Meeting time remains unchanged

Published 12:27 pm Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Charlotte County Board of Supervisors will continue to meet on the second Tuesday of each month at 1:30 p.m. in the Charlotte County Administrator’s Building for 2018.

Kay Pierantoni

Originally, Red House/ Cullen Supervisor Dr. Nancy Carwile made a motion to continue the meeting times on the second Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

Wylliesburg/Red Oak Supervisor Kay Pierantoni made a substitute motion to move the meeting time to 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday. However, the substitute motion did not pass.

“Our people, 819 people, spoke in July of 2016, and they have not been heard,” said Pierantoni. She said the surrounding counties meet at 7 p.m.

“So the excuses that have been made in the past are null and void,” Pierantoni said. “The fact of overtime, the fact of (Virginia Department of Transportation) coming, again, all the surrounding counties manage that, and they manage that because a 7 p.m. meeting opens it up for the citizens.”

She said during her campaign, many citizens asked for meetings.

“I had a community meeting in December, and I asked the people in that room what their concerns were, and the first concern was to have a meeting at a time they could attend,” she said.

Dr. Nancy Carwile

Pierantoni said while they may not attend an evening meeting, the option is still there.

“If this board continues to ignore the will of the people, I think that sets a very sad state of affairs,” she said.

Aspen/Phenix Supervisor Donna Fore said she too heard the same complaint when she was visiting individuals in her district during her campaign.

She said the citizens wanted to be involved with the county government at a time that suited their schedules. She said 7 p.m. was a common time she heard.

“I concur with Mrs. Pierantoni that (this) would open up this forum to more representation (and) more involvement by the people, and that’s what they desire…” Fore said.

Drakes Branch Supervisor Garland H. Hamlett Jr. suggested as a compromise to have a second meeting at night. He said it would give the citizens an opportunity to attend.

Pierantoni said having two meetings may cause controversy and only one meeting each month was needed.

“I think we owe it as elected officials to hear the will of the people,” she said.

Chairman Gary Walker said the board has met at various times in the past, and the same crowd continues to show up at all meetings.

“We haven’t had an influx of people when we met at night … you’re requiring our staff and other people to come out,” he said.

He said overtime or comp time would have to be utilized if the meeting was held at night.

“To look at it from the financial aspect, you need to consider that,” he said.

Carwile said public hearings are typically held at night.

“Now, I do think that we can do more about putting our minutes online,” she said.

She said while the auditory part of the minutes does appear online, perhaps the county should explore videotaping the minutes so the public can see faces and see what’s going on.

“For example, we just had a show of hands for a vote. Well, a show of hands doesn’t show up on a tape recording,” Carwile said.

She said she does think hearings should continue to be held at night.

“Again, I ask each of you to search deep in your heart,” Pierantoni said. “I don’t care that it’s been tried before. I ask you to search deep in your heart and be willing then to answer to your constituents as to why you would not give it a try.”

She said participation was important.