Board Night Meeting

Board Room
600 North Main Street
Woodstock, VA 22664



February 28, 2017

            A regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors was held at 7:00 p.m. in the Board Meeting Room, 600 North Main Street, Woodstock, Virginia, on February 28, 2017. The following members of the Board of Supervisors were present:  Chairman Conrad A. Helsley, Vice Chairman Richard Walker, Steve Baker, Marsha Shruntz, Cindy Bailey and Dick Neese.   Others present included County Administrator Mary T. Price, Assistant County Administrator Evan Vass, County Attorney Jason Ham and Deputy Clerk Chris Sherman.

Chairman Helsley called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

Vice Chairman Walker advised that the County Attorney has determined that the vote taken to appoint a new Chairman to the Board of Supervisors at the February 16 School Board Joint Meeting was invalid and that Conrad Helsley will continue as Chairman due to the holdover rule regarding officers of public bodies. He said he will investigate why these rules are not universally applied within the state.   He said that he will address the reasons for the action during closing statements and he invited citizens to stay and discuss the action after the meeting adjourns in a Town Hall meeting format.

An invocation was given by Supervisor Neese followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Vice Chairman Walker made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Bailey to approve the February 28, 2017 meeting agenda as presented.    The Motion was approved by a voice vote of 6-0 as follows:     Ayes:    Neese, Shruntz, Bailey, Baker, Helsley and Walker    

PUBLIC COMMENTS (On new business agenda items only) No comments were received. 


            Supervisor Walker made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Baker to approve the Consent Agenda.  The Motion to approve the consent agenda was approved by a voice vote of 6-0 as follows:  Ayes:    Baker, Bailey, Neese, Shruntz, Walker and Helsley. 

  1. Approval of Minutes - January 10, 2017 regular meeting, February 2, 2017 work session and February 14, 2017 regular meeting. 

PUBLIC HEARING(S) - No public hearing was scheduled.   

Chairman Helsley requested bringing forward the Planning Commission item at this time and received no objection.      


  1. Consideration of a Special Use Permit/Level II Home Business for dog training and boarding with Paws Mountain Training and Boarding Center by Marian Windel and Judy Parrish.

Supervisor Baker made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Bailey to approve the SUP/Level II Home Business. The Motion passed by a roll call vote of 6-0 as follows:

Neese                          aye                   Shruntz            aye

Bailey              aye                   Baker               aye

Walker             aye                   Helsley            aye


  1. Mary Price, County Administrator presented the FY2018 Proposed Budget.

Ms. Price delivered a half hour power point presentation showing highlights from the 2016 finances, 2018 proposed expenditures and revenues and 2018 proposed Capital Improvement Projects.

OLD BUSINESS – No old business was scheduled.


  1. Consideration to set a public hearing related to proposed changes to Chapter 146 of the County Code

Supervisor Baker made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Walker to approve March 28 as the public hearing date for changes to Chapter 146.  The Motion was approved by a verbal vote of 6-0 as follows:  Ayes:  Baker, Bailey, Shruntz, Neese, Walker and Helsley.

Vice Chairman Walker said that the changes include increasing the exemption from one acre to five acres and the intent is to increase the computation of net worth excluding five acres to help the senior population meet the income classification.

  1. Consideration of a request to accept a grant for an ambulance replacement in Fiscal Year 2018.

Ms. Price explained that the County received $141,120 for the ambulance replacement, which is 50% of the cost.  She said we are asking for approval of the remaining $82,656 to be  appropriated and budgeted in FY2018.  She said we have to notify the Department of Emergency Management Services by March 1, 2017 to accept the grant and meet the deadline.

Supervisor Shruntz made a Motion, seconded by Supervisor Baker to move this request forward by using the contingency fund.   The Motion was approved by a 6-0 roll call vote as follows:

Vice Chairman Walker asked that the item be included in next year’s CIP discussions.

Neese             aye               Baker           aye

Bailey            aye               Shruntz         aye

Walker            aye               Helsley         aye

PUBLIC COMMENTS (regarding non-agenda items and other matters not previously the subject of a public hearing at this meeting)

Dan Walsh of 211 Manor Drive, Edinburg and President of Parents Alliance for Stronger Schools (PASS) spoke in support of school funding and asked for civility on the board.

