Transparency News 7/12/19



July 12, 2019


Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


state & local news stories


"When asked what the town wants the residents . . . about what transpired Wednesday, Carter said: 'The answer is there will be another election.'”

Amherst Town Council voted 4-1 to expel one of its newest members, Janice Wheaton, following a closed session Wednesday night and several tense moments in recent meetings. A newcomer to Amherst town government, she has voiced frustrations with her role in the town’s decision-making in recent meetings, claiming she felt cut down and rendered ineffective. Mayor Dwayne Tuggle in an email immediately following the meeting said he isn’t commenting on the matter and deferred questions to Town Manager Sara Carter. Carter said council members would not be commenting on the matter. When asked what the town wants the residents who backed Wheaton to know about what transpired Wednesday, Carter said: “The answer is there will be another election.”
The News & Advance

Virginia Del. Nick Freitas, R-Culpeper, will have to wait a little longer to find out if he’ll be on the ballot in November after the State Board of Elections said it needs more time to get legal advice on how to handle multiple Freitas candidacy forms that were filed late. In addition to his missing certification from the party, the Freitas campaign itself failed to file a required candidacy document under the timeline laid out in state law. After going into closed session for 50 minutes, the elections board said it needed more time to confer with state lawyers before deciding the Freitas case.
Richmond Times-Dispatch

Hampton Roads' public radio station, WHRO, soon will have a news department — and a director to lead it. Rebecca Feldhaus Adams, a Kentucky native, has worked in public radio in Kentucky, Boston and most recently in Washington, D.C. In an interview this week — edited for length — she explained that she's coming to live in Virginia Beach for her spouse's doctoral program. She also discussed how she'll tackle the station's new initiative starting July 29.

Between lawmakers’ daily allowances and costs to reimburse the mileage it took them to get to Richmond, the General Assembly’s 90-minute special session on guns cost taxpayers nearly $45,000. Senators and delegates left the Capitol Tuesday with no action on any legislation and a promise to have a bipartisan crime commission study gun violence prevention proposals instead. In addition to covering costs for legislators, Virginia Capitol Police spokesman Joe Macenka said eight officers started their shifts early and six started late Tuesday to account for the larger-than-usual — for a Tuesday, anyway — crowd assembling inside and on the grounds. That resulted in about four hours of overtime for each officer. House Clerk Paul Nardo said in an email that legislative aides aren’t paid during special sessions, and the food made available to legislators at lunchtime — they can use their per diem to pay for it — isn’t an extra cost, because the clerk’s office contracts with the Capitol cafe and cafeteria to provide that food to visitors and employees anyway. Legislative staff are working regardless of whether legislators are in session.
The Virginian-Pilot


editorials & columns

quote_3.jpg"Whether it’s Amazon or some other large company — we urge the city to be as open as possible about this proposal."

Speculation is rife that online selling behemoth Amazon plans to build a fulfillment center in North Suffolk on Northgate Commerce Parkway.  The available clues match. Unfortunately, assuming the company can get approval from the Corps of Engineers to disturb about nine acres of wetlands that drain into Bennett’s Creek, there will be little public say in this project. There will be no public notice. No public hearings. And no way for those most accountable to the voters to stop the project if they do not feel it is in the best interest of the city. The development would require site plan approval and building plan permit approval, but those are done administratively. No matter who the hopeful user is — whether it’s Amazon or some other large company — we urge the city to be as open as possible about this proposal.
Suffolk News-Herald