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Board takes action on sludge, vicious dogs, but delays decision on members' terms
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Date published: 7/14/2004
Westmoreland County supervisors have agreed on new controls for sludge and vicious dogs, but not on staggered terms for themselves.
The supervisors adopted ordinances Monday to monitor the spreading of sludge on county cropland and to control dogs designated as dangerous by an animal-control officer.
But a second month of discussion about staggered terms for supervisors, all of whom are now elected at the same time, failed to persuade Supervisors Felix B. Redmond and W.W. Hynson.
Supervisors John B. Maguire and Darryl E. Fisher said staggered terms would help preserve board knowledge of county issues and policies.
"Going to staggered terms would prevent the possibility of all five seats turning over at the same time," Fisher said.
"Five greenies elected to the board could lead to no institutional memory," said Maguire. "Now is the time to enact an ordinance for staggered terms."
County Attorney Gordon A. Wilkins said the supervisors must enact an ordinance to enable staggered terms, which would begin immediately after a general election.
Wilkins said state law specifies that the county Electoral Board draw lots on the day after the election to allow a majority of board members to serve four-year terms and a minority to serve two-year terms.
Thereafter, either two or three Westmoreland supervisors would be elected to full terms every two years.
"I'm not comfortable with it," Redmond said.
"I'm just not excited about it," Hynson said.
Their uneasiness caused Chairman Robert J. Wittman to postpone additional discussions until another meeting.
Westmoreland's adoption of a sludge-monitoring ordinance makes it the 16th Virginia county to do so, said C.M. Sawyer of the Virginia Department of Health's Division of Wastewater Engineering.
In 2003, Sawyer said, 6,000 dry tons of treated sewage were applied in Westmoreland County, where 15,000 acres of cropland are permitted to receive it.
The new ordinance will allow the county to receive at least $2.50 per ton to cover the expenses of a county biosolids monitor.
The monitor will receive notifications of sludge applications, make sure they conform to state and federal rules and respond to residents' concerns about the controversial practice.
In other business, supervisors:
Rejected a $70,000 bid for new entrances and parking at James Monroe's birthplace because the bid exceeded the $46,600 budgeted for the project.
Voted, subject to approval by the U.S. Department of Justice, to move voting places in Colonial Beach and Hague and to create a central absentee-voter precinct.
Renewed a four-year employment agreement with Norm Risavi, who has served as county administrator since 1993.
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