Local Government Meeting Notes

Below we will post notes taken by our Government Reporter on meetings held by the Floyd County Board of Supervisors, School Board, Planning Commission and any other public meetings she can find to attend.

 

Floyd County Board of Supervisors April 23rd, 2013

Commonwealth Atty Shortt requested $10,560 from contingency funds for operational expenses for May and June.  Her request was denied.

Dr. Harris appeared before the board:

  • Questioned about $10,000 superintendent’s travel as compared to ~$5,500 for Patrick County superintendent.  PC’s travel budget is specifically for superintendent and Floyd’s is for superintendent and central office staff.  To date only $3,574 has been spent.  Dr. Harris reduced that item for next year.
  • Previously Floyd’s automotive education offerings were for Auto Service which has been discontinued by state.  School now using Perkins (federal) funds to shift to Auto Technology
  • This summer all school staff will be working 4 days, with increased hours (# hours each day not specified).  Closing all buildings on Friday which will save $12,000-$13,000.
  • When Chairman Clinger & Supervisor Yoder met with Dr. Harris and staff on Monday, there was a miscommunication.  Harris thought we were increasing school’s budget by $16,000, actually increased by $66,000 – Dr. Harris will decide which category to put it in (his initial reaction was to ask for another $20,000 so tennis courts could be fixed; supervisors rejected additional request!).  That amount, along with about $250,000 carryover will fund 2% raises.  Working to eliminate carryover and be more precise in budgeting.

Supervisors, after earlier conversation with Sheriff, took additional police car out of budget and returned retention fund of $17,762.  Supervisors will work with sheriff to determine how retention fund will be used

The Board said there will be no tax rate increase this year.  There are a still a few more kinks to be worked out of school’s budget, but the amount has been set.

Floyd County School Board April 22nd, 2013

·         Dr. Harris reported that the supervisors said they do not have the votes for a tax increase.

·         Lots of “polite” derogatory comments from board members about supervisors.

·         Supervisors agreed to add $215,000 back to the current year’s budget (carryover from current year) and $16,000 new money

o   Will move a librarian from Willis or Indian Valley into classroom to replace retiring teacher

o   One librarian will serve both Indian Valley and Willis

o   Guidance secretary at high school will not be replaced, one from somewhere else will be moved into that position

o   Maintenance secretary will be eliminated – I am not sure that position was ever filled

0  Transportation secretary will serve both maintenance and transportation debts.

o   There will be a 2% salary increase for all employees

o   4% employee’s contribution for Virginia Retirement System (VRS) was already in budget as the school was paying it; will be shifted to employees as a “raise” as required by state – no increase in salary from the county will be needed (as they originally requested)

o   Tennis courts will not be repaired – they are stable as of now

o   Reading Recovery will be put back  – will shift other instructional funds to cover the cost.

They made a big point that maintenance is being neglected, and it is.  In my opinion, that is a decision the school board has made, and not a good one.

Floyd Board of Supervisors April 22nd, 2013

·         The Sheriff came, along with many of his deputies, to present the case for his way of using retention funds – no action was taken.

·         Superintendent Dr. Harris came to make his plea for more money for the schools.

·         Mr. Clinger and Mr. Yoder planed to meet with Dr. Harris later that afternoon

 Floyd Board of Supervisors March 26th, 2013

Supervisors budget work sessions will be April 2 and 4 at 7 pm – in my opinion, supervisors need our input – we often have insights that the board lacks.

Apparently some changes have been made to the school’s draft budget, but they are not posted on the school web site.  I have contacted Dan Campbell about getting a copy.

Dr. Harris – Local revenue for schools has been relatively stable for the last 4 years.

6 year road plan – pretty much same as last year.  Most of the road improvement funds for secondary roads have dried up.

New Town Development Project – Supervisors approved resolution authorizing the preparation and filing of grant application.

  • Water/sewer rates will increase, even without the NewTown development project
  • No possibility that project will cost more than has been budgeted

Storm water management

  • voted to send in letter that is required by state indicating that we are “on board” with the process.
  •  Much discussion – some wanted to include in the original letter a statement of our concerns about requirements for private homes and small farms.  Others were okay with a separate letter.  Apparently the state requires specific wording for the letter and some felt that voicing concerns within the letter  would prevent us from getting a one year extension
  • Vote was 3-2 for a separate letter with Clinger and Turman voting no.

