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Discord surfaces at Supervisors meeting

Brabo’s potential rule change with discord the price

Dahlgren Supervisor Ruby Brabo finally got her way last week on June 26 when she tried for the third time to get consensus of the King George Board of Supervisors to task the county attorney, Matt Britton, to come up with a potential change to the board’s ‘Rules & Procedures’ to state what she sees as a method to ensure, “Every Board member has rights equal to every other member of the Board.”

Consensus was achieved with Shiloh Supervisor and Chairman Cedell Brooks joining Brabo and James Madison Supervisor John LoBuglio to ask Britton to “take a look at it.” At-Large Supervisor Dale Sisson objected, saying the request was “completely impractical.” James Madison Supervisor Joe Grzeika also objected to Brabo’s rule change to provide “accountability.” Grzeika said he was “accountable to the people who elected” him and not to any other board member directly. He added that he did not understand what it was about, adding he thought they were “going down the wrong path,” if they wanted to work together.

The cost of Brabo’s victory