Transparency News, 6/29/2022


June 29, 2022

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state & local news stories


Elena Schlossberg, executive director of the Coalition to Protect Prince William County, announced the recall effort Tuesday. Last summer, landowners along Pageland Lane submitted a request to change the land designation of their properties in the Comprehensive Plan from agricultural zoning to technology zoning. The request on 2,100 acres could pave the way for 27.6 million square feet of data centers, nearly as much data center space as is currently in use or under construction in neighboring Loudoun County, the world’s largest concentration of such facilities. In November, Candland and his wife were among 19 homeowners in the Catharpin Farm Estates neighborhood who filed a Comprehensive Plan Amendment seeking to change the designation of their property as part of the digital gateway.  His decision to join the Comprehensive Plan Amendment application means Candland must recuse himself from votes on any data center proposals along the Pageland Lane corridor. Commonwealth's Attorney Amy Ashworth wrote Candland that “the closer your discussions, considerations and/or votes are to affecting the value of your property, the closer you are to a conflict of interest. Bearing this in mind, I have deliberately taken a cautious approach in my opinions.” Candland has been involved in work sessions involving the Comprehensive Plan and voted to delay a community meeting on the Data Center Opportunity Zone Overlay District in January.

The Roanoke County Board of Supervisors voted to give itself a 5% raise for the upcoming fiscal year at Tuesday’s meeting. Beginning July 1, supervisors will be paid an annual salary of $19,222, up from the current salary of $18,306.91. The increase was previously adopted into the budget, and follows a long precedent of giving the elected officials the same raise as county employees receive, according to board Chairman Paul Mahoney.
The Roanoke Times

Recognition and resolutions were abundant at Tuesday’s board of supervisor’s meeting and so was the county administrator’s comments to criticism of his budget not funding more pay raises to law enforcement. “Lately there has been significant social media chatter about Henry County deputies being denied their Commonwealth of Virginia raises of five percent, effective July 1,” Hall said. “Much of the chatter says the same thing, that Henry County ‘absorbed’ this state money and we aren’t giving it to the deputies. Hall called the allegation “absolutely false.” “The FY22-23 budget, which you have approved and appropriated, includes at least a six percent raise for local law enforcement. This includes the five percent from the Compensation Board,” Hall said. “In fact, the average raise for local law enforcement was 9.6 percent, well above the state mandated five percent. That gap is completely funded by local money. We made this information available to you last month, and we have it available for anyone who wishes to have it.” Last month Sheriff Lane Perry said he took his grievance to Hall’s office with what he considered the Board of Supervisors reneging on a promised salary increase to the employees in his department. “I was told they had nothing further to discuss and to leave,” said Perry to the Board of Supervisors. “I would like to have talked.” Hall responded by saying: “We never said no to anybody” when asked by board members if he refused to meet with Perry. “That’s a lie,” said Perry to the Bulletin outside the meeting room. “It’s bunch of bull.”
Martinsville Bulletin

The trustees overseeing the Jefferson Madison Regional Library face an “uphill battle” if they want to change the organization’s name, director David Plunkett said during Monday’s monthly meeting of the board. Since the request last month that the board review the name, the trustees and library staff have heard from many people about the issue. The 112 comments received so far were compiled into a Google document that now spans 115 pages. Identifying information of those who submitted comments was redacted in the online document.
The Daily Progress