Discontinued/abandoned road policies

  • A couple of years ago, county passed a policy that would facilitate communication between parties for and against improvements to abandoned roads
  • An issue between parties at roads 608 and 674  has been taken to court
    • Apparently the judge sent it back to the county for resolution , but our policy is for facilitating communication – not for voicing an opinion, so no action was taken

Floyd County School Board March 13, 2013

The school board voted to send a budget to the supervisors that is over $1,000,000 more than last year.  Major objective is to increase teacher salaries, according to Dr. Harris. The public hearing on the school’s budget will be March 25 at 6:00. The announcement will be in the Roanoke Times and the proposed budget should be on the school web site soon.

Lydenna Martin met with Dr. Harris earlier about a “partnership” of the schools with the Innovation Center.  She listed some services that are needed for the center that could be provided by school personnel (landscaping, snow removal, custodial, IT, etc)in return for either the use of the Innovation Center’s 800 square foot classroom as a classroom for the school’s STEM program or as a contractual
agent. Board recommended Dr. Harris check with the supervisors and the Virginia Department of Education to be sure it is permissible before proceeding with the discussion.

The school system previously held a public hearing for input on their budget and the supervisors held a public hearing for input on the county budget. Only one person spoke against raising taxes at the supervisors hearing and everyone (mostly school personnel) spoke for more money at
the school board hearing. If we want to avoid a tax increase, folks had better plan to speak at the supervisors budget hearing. I see no need to speak at the school board hearing.

Floyd County Board of Supervisors March 12,2013

Several departments and agencies presented budget requests — all were for increases, obviously there will have to be some increases due to electric and fuel costs.

Main item of discussion was the new storm water regulations. Apparently if you disturb more than 1 acre, you have to pay about $3000 for an engineering plan and a $2700 fee to county. In addition, another $400 every year or every 5 years, they aren’t sure which, and an inspection of your
property. According to the discussion, most new homes would come under the proposal with a drain field, driveway, and basement. When you add the $20,000 for septic system (sooner
or later they will be enforcing this), how many young people can afford a new home?

The STORMWATER MANAGEMENT MODEL ORDINANCE is posted online.  To access, go to http://townhall.virginia.gov In the search box, enter: Stormwater Management Model Ordinance

I’m not sure much can be done about this, but this and all the “sustainability” activities, i.e. Agenda 21, really show why we need to get involved and speak out. Very few conservative folks ever speak out unless we are really angry, and then how effective are we?) so the supervisors have no reason to go against what the liberals want.

I sure hope to see many of you at the meeting the 18th. We need to focus on speaking out at the budget hearing and letting the supervisors know our feelings — we need to know what the Planning commission is proposing so we can communicate our feelings to the supervisors.

Floyd County School Board February 13, 2013

School board had great difficulty deciding whether to pay $2975 for dues to National School Board Association.  The money is already in the budget, but they have had some legal expenses that have been costly and there may be more.  After considerable agonizing, a motion was made, reluctantly, to not join.  The motion died for lack of a second.  After more discussion that added no new points, a motion was made to join.  The individual who made the first motion, seconded this one.  (Which side is she on???).  Anyway, it finally passed.    What do they get as members?

  • A magazine
  • Lobbying – just how much lobbying do we need at the federal level?

Student membership is 2027.  There are 159 teachers — that works out to 12.75 students/teacher ratio.  I know the students do not neatly fit in categories, but there can’t be many overcrowded classrooms.

Dr. Harris is concerned because there aren’t a lot of students graduating as potential teachers.   He feels that this year’s graduates started in 2009 when schools started their financial crunch, so they did not go into teaching.   Some schools are offering a $3000 signing bonus for science and math teachers.  In other words, there won’t be a lot of really good teachers available for jobs in Floyd.

Reported on transportation study.    Go to www.floyd.k12.va.us, click on school board tab, click on school board meetings, click on agenda for February 13, click on transportation study; or go to

http://intranet.floyd.k12.va.us/district/schoolboard/agendas-packets/2013%20Agendas/2013-02-13/8a6-Transportation%20Study.pdf

Bought 2 new 65 passenger school buses $78,158 each.

