Council prepares to change guard

Published 2:25 pm Monday, December 17, 2018

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New mayor, members will step up next month


The meeting of the Windsor Town Council on Tuesday could be described as bittersweet. Both Mayor Carita Richardson and N. Macon Edwards III had announced earlier this year she would not seek re-election. Council members Patty Flemming and Tony Ambrose lost their places in the November elections.

“I can’t wait til you’re seated up her next month,” the mayor told her successor, Glyn T. Willis. That remark included new council members George L. Stubbs, Kelly G. Blankenship and J. Randy Carr, all who were in the audience that evening. They will be sworn in before the start of the next meeting, which will be on Tuesday, Jan. 8.

Turning to the business at hand, the one speaker was Dale Scott of the Windsor Volunteer Fire Department

“We thank you for your support for the past 4 to 5 years. This council has supported us 100 percent and we thank you for that. We look forward to next year,” he said. “There’s still work to be done.”

Councilman Walter Bernacki also advocated support, saying, “We need to be diligent for council and citizens. We need to put the pressure on. Don’t let the county act selectively.”

Scott added, “We shouldn’t have to have our hat in hand asking for money to serve our community.”

The mayor suggested that an intergovernmental meeting should include Scott.

Councilman Greg Scott asked if the WVFD’s periodic fundraisers affect its budget. Scott explained that the money raised by dinner sales, etc., goes for future equipment needs. For example, heavy equipment had been recently ordered that cost $780,000-plus; $450,000 was a county contribution.

Speaking of the fire department, Bernacki asked if the polling site could be moved from there to the new town center. Flemming said she had already been approached by the county Board of Elections about using the site. Town Manager Michael Stallings said he also had made contact earlier with the panel, which has given its blessing. He’ll continue to push for confirmation on the matter.

Asked if voting and other activities could occur simultaneously, Stallings confirmed that polling could be done in the meeting room while something else is happening in another part of the building.

Concerning the budget, Vice Mayor Durwood Scott asked about money that comes in from the town police department.

Chief Rodney Riddle said that the number of tickets does not correlate with the money collected.

“Collection is not a function of the police,” he said.

Stallings confirmed what the chief said that the police budget is not linked to traffic fines. He added that the police force’s goal is safety, not revenue.

The mayor said she was asked by a resident about a large pontoon boat in a neighbor’s yard, wondering if it could be moved. But the ordinance on the books governs campers not boats. After discussion, the council agreed to send the matter to the Planning Commission for study.

In his report, Stallings asked for — and unanimously received — approval of an appropriation of donated funds, including $1,000, was approved for the police to use in the annual toy drive.

Stallings said he continues to reach out to Norfolk Southern regarding work that needs to be done on the railroad. As yet, there’s been no reply to his multiple calls, he said.

All present were reminded of the annual Pre-Legislative Breakfast scheduled for Thursday in the Smithfield Center.

Finally, the mayor said gave a review of her years in office.

“In the 8-1/2 years, I’ve been blessed to have the support of the community and tThe wonderful staff we have. Michael and I started out new together. He’s just been wonderful. Very bright. Very talented. He has to do so many things and do them well. These things have made being a mayor a pleasure.”

Richardson also praised a great council, adding that the things they’ve accomplished “are not because of me, but with council … it’s been a real honor for me to do this [serving as mayor.]”