At this month’s Northumberland County Board of Supervisors meeting, the Supervisors spent time discussing a $700 addition to the cost of the Emergency Squad vehicles garage being built. The expense was due to Dominion Power being unable to connect to the building by the route originally expected. Another large chunk of time at the meeting was spent listening to Jimmy Carr of All Points Broadband explain how his company along with Dominion Power and Northern Neck Electric propose to evaluate how to bring broadband Internet to most of the county. Jerry Davis of the Northern Neck Planning District Commission extolled the virtues of Northumberland joining a Regional Industrial Facilities Authority.
After hearing Carr, the board adopted a resolution authorizing the county to join in a Memorandum of Understanding with Carr’s company and the two electric power companies. The MOU commits the county to allowing the group to proceed with a feasibility study which will not cost the county anything. Once the study is complete, the companies will want move on to the second phase of the project, the laying of cable along the power companies lines. At that point, the county will have to decide if it wants to help fund the effort.
The board also directed County Administrator Luttrell Tadlock to advertise a public hearing on whether the county should join the RIFA Davis talked about.
With the broadband and RIFA matters attended, Joe Schlatter of the county’s electoral board asked the supervisors to authorize the electoral board to enter a lease agreement with Charlotte Hundley for Dr. Jim Hundley’s old veterinary hospital which is vacant. The county needs a new office for the Registrar of Voting due to the new law regarding early voting, which allows voting for 45 days before the actual election. In the past, as much as 20 percent of the voting was done early and such voting will require a new polling place and the current Registrar’s office “is simply not big enough,” he said.
Supervisor Ronnie Jett upbraided Schlatter for the electoral board’s going to Hundley without saying anything to the board. “I don’t like your going around soliciting without letting the county know,” Jett said. “It wasn’t properly done.”
Schlatter responded that the electoral board had been asking the board to make arrangements for the new polling place for a year and a half with no results. Now, with time short before the 2020 election, something has to be done, he said.
The board didn’t act on Schlatter’s request but directed Tadlock to do all necessary to see the polling place was created before mid-September which will be 45 days before the election.
Democrats Kitty Creeth and Frank Kober addressed the board regarding its last meeting when the local Democrats were excoriated regarding their support of Supervisors Tom Tomlin and James Brand in the 2019 election. “We weren’t represented,” Creeth said, but promised Democrats would be at future meetings.
Kober read a statement to the board regarding his party’s actions about Tomlin and Brann. Both spoke to the Democrats and hoped for their support.
Tomlin, who was running as an Independent, specifically asked that the party not endorse him, Kober said. The party did endorse Brann and decided to support Tomlin without endorsing him, he said. Both Tomlin and Brann were running against Republican candidates. “To suggest our Democratic Party did something nefarious, ridiculous,” Kober said.
The Reverend Tryon Williams advised the board that there was confusion over District 3’s new polling place at Fairfields United Methodist Church. The church itself was advertised as the polling place when in fact its social hall, a separate building, was actually used and no signage so advised people.
Schlatter explained that after the church was designated as the polling place it had a conflict with a church function on election day and the polling place was moved to the social hall. On behalf of the electoral board, he took responsibility for the lack of signs.