the three documents to update and revise them and bring them in alignment, she offered, “I feel that bringing in somebody else at this time and spending, the paper said $7,500, is a ridiculous amount.”

Later in the meeting, Zoning Administrator/Planner Rebecca Cobb advised supervisors that after making the request for the review last month, she reached out to three businesses and requested quotes for the associated cost of reviewing the documents.

Noting that she, the board, and the planning commission have been working diligently revising, updating, and aligning the documents, Cobb explained that she thought it would be a good idea to bring a “new party” in to have a fresh look at the documents “to see things we may have missed.”

Cobb said two of the three parties she contacted for quotes have joined forces and submitted a quote to review the documents for a cost “not to exceed $8,000.”

According to the proposal, the two would review, analyze and critique the documents as well as assess their clarity, completeness, and ease of use indices, and, where appropriate, recommend remedial actions.

Their scope of services to meet those points would include an initial review and analysis of the documents, a workshop with county staff, supervisors, and commissioners to seek their input and insight regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the documents. Moreover, at the same workshop or through a separate workshop that same day, they would seek input from county residents.

Subsequently, the two would generate a preliminary report on their findings and, if needed, work with the county staff, before presenting their final diagnostic report, which they would review with supervisors and commissioners at a joint public meeting.

Cobb explained that when she brought the subject of the possibility of seeking a review to the planning commission some months ago, she did not have any response that was negative.

A former commissioner, Stish noted the “good service” of the planning commission and the time commissioners have spent working on the documents.

She shared that she would like to see the proposal go to the planning commission for its assessment and subsequent recommendation on whether to proceed with the review or not.

Continuing, Stish moved to do so and drew a unanimous vote from the board to that effect.