By. Kara L. Reese, Greene County Field Officer
October 14, 2008
2009 Legislative Agenda – Approved
Request to form a Regional Jail Authority- Deferred until November, 18 2008.
Public Hearing to consider the addition of Chapter 38 Article IV Nuisances to the Greene County Code – Tabled in favor of pursuing a barking dog ordinance
Public Hearing to consider the addition of Chapter 38 Article V Abandoned Vehicles to the Greene County Code – Approved
County-wide Cost Saving Measures – Approved
Call to Order
Holiday Board Meeting Schedule Announced:
- November 18, 2008
- December 9, 2008
I. Presentation of Employee Service Awards.
Service Awards were presented to County employees including: Stephen P. Borders, Gary M. Carpenter, James A. Donahue, Susan B. Rankin, Charles T. Swingler and Sean P. Sellari.
II. Quarterly Meeting with VDOT Resident Administrator
VDOT reported the following changes:
· The 6 year plan needs to be amended if the county wishes to widen Bull Yearling Road to allow for the school bus to go down it.
· VDOT stated that it had found a way to qualify Sims Road for the Rural Rustic Road Program. It should be added to the 6 year plan.
· Authorization has been given for the County to advertise for the road to the park. The Board asked that VDOT verify that funding was available in writing.
· VDOT will be looking at Rosebrook Road to see if it qualifies for improvements.
The 6 year plan will be revised in January or February with the vote to approve occurring in either March or April.
D. Frye expressed his enthusiasm over the approval of Sims Road as a Rural Rustic Road.
R. Marshall is happy that VDOT has determined that Sims Roadmeets the Rustic Road Guidelines. He feels frustrated that it took so long for it to be recognized as a candidate for Rural Rustic and believes that is should be given priority now that it has been approved by VDOT.
Two citizens spoke against the paving of Middlebrook Road. They also sought clarification of what it means if it is on the 6 year plan.
J. Bullock spoke in favor of paving Middlebrook Road. He lives near the end of the road. He suggested that the road only be paved from Hidden Lane to the end of the road. This would allow residents at the end of the road to get out in inclement weather. He felt that the first ¼ of a mile where most residents who are opposed to the paving live is in good enough condition it could be left unpaved.
IV. Presentation of 2009 Legislative Program
David Blount, Greene County’s Legislative Liaison provided a brief overview of the 2009 Legislative Agenda. He addressed each of the agenda’s five major points in turn.
· State and Local Funding Obligations
The plan calls for no unfunded mandates and requests that the state stop shifting costs to the Counties.
· Land Use and Growth Management
The agenda addresses the proposed proffer and impact fee legislation. It also seeks additional funding sources for counties.
· Transportation Funding
The agenda includes seeking more funding for transportation and requests that the Commonwealth not transfer responsibility for transportation funding to localities.
· Comprehensive Services Act (CSA)
The agenda stresses that this is suppose to be a partnership between the state and localities. It seeks increased funding for CSA from the state and a cap on required locality spending.
· Public Education
The agenda seeks increases for teacher salaries. It also requests that the state stop shifting SOQ costs to localities.
Comments from the Board
S. Catalano asked if there had been any results from the Board Meeting attended by Hanger and Bell.
D. Blount responded that he had not heard of anything yet.
J. Allen commended that she thought that meeting went well. Points were made without any real threats.
C. Schmitt felt that the speakers had done their homework. He reminded the Board that the Legislative Lunch was next week. He went on to explain his belief that the current budget pressures could be used to help push forward with unfunded mandates. He also asked if we could get legislation in Virginia that says if the state doesn’t fund it they can’t mandate it.
S. Catalano stated that he loves the legislative agenda the way it is. He believes it contains attainable goals.
J. Allen thinks this is one of the best agendas she’s seen. She likes that it has been reduced to a few main points.
Vote: C. Schmidt moved to approve the 2009 TJPD legislative program. J. Allen seconded the motion. It passed by a unanimous vote.
V. Creation of a Central Virginia Regional Jail Authority and other related matters
R. Maupin, Attorney for jail spoke on behalf of the Jail Superintendant. The jail isseeking to expand. The Superintendant believes that the most cost effective way to do this is by creating a Regional Jail Authority. The Authority would be able to issue its own bonds. By doing this, the localities would not have issue the bonds against their own credit ratings. The expected cost of the expansion is $10 million which should equate to 200 additional beds. The creation of the Authority will also allow them to apply for an exemption.