Bank of Floyd Teacher of the Year competition is going forward.

June Bug Center is partnering with schools to provide after school programs.

On Feb. 22, someone from Virginia Department of Education will conduct “Cultural Competency Training” for Floyd County teachers, to help prevent harassment.

Floyd County Board of Supervisors March 12, 2013

  • Decision made to replace compressor in genealogy room at Library because inefficient functioning is causing large increase in electric bill.  Low bid is $2895.  Also received low bid of $4495 to replace other compressor in old part of library but no action taken on that one.  Currently $69,345 unmarked funds in contingency fund
  • Sheriff report – new logo on cars
  • Voted to extend contracts with Robinson, Farmer, Cox, & Associates for Cost Allocation Plan (required to receive social services reimbursements) and Brown Edwards for auditing.  Both will be at same cost as previously
  • Dr. Molly O’Dell, New River Health District Director
  • Of every $1 spent on public health services, Floyd  pays .33
    • John McEnhill, Jacksonville Center
    • Will submit grant request for $5000 for arts programs; requires $5000 local match.
    • If (after budget process) county decides not to match, grant just goes away
      • VDOT – need public hearing for 6 year plan, will be at 7:30 at next supervisor’s evening meeting
      • Dean Gall, Land Policy Task Force presentation – I have copies of handout to distribute at next Tea Party Meeting.  This is something we need to watch.

 

Recommendations by task force for implementation during next 12 months – no action was taken by supervisors

  • Educational newspaper articles about water, farms, and forests prepared by task force
  • Pursue stream gauges through federal/state emergency funding & help locate an unused well for  monitoring
  • Pursue volunteers/interns to do data input of well records for Floyd County Water Database
  • Planning Commission consider suggestions within report to
  • Prevent abuse of family subdivision provision
  • Implement sliding scale provision (limits # of times a parcel can be subdivided)
  • Differentiate between major and minor subdivisions
  • Establish committees to continue water research as well as specify thresholds that safeguard community
  • Return to 7-member planning commission to help with increased workload (extra committees)
  • Establish speaker’s bureau
  • Consult with county attorney about potential water protection ordinance
  • Planning commission & PSA meet together 2X year

3 Responses to Local Government Meeting Notes

  1. Dottie Kirkland says:

    Just a reminder to everyone why smaller government is better. This articles reminds me of the “Sustain”… movement. Careful what liberties we give up.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/07/16/man-disputes-oregon-convictions-illegal-water-use/?test=latestnews

  2. Dennis Wagner says:

    The folks who are getting the free stuff don’t like the folks who are paying for the free stuff, because the folks who are paying for the free stuff can no longer afford to pay for both the free stuff and their own stuff.

    And, the folks who are paying for the free stuff want the free stuff to stop.
    And the folks who are getting the free stuff want even more free stuff on top of the free stuff they are already getting!

    Now…. the people who are forcing the people who pay for the free stuff have told the people who are RECEIVING the free stuff that the people who are PAYING for the free stuff are being mean, prejudiced, and racist.

    So….the people who are GETTING the free stuff have been convinced they need to hate the people who are paying for the free stuff by the people who are forcing some people to pay for their free stuff and giving them the free stuff in the first place.

    We have let the free stuff giving go on for so long that there are now more people getting free stuff than paying for the free stuff.

    Now understand this. All great democracies have committed financial suicide somewhere between 200 and 250 years after being founded. The reason?
    The voters figured out they could vote themselves money from the treasury by electing people who promised to give them money from the treasury in exchange for electing them.

    The United States officially became a Republic in 1776, 231 years ago. The number of people now getting free stuff outnumbers the people paying for the free stuff. We have one chance to change that in 2012.Failure to change that spells the end of the United States as we know it.

    ELECTION 2012 IS COMING

    A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves!

    I’M 100% for PASSING THIS ON !!! Lets Take a Stand!!!

    Borders: Closed!

    Language: English only

    Culture: Constitution, and the Bill of Rights!

    Drug Free: Mandatory Drug Screening before Welfare!

    NO freebies to: Non-Citizens!

    We, the people, are coming.

    The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

    Thomas Jefferson

    This was taken from a post on the republican site

  3. Dennis Wagner says:

    This article was copied by me today and was featured in the Roanoke Star.

    Roanoke City has a new “Sustainability and Outreach Coordinator,” which is also a brand new position. The City recently hired Nell Boyle for that role. Boyle, who used to promote the green building techniques used by Breakell Construction while doing marketing work for that company, is also chair of Roanoke County’s citizen-led RC CLEAR committee.
    That’s the group with ties to ICLEI, (the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) that some say is directly connected to the United Nations and something called Agenda 21 – a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the UN with regards to sustainable development.
    The Roanoke Tea Party and others recently unsuccessfully opposed any connection to ICLEI as the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors voted again to renew its annual membership dues in the organization. Boyle assures that RC CLEAR does not want to tell people where and how to live – it’s simply an educational tool that promotes green living practices like conducting energy audits.
    The ICLEI-provided software allows for “apples to apples,” comparison to other communities that are also working to reduce energy consumption. That’s one major reason Boyle said it’s worth the $1200 a year ICLEI dues. “We are all using the same tool to measure [carbon footprints].”
    In her new position as Sustainability and Outreach Coordinator, working for Ken Cronin, the Director of Sustainability and General Services in Roanoke, Nell Boyle is crafting a plan that includes outreach and the monitoring of city buildings for energy efficiency. A recent report from Virginia Tech’s Sean McGinnis said strides made by the city to reduce its carbon footprint have slipped a bit over the past year, due perhaps to increased vehicle usage as the economy picks back up.
    “We need to stay with the program,” Boyle advises. “Things will fluctuate; that will have some sort of effect on the measurements we are trying to take. At the end of the day we need to drive these numbers down and maybe work a little bit harder. And we need to get more people engaged.” If all residents for example just swapped out five incandescent light bulbs for the compact florescent models, which use much less energy, Roanoke City could meet its goal in the residential sector for energy reduction.
    Just being aware of things like water conservation, changing the thermostat by one degree, turning off lights, recycling, using compact fluorescent light bulbs, “little things like that, the things your grandparents told you about,” said Boyle, although Grandma probably didn’t know much about CFL’s.
    The City of Roanoke has 51 buildings in its inventory; Boyle will attempt to collate data as part of a strategic plan to reduce energy consumption. The city recently accepted the Better Building Challenge and will aim to reduce that energy usage by twenty percent, by the year 2020. “We take that very seriously,” said Boyle, who will forward data to the players that can help make the changes needed.
    Many of the city’s buildings are older, with poor insulation, windows that need replacing and inefficient HVAC systems, so the energy makeover may not be cheap. Work ongoing now at the Roanoke Civic Center may be a “flagship project for us, because there was a lot of work that needed to be done,” said Boyle. The city will go after some of the “low hanging fruit,” like making sure maintenance is performed on a regular basis. That upkeep can translate in to a 10-15 percent energy savings bonus, according to Boyle.
    Social media, business-to-business connections and outreach programs will all be employed by Boyle as she carves out a brand new position. Developing a cohesive message demonstrating environmental leadership for the city and quality of life benefits associated with going greener are part of the mission statement.
    Sustainability is an economic development factor as well, according to Boyle. “That’s one of the things I’m really excited about.” Roanoke has just recently started to embrace its outdoor amenities as an economic asset; Boyle sees sustainability issues tying right in, “caring for those resources so they’ll be here over time.”
    Boyle said the city should release the latest data soon from the original 12 companies that were part of the Clean & Green Business Coalition – firms that pledged early on to reduce energy consumption. In that program’s second year they saved 1.2 million dollars in energy costs, according to Boyle, who uses them as an example when talking to other businesses in the city.
    There is help for people that want to reduce their energy consumption; information is available on the saveaton.org website and Facebook page. RC CLEAR and the city’s Clean & Green committee, another ICLEI affiliate, helped put together the Save A Ton campaign, designed to show valley residents how they can reduce their carbon emissions or greenhouse gases by one cubic ton a year.
    The Salem-based Café 2 program also provides discounted energy audits. RC CLEAR sponsored a series of free energy audits for local homeowners and businesses over the past year.

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