Transparency News, 9/23/21


September 23, 2021
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state & local news stories

The Virginia Board of Local and Regional Jails voted Wednesday to approve an agreement with the governing body of Riverside Regional Jail that would avert decertification of the facility and allow it to continue operating under certain conditions that so far have been kept secret. After a closed-door session of about an hour, during which Riverside officials briefly were allowed inside, the jail board unanimously approved the yet-to-be-finalized agreement. The Riverside Regional Jail Authority will vote on the agreement during its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday. Vernie Francis, the board’s chairperson, declined to release a copy of the agreement after the meeting, saying that until it is signed by both parties, “it’s still in pending litigation at this point.” No lawsuit has been filed. “The board voted on the agreement subject to technical changes that need to be done,” Francis said. “We can’t release anything until it’s signed.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch

How many Pound Town Council members does it take to do official town business? The answer is still being sought, as one Southwest Virginia legislator has sent an opinion request on behalf of town officials to the Virginia attorney general whether two members of a five-member council make a quorum with two council seats unfilled. The request follows a Sept. 14 meeting in which council members Glenn Cantrell and Danny Stanley met to appoint former council member James Pelfrey after Marley Green resigned on Aug. 17. Council member Clifton Cauthorne and Mayor Stacey Carson were absent from that meeting. Tyler Lester, Sen. Todd Pillion’s legislative aide, said Wednesday that some town officials asked Pillion to submit a request for a state attorney general’s opinion on what constitutes a quorum for the council to do business. That request came in the past two weeks, Lester said, and Pillion has filed the request with Attorney General Mark Herring.
Times News

A Pittsylvania County resident begged the county board of supervisors to do away with mask mandates during its meeting Tuesday night. The citizen, Barbara Hancock, had been kicked out of a recent county school board meeting for not wearing a mask properly. Hancock told supervisors she had been removed from a Pittsylvania County School Board meeting on Sept. 14 for not wearing a mask correctly. She said she was being interviewed by a reporter at the time.
Register & Bee
stories from around the country
The  Los Angeles City Council gave final approval to a law that requires a 300-foot buffer around a private residence targeted for demonstration and imposes fines for violators. The council also passed new laws intended to crack down on disruptive behavior at City Hall and forbid visitors from carrying Mace, knives and similar items into city facilities.  City Council President Nury Martinez, whose Sun Valley home has repeatedly been targeted by demonstrators, said Tuesday that the tone of the protests is now “completely out of control.” She also said she’s concerned that violence will break out and that the law over protesting isn’t about “silencing any voices.” Attorneys who focus on First Amendment rights questioned why the council isn’t using existing laws to address trespassing or targeted threats.