The Jail Superintendant also spoke briefly stating that at current growth rates the jail no longer is able to sell beds for federal prisoners which are a good source of revenue.
L. Estes, Greene’s representative on the Jail Board stated that he feels that authority is a good idea.
Comments from the Board:
B. Peyton asked whether the expansion is to house local prisoners or to house federal prisoners. Applicant responded that the expansion is necessary to house local prisoners; however, it will also permit the housing of federal prisoners.
C. Schmidt asked about what exemption they needed? Applicant responded that they will need to apply for an exemption from the State’s moratorium on construction. There is also a second exemption issue regarding the portion of federal recovery money the State collects.
M. Skeans asked whether the expansion would cost the County more to run. Applicant answered that the State will pick up increases in salaries.
B. Peyton pointed out that there were blanks in the proposals and asked why. Applicant responded that they did not have the cost estimate at the time the documents were written.
S. Catalano inquired when the deadline for was for forming the Authority. Applicant responded that it was December of 2008. S. Catalano requested a copy of the resolution with all the blanks filled in.
The Board agreed by consensus to defer a decision to November 18, 2008.
VI. Public Hearing to consider amending the Greene County Code by adding a Nuisance Ordinance.
The County Attorney provided the report on this ordinance. He noted that this nuisance abatement ordinance tracks what is authorized by State law. He wrote this to show the Board the type of thing they can do with a nuisance ordinance. He states that there is nothing in the State code addressing barking dogs. He does not believe you can effectively legislate against those kinds of issues. The Board should recognize that the law does not answer every wrong in a society.
Comments from the Board:
J. Allen stated that she wants a nuisance ordinance to deal with things like a potbellied pig digging up someone’s dahlias, people parking in other people’s driveways, and barking dogs. She believes that inclusion of the word vexed would include barking dogs. A general discussion about the term vexed and where it came from ensued.
B. Peyton was concerned about who and how such an ordinance would be enforced.
Thomas Miller addressed the Board regarding a dispute he is having with his neighbor over their dogs. He stated that the dogs bark constantly. Both he and the Sherriff have approached the neighbor about the dogs to no avail. He also stated that he had sent a “neighborly letter” regarding the barking dogs and even offered to purchase a barking deterrent.
Sherriff Haas stated he didn’t believe he could enforce the ordinance as written and proposed that the Board consider a barking dog ordinance like the one in Virginia Beach.
A motion was made to table the nuisance ordinance in favor a barking dog ordinance. The motion was unanimously approved.
VII. Public Hearing to consider amending the Greene County Code by adding an Abandoned Vehicle Ordinance.
The county needs this ordinance to allow them to remove abandoned vehicles from the street and public areas. Staff also requested that the numbering of the paragraphs be changed in one place. The County Attorney pointed out the cause of action in this instance is against the vehicle.
Public Comment: None
Comment from the Board:
C. Schmittasked what would the county do with the cars? Staff answered that they would be auctioned off.
J. Allen moved to approve the ordinance with changes to the numbering of the paragraphs. The ordinance passed unanimously.
VIII. Matters from the Pubic
A. Lamb provided petition opposing the closure of the dental clinic.
IX. Consent agenda – approved unanimously
X. Other Matters from the Board
1. County-wide Cost Saving Measures
S. Catalano read from proposed memo to County Staff taking the following cost cutting measures:
· Implementation of a hiring freeze
· Replacement of retiring employees will be evaluated on a case by case basis
· Elimination of take home vehicles except for the Sherriff’s office
· Elimination of all travel to conferences except of mandatory training by Sherriff’s deputies.
· Exploration of other methods of efficiency
J. Allen suggested that the Board approach staff to determine if they had any suggestions on cutting costs as well.
A motion was made that the proposed memo be distributed to staff. The motion was unanimously approved.
2. C. Schmitt gave his liaison reports. He noted that participation in parks and recreation programs had increased. He also proposed that the County have an energy audit. The audit itself is free. In some instances energy savings can cover the cost of any necessary changes.
9:25 pm Public Meeting Adjourned – The Board went into executive session.