Seth Coffman of 4276 Stoney Creek Road, Edinburg criticized members of the board for stooping to low levels and asked them to abandon the current tax base and support full funding of the school division.

Ken Cruise of 121 Madie Byrd Park, Toms Brook criticized those who are criticizing the vote taken on February 16.

Eugenia Kimball of 496 Frenchman Pond Road, Fort Valley spoke on behalf of her six grandchildren, the Democratic Education Committee and as a member of PASS.   She supports school funding.

Bev Harrison of 322 N. Lee Street, Woodstock asked the Board to stop undermining student success and please support school funding.

Dennis Atwood of 24230 Old Valley Pike, Maurertown commended Supervisor Walker for accepting the County Attorney’s ruling regarding the Chairmanship.  He suggested the board consider the rationale for meeting the needs of the Fire and Rescue Department and the School Division

Connie Fravel of 29847 Old Valley Pike, Strasburg said she is not a fan of raising taxes, but because she wants to live in a community with strong schools, adequate Sheriff’s department, trained Fire and Rescue personnel, and well maintained parks she is willing to pay and asked the board members to really listen to their constituents.

Gerald Talley of Cedar Creek did not appreciate the board not upholding their rules about disruptive behavior including applause and cheering.

Michelle Manning of 833 Ox Road, Woodstock urged the board to support the schools budget.

Jon Nateghi-Asli of 2664 Dellinger Acre Road, Edinburg said that we the citizens of Shenandoah County deserve better and condemned the dysfunction and actions of the board in the past especially on February 16.  He urged the board to add a tiebreaker voting member and pass a County Budget that is good for the entire County.

Lynn McKee of 287 Hickory Lane, Fort Valley said that the children of this county are our future and asked the board to please fully fund the FY2018 school budget.

Beth Dirting of 201 Oak Drive, Woodstock is an educator for 25 years and shared a long list of data and certifications she has earned to keep up her teaching degree.  She said this is an example of the list of experience and knowledge you lose when we say good bye to a quality educator.  I encourage you to please fully fund the school budget.

Robert Clark of 967 Fairview Circle, Woodstock supported the idea of a tiebreaker voting member or at large member on the board and suggested the board give up their compensation if they cannot make decisions they were elected to do.

Mark Pierce of 1856 Zion Church Road, Maurertown hoped that the upcoming election will provide new faces.

Holly Huddle of 93 Hickory Lane, Fort Valley supports school funding.

COUNTY ATTORNEY COMMENTS   - No comments were received.


            Supervisor Bailey thanked the citizens for participating in tonight’s meeting. She stated she would not hold up County business regarding the election of a Chairman.  She reminded the audience that the School Division decides how they will spend the money that is allocated to them from the County.  Ms. Bailey proceeded to read a prepared statement concerning the school divisions’ past prioritization and use of funding.

Supervisor Baker expressed sadness regarding the fatality in the house fire in his community several weeks ago.  He reinforced the need for Fire and Rescue assistance in Conicville and the Western Corridor.

Vice Chairman Walker said that Shenandoah County has decreased in population since 2010 and businesses have closed and the median household income has fallen.    He said that we were elected to help solve the problems at hand.  He said the Schools do a wonderful job but the County needs a balance to work together between the seniors with declining income and the lack of youth who go outside the County for jobs.   Concerning the chairmanship issue, he stated that he believed there was a loophole in the common law regarding the appointment of a Chairman and the continuation of his term for this County and that is why the action was taken on February 16.  He said Dr. Helsley is the acting Chairman according the County Attorney, but he was not elected by the board.   Mr. Walker invited the audience to stay after the meeting so he could further explain his actions and the reasons they were taken.

Chairman Helsley announced that the Virginia Secretary of Agriculture Dr. Gooden attended and presented a new local industry, Filibuster Distillery with a $30,000 check to help get their business off the ground.

ADMINISTRATOR’S COMMENTS - No comments were received.                       


CLOSED SESSION(S) – No closed sessions were scheduled.

With no further business to come before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 8:52 p.m.



Conrad A. Helsley, Chairman



Mary T. Price, Clerk of the Board