Thursday, March 29, 2012

Reporter Wayne Covil of WTVR CH 6 Covers Sussex County Board of Supervisors Meetings

In addition to the great coverage by the Sussex Surry Dispatch Newspaper WVTR TV CH 6 out of Richmond is now following the events in the county, as citizens are tired of the lack of leadership and inability to conduct county business.  Sussex County would like to provide opportunities within 2 Industrial Parks (not 1 but 2) for business to establish a base of operations in the county.  For a county that has a regional landfill, a maximum security prison and numerous small businesses in addition to local and state government employers providing the only job opportunities, new business would be welcomed. HOWEVER the county could roll out the red carpet, line it with gold and still who would want to relocate to a locality that is so dysfunctional.

Unless the board of supervisors draws a line in the sand, settle past differences; leave them in the past and move on to a new day. You just might be reading about a county that’s going bankrupt.

We see and hear in the national political news about bridges and pipelines to nowhere well Sussex County just might be next "A County Going Nowhere".

PLEASE get a copy of the most recent Sussex Surry Dispatch and check out the story from TV 6, linked below should you have missed when it aired.

If you don’t subscribe to the newspaper you might want to consider doing so I hear they are selling like “hotcakes”.

Grassroots effort aims to get Board of Supervisors moving

Posted on: 2:28 pm, March 28, 2012, by Wayne Covil and Nick Dutton, updated on: 06:16pm, March 28, 2012
SUSSEX COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - A grassroots effort is underway to get the Sussex County Board of Supervisors working together.
CBS 6 News’ Wayne Covil reported that the group has been deadlocked in a 3-3 tie on just about everything since three new members joined the board in January.
In fact, the Sussex County Sheriff had to step in twice in less than a week to shut down meetings earlier this month. Sheriff has to shut down Board of Supervisors meeting
Both times, heated arguments have gotten so out of control that he feared the situation could escalate.
“It was just unreal, I have never seen public officials act the way this group acted,” said Sheriff Raymond Bell.
Wayne Covil is in Sussex County talking to several business owners and one supervisor who refused to comment up until now.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

April 5th Meeting...If You Care ... Be THERE!!!

Citizens of Sussex County

Do you know how your tax money is being spent by the Board of Supervisors in the Sussex County?
Do you know that the County of Board of Supervisors is conducting the business of the county in an improper and sometimes illegal manner?
Do you know that two of the current members of the Board did not show for 3 out of 4 scheduled meetings in December, 2011?
Do you know that Board members are compensated over $600 a month for attending the meetings and still received their stipend even though they didn’t attend the meetings?
Do you know that some Board members charge for the mileage to attend the regular scheduled meetings and any other functions within the County?
Do you know that there are multiple votes taken on the same motions, most of the time because they cannot get a majority vote and at other times because a certain vote is desired by some!
If you do not know the answers to these questions – you should.  If you have any interest in how your tax money is being spent (or wasted), please show your interest by attending the next special called meeting on April 5, 2012 at 7:30p.m. at the Sussex County Courthouse.
Thursday, April 5, 2012 – 7:30 p.m.
Sussex County Board of Supervisors Meeting
Sussex County Courthouse

If you care – be there.  Otherwise, be prepared to open your checkbooks to pay out for more taxes.

If your looking for the video clips and pictures from previous meetings check out the previous posts like

  • Another Day in Paradise Lost
  • Wednesday, March 21, 2012

    TV 6 WTVR Richmond VA covers Sussex County Lack of Leadership

    The following story ran on TV Ch 6 WTVR in Richmond. Thanks TV 6 for your help in calling attention to our plight in Sussex County.

    SUSSEX COUNTY, Va (WTVR)–The Sussex County Sheriff has stepped in twice in less than a week to shut down the Board of Supervisors meeting.

    Both times, heated arguments have gotten so out of control that he feared the situation could escalate.
    “It is a travesty, it was shocking, it was appalling” said Cindi Dickerson, who watched Monday night’s meeting derail. “Anyone who hasn’t been needs to come” she added.
    For Sheriff Raymond Bell, last Thursday was the first time he’d ever stepped up to close a meeting.
    “It was just unreal, I have never seen public officials act the way this group acted” he said.
    Debbie Turck and her husband were so shocked, that they started videotaping the meetings and posting them to YouTube, and even started their own blog.
    “It’s basically six people, six men sitting up there, out of control, mainly down to two or three, not able to conduct a meeting in an orderly manner” said Turck.
    For three term Supervisor Eric Fly, the changes came in January when three new members came onto the board. He said that since then “Nothing is getting done in the county.”
    “Our business is not being done,” he said.
    “I have never, in 27 years, in dealing with government, seen anything like this, nothing” said Fly, who also agreed most votes are now split in a three to three tie.
    Alfred Futrell, who came onto the board in January, agreed things have gotten out of hand and his concern is that some board members won’t allow the public to speak during recent meetings
    “The public has got a right to voice their opinions on all the issues,” said Futrell.
    Citizens are now talking about a recall, to remove some board members, after a second meeting was shut down by the sheriff, and there was fall-out over the county attorney.
    Rufus Tyler, the chairman and John Stringfield did not return our calls for this story.
    Charlie Caple, when reached by telephone said, “No Comment.”

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    SHERIFF BELL bats 1000 !

     The Sheriff suspends the special reconvened Board of Supervisors meeting earlier tonight.

    It seems like the Sheriff is the only one who can get something accomplished. The special called meeting held tonight to reconvene the regular board of supervisors meeting from last Thursday night was yet another exercise in futility ending the same way, that is with the Sheriff stopping it before who knows what might have happened.
    The court room was FULL of concerned citizens and they were disappointed, disillusioned, disgusted and downright mad at the inability of our current Board to conduct the business of the county. Bills are going unpaid, resolutions are going unresolved, meetings unattended, critical votes being deadlocked in a 3-3 split and while all this is going on what is NOT going on is the business of the county.
    There are rumblings of recall petitions, but I am afraid that by the time this may occur the damage will already have been done and the county will find itself in a terrible situation. Opportunities lost will never be recovered.
    If our current Board of Supervisors are telling the truth and they really do care about the county and those of us who live here I put forth another possible solution to the problem. It won’t be pretty but then an alcoholic or drug addict coming clean is not a pretty sight either, it is difficult but if successful it is and can be very rewarding. And if it took several thousands of dollars it would be worth it. GET COUNSELING, no not like AAA or a marriage councilor. The entire Board needs to acknowledge they have a problem, that’s the first step, and then they need to be sequestered in an undisclosed location with a specially trained mediator that can help them resolve their problems. After they have come clean then and only then will they be able to get back to doing what we elected them to do and that is run our county. This would be the best money we (the county) ever spent.
    So Mr Tyler, Mr Caple, Mr Fly, Mr Stringfield, Mr Futrell and Mr Warren GET HELP before there is no helping you.

    I was unable to get pictures or video clips from this meeting but I think there are plenty in my previous post to keep you entertained if not sickened. Check out the post ...
  • Another Day in Paradise Lost

  • Saturday, March 17, 2012

    Another Day in Paradise Lost

    There was actually hope for the citizens of Sussex County Thursday night at the Board of Supervisors meeting but it did not take long for reality to take grasp and our trip into purgatory was once again well on its way.
    Towards the end of this post I will give you many links to video clips which will give you a slight insight into the sadness. To get a complete and accurate accounting I incourage you to attend the meetings.
    THE NEXT SCHEDULED MEETING IS MONDAY EVENING 7:00 pm, a continuation of Thursday evening after Sheriff Bell REQUIRED the meeting be recessed and if not he would be forced to arrest some if not the entire board for disordely conduct. More on the later.

    As I said there was some good so I'll start with that.
    County Administrator Thomes E. Harris gave the County Administrator's report which included some incouraging information. A graph was shown that indicated the various Department Heads were doing a good job holding down expenditures as compared t last year. Clearly a indication that at least they were being fiscally responsible with our money. Mr. Harris went on to give a report about the animal shelter and it seems that after several years of mis management and mis treatment of the animals the current staff is doing a good job. The adoption rates are up, animals are being placed in rescue organizations or reuinited with their owners. VERY very few animals are having to be put down. As a previous member of the Sussex County Animal Advocates it was good news and showed that a small group of concerned citizens working togther can demand change, hold the authorities accountable and make a difference.
     Valery Ricks and I made a presentation  on the great work being done in the Town of Waverly that will hopefully some day benefit not only the town but all of Sussex County. Again another example of what good can be accomplished when even a small group of folks work TOGTHER for the benefit of ALL.

     Surprise surprise a 3 -3 vote to elect a vice chair. Can it be really that hard to select who would be BEST to fulfill the role of Chair should something happen to My Tyler and he was unable to attend meetings or conduct the business of this county. Lets set aside ALL other factors and focus on just that one aspect and then vote. I would demand the supervisors ALL SIX get up and say why either they are best for the position or why they are supporting someone else. Do this in a public meeting then take a vote and let everyone present decide jusy why it is you voted the way you did.
    Another inevitable deadlock as it relates to paying bills. Who does this hurt??? The 6 board members who can not agree NO...THEY ARE STILL BEING PAID and in fact have been paid for NOT doing there work. A citizen demanded that those who played games and did not do the work of the county REPAY their nearly $600 a month salary, did they???? NO!!!!
    Is it hurting the vendors who provided the services?? In today economy any outstanding payments due someone hurt and every penny could be put to good use but in the case of the 2 lawyers who have not been paid its not going to send them into bankruptcy? No! So who does it hurt? It hurts each and every citizen of Sussex County as OUR Name and GOOD WILL are tanking. We have 2 industrial parks, we are not fiscally or mentally able to manage 1 let alone 2 but thats another story. So who or what kind of companies do you think would want to relocate to a county that has a reputation of not being able to pay their bills.

     Lawyer Michael Drewery one of those vendors/laywers who has not been paid BUT still was providing services to the county because it saw a real need called it quits. He handed in a letter stating that he can NO LONGER provide legal services with out being paid. This now puts US not just the 6 board members it put US the citizens of the county in a serious court case with out representation. maybe the courts can appoint legal defense as they do for indigents.

    Not refering to the physical appearances but to the ACTIONSAs they say pictures are worth a thousand words so I let these stand for them selves and you can add your onw words or thoughts. Remember to check out some of the video clips (linked later) and you can hear for your self some of the shameful bantering that went on.

     Some citizens left in disgust while others could not believe what was going on and looked around for help.
     The man in the center of a lot of the County's discontent and strife, Mr Thompson (attorney).

    And then when you think things could not get any worse ...........

    Sheriff Bell takes the podium and immediately was told by Chairmen Tyler that time for citizen comments is over and he should sit down. Sheriff Bell stated that he was not standing there as a citizen to make comments BUT AS THE SHERIFF and if they did not recess the meeting immediately he would have to consider arresting them for disorderly conduct. I personally had a bad feeling that if something was not done along these lines that it soon would become physical or worse.   Is our safety in jepordy attending OUR County Board of Supervisors meeting now??? Maybe!! As I was leaving the meeting I had an opportunity to say something to my representative and in all due respect to him knowing he just came out of a volital situation he was very abrupt and almost physical with me. We MUST ASK OURSELVES why has it gotten to this and what can be done to put an end to this. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!
    That's all as I am getting so frustrated all over again just by writing this post.

    Please check out the video clips at

    I had my own caption for this political cartoon I created but I thought it would be more fun if you created your own.


    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    GREAT things happening in the Town of Waverly

    The Town of Waverly takes steps to improve the way of life for residents and visitors. If you build it they will come is a famous line from the “Field of Dreams” movie. Well The Town of Waverly has it’s own version of a Field of Dreams! What began as a donation many many years ago to the town from the late Senator Gray in the form a small parcel of land to be developed into a park has laid dormant like a sleeping giant all these years, now has been awakened with the help of a grant from the Virginia Department of Forestry and the expert assistance from the Community Design Assistance Center from Virginia Tech.

    A small group of very talented students have been visiting Waverly several times over the last few months looking at the land that was donated  as well as all other property owned by the town and in addition other property that might have a potential for improvement. All of this in an attempt to beautify and create an atmosphere within the town that would entice folks to visit, shop, eat and just plain ol enjoy what the town has to offer.

    Below are several conceptual drawings the design team along with the Town’s Park Committee developed. These are on display in the Town Hall and you are encouraged to come down and look at them and take a moment to leave your comments as to your thoughts. If you prefer you can view the pictures here and answer the questions that follow. You can email your comments to or you can hand write them and drop off at the Town Hall. We are trying to collect all comments by March 16th at which time the design team will take them all into consideration when finalizing our options. A date soon after that will be set for a public meeting hosted by the Design Center and the Town’s Park and Recreation Committee at which time final plans will be presented.

    This is just one of the initial steps necessary for the Town and Community to move forward. A lot of hard work and fund raising will be necessary to see any of the recommendations become a reality.

    Welcome To Waverly! Lets show everyone how proud we are of our town with some new signage.

     How cool would it be to have a Farmer's Market and public gatering place?

    The Park is located adjacent to the tennis courts. How great would it be to have a place to hold a family picnic, take your children to a safe place to play and a place to come and relax while enjoying a small bit of nature?


    The Community Design Assistance Center will be taking comments for the Waverly Improvements Project until Friday, March 16th, 2012. After viewing the display boards either on line or at the Town Hall please fill out the following comments sections with any likes/dislikes or suggestions that you feel are important to the design project. Forms will be available at the Town Hall also.

    Park Designs:


    Downtown Master Plan:



    This project is participating in an In-kind Match Program. In order for the community to receive additional funding for the project we need you to please fill in your name and approximately how long you spent reviewing the designs: (ie Jane Doe. 45 mins) Names will only be used for the In-Kind match purposes.

    Monday, March 5, 2012


    Dear Citizen,

    County government provides essential services we use every day. Citizens and their government must work together as neighbors to enhance programs and services and to preserve our history.

    One of the most important components of a democratic society is public participation. The boards, commissions, committees and councils of Sussex County provide us a unique opportunity to take an active role in County government.

    Some of these bodies have been established by State law; others have been created by the Board of Supervisors. Either way they cannot and should not function in a “cone of silence”. We have about 10 days till the next Board of Supervisors meeting, that’s 10 days for you to make a difference. Contact your representative tell them NO DEMAND that they put personal differences aside, put egos aside, put aside ALL that is getting in the way of them carrying out the business of the county. They should not demand apologies from each other, they should not vote in an attempt to penalize another, get over it and move forward. There is not a single board member that is perfect, or one who has never done something wrong and not in line with the status quo. Again call them, write them, email them AND follow-up with attending the meeting on Thursday March 15th. Pay the bills, elect a vice-chair and hire an attorney BASICALLY GET TO WORK AND STOP PLAYING GAMES WITH OUR TIME AND MONEY.
    I have drawn my first ploitical cartoon and if the board continues to clown around I will submit it to the paper in hopes that they will afford me yet another attempt to keep the presure on them demanding that they do what we elected them to do.