Braxton Citizens' News, Town Meeting

Council hears concern; Sutton Police Chief resigns

The Sutton Town Council held a meeting on June 9. Council member Beth Atkins was absent.

Mayor JD Hoover opened the meeting by welcoming the new Mexican restaurant, Maria’s, to town. He also noted Main Street Coffee would be opening on June 11 but would be having their official ribbon cutting on June 13 at 1:00 pm.

Council member Jon Crum provided the council with an update on the Farmer’s Market. There will be a Jeep Event held there on July 16. More details will come soon concerning the event. Nik Salvo, Manager, requests that more of the brush be removed from around the stage and the large tree next to the stage will need to be removed. The Market also has received the initial quotes for electrical work but is waiting for another estimate.

Jay Chidester requested the pot holes on his street on Town Hill be addressed.

Poncho White asked about the procedure for businesses to receive their license through the town. He questioned whether or not the town was making sure the new businesses were meeting all state and requirements before opening, specifically if they were handicap accessible. White then asked about the continued water issue on his property. He stated that during heavy rains all of the water comes onto his porch. He also complained about the speeding on Town Hill and not seeing any law enforcement enforcing the stop signs. Chief Shane Boggs noted that he had been working with the deputies to target areas that he was receiving the most complaints from. Another issue is the lack of opportunities for contracting officers for patrols. Currently he is only able to use deputies on their days off and now he is competing with the Corps of Engineer and their dam patrols.

Chief Boggs submitted a letter of resignation to council effective June 15. He stated he felt it best he move on from the police department and thanked council for the opportunity. He also stated he had made his best attempts to move the department forward but unfortunately did not believe the vision was shared with members of the council. He addressed the misinformation that he had cost the town a bunch of money. Chief Boggs discussed the out dated equipment and the use of grants to get the department up to code for any officer that comes into the department. He also noted he had not taken any salary from this town for his work. The town has only paid for the training however he paid for gas going to and from the trainings. He also paid for where he was staying as he traveled and his meals. Chief Boggs went on to say he was tired of the complaints as he was only volunteering his time to help the community but the misinformation was making it difficult to do his job. He noted he also stopped work on his doctorate in law enforcement chaplaincy to volunteer for this job. Chief Boggs ended by wishing the town the best for the police department.

Billy White asked the brush around the stairs going up the hill across the bridge be addressed.

Aaron Sligar asked about having more officers in the town. Drug trafficking is becoming an issue again in town. Business is picking up in the community and law enforcement needs to be addressed.

Steve Facemire informed council they had received a thank you note from a resident on North Fifth Street for the work on completing the issues with the drains.

Mayor Hoover noted the paving should start near the end of June and the fire department will be working on clearing out drains on North Third Street next week.

Municipal Judge Rodney Jamison spoke to council about including contempt of court charges to those who come before the court based on state code. He also spoke about his certification that he would need to complete on August 5 at the Municipal League’s Annual Conference and Judge’s Training. On a motion by Robyn Dolan and a second by Recorder Laurel Petolicchio, council approved to pay for the training with Jon Crum abstaining.

Steve Facemire followed up on the discussion concerning the cardboard at Evan’s. He stated they said they had never been told the cardboard could not be recycled if it was wet and they had been using the same spot for recycling since it had started. He stated they would place the cardboard in the dumpster if needed.

Steve Facemire also stated he had received a phone call concerning an issue with individuals stealing trees and plants out of the planters around town.
Mayor Hoover discussed an email received from Lisa Conant from City National Bank about using the town lot for having a food truck set up a few times throughout the summer. On a motion by Robyn Dolan with a second by Catherine Hoover, the council approved the use of the lot with Jon Crum voting against the motion.

Under regular business, council approved the minutes of the previous meeting on a motion by Catherine Hoover with a second by Robyn Dolan. They also approved the payment of bills as presented on a motion by Robyn Dolan with a second by Jon Crum. Catherine Hoover asked about charges from the post office. It was clarified it was the post office box fee.

The permit for work on Riverview Drive at the property along the river to level the property was approved on a motion by Catherine Hoover with a second by Robyn Dolan.

Council tabled the discussion on the Blue Ridge Risk Partners Proposal until the next meeting on a motion by Catherine Hoover with a second by Jon Crum. Also tabled was the discussion on parking meters on a motion by Recorder Laurel Petolicchio and second by Steve Facemire until more information can be obtained on parts.

Mayor Hoover discussed working on a form letter to go out to individuals for upkeep of property. Judge Jamison noted state code is already in place with fines for town to use without updating ordinances.

The council went into executive session at 7:17 pm to conduct interviews for prospective employees on a motion by Steve Facemire with a second by Jon Crum. Council reconvened at 8:09 pm. Council approved to hire two individuals pending drug tests on a motion by Steve Facemire with a second by Robyn Dolan.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 pm.