New town council ready to roll

TOWN AND COUNTY BUSINESS

New town council ready to roll

As June draws to a close and a new month begins, local government officials aren’t slacking during summertime.

On Thursday morning, the newly elected town mayor, Mike Olinger, and new councilmen will be sworn in. New to council are Jon Russell, Keith Price and Pranas Rimeikis although Rimeikis is no stranger to Culpeper’s town council. He served two terms as mayor and has been chairing the town’s parking authority committee.

Billy Yowell was re-elected to serve another term. Bobby Ryan, Frank Reaves, Jr. and Dave Lochridge make up the other members with one seat to be filled.

The procedure for filling that vacancy is going to be discussed at a special meeting of the town council to be held Tuesday, July 1, at 5 p.m.

Historically, council has looked to the candidate with the next highest votes during the election. That would be Ben Phillips. However, Phillips alliance with Chip Coleman (former mayor) in the firing of former town manager Kim Alexander makes him not a likely candidate. Given the recent furor over the social media distribution of phone texts related to a case that Alexander has against Coleman (many of those with Phillips), it’s unlikely that Phillips would accept even if offered the position. Votewise, next in line would be Hank Milans III.

Speaking of Alexander. Her $25,000 case against Coleman in Culpeper’s General District Court has now been moved to September. Alexander was fired in January 2013 and filed her case roughly a year later in January 2014 claiming damages related to disparaging remarks Coleman allegedly made regarding her professional reputation.

Alexander, who had reportedly been running a retail store in Harrisonburg, has a new job.

On July 1, she starts as the City Manager for the City of Manassas Park at a salary of $150,000. Her employment agreement was approved at their meeting in May.

Other matters that the new council will consider include: Review and Approval of Council Rules of Procedure, Ratification of Mayorâ??s Committee Appointments, Mayorâ??s assignments of Council representatives on Authorities, Boards & Commissions, Election of Vice Mayor, Setting Council Retreat Date, Friday Memo, Council Membersâ?? Interaction with Town Attorney and Department Heads, and Council Emails.

July 1 is also the day that the county will hold a second public hearing on the proposed changes to the county’s noise and nuisance ordinance. It starts at 7 p.m. at 302 N. Main Street.

Major changes to the current ordinance include stiffer penalties and does not exclude jail time.

Citizens can bypass calling in the sheriff or zoning administrator and go directly to the magistrate where a summons could be issued.

Removing the requirement of a warning is troublesome for many.