Dillwyn board questions attorney’s services

Published 4:27 pm Tuesday, December 1, 2015

By Jordan Miles

The Farmville Herald

Discussion of a business representative for the Dillwyn Town Council has prompted a council member to suggest that a new attorney may be needed to represent the town.

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The discussion about longtime town attorney J. Robert “Bobby” Snoddy III took place during the council’s November meeting.

The potential town charter change to accommodate the proposed business representative rekindled the discussion of a previously proposed charter change, which the council adopted over a year ago.

The change would move the election for town council members from May to November if approved by the Virginia General Assembly.

Though the charter has not been officially amended by the General Assembly, the town has been holding elections in November for six years.

According to County Registrar Margaret Thomas, the last May election for town council members and the mayor was in 2008, and the first November election was held in 2009.

The charter change has been on the council’s monthly agenda since April 2014. “If he’s not got time to do it or he doesn’t want to do it, maybe the town council needs to find another attorney,” council member Karen Moss said of the charter changes, calling the issue the “elephant in the room.”

“Bobby has not gotten around to doing the charter,” council member Sandra Moss said. “Is he going to handle it?”

Town Clerk and Treasurer Peggy Johnson said that the town pays Snoddy based on services performed and that he is not on retainer for the town. Mayor Linda Venable Paige said Snoddy rarely bills the town for services.

“I mean, what the heck?” council member Melissa Louis Wallace said. She called it “ridiculous” that the earlier charter change hadn’t been resolved.

“He would prefer we do it ourselves,” Moss said of the change.

“It has to be submitted by an attorney” to the state legislature, Johnson said.

“How many times do we have to try?” asked council member Tora Jones. “I mean, this is really frustrating. This has been on our agenda for how long? … That’s not professional to me. I don’t get it.”

Karen Moss said the election charter change had been on the agenda for some time.

“We’re doing it,” Paige said of the election change from May to November. “We changed from voting for the town council members from May to November. We’re doing it. The General Assembly just needs to be notified. We’re doing it.”

Karen Moss called the lack of attention to the requested change unprofessional.

Said Paige: “I would be more concerned if it was something we were waiting to do that he hasn’t done. We’re already doing it.”

“My concern is what’s going to happen when it’s something that we need right now and we can’t get it done,” Karen Moss said.

According to the state’s legislative information system, the last time the charter was amended was in 1952.

Snoddy couldn’t be reached for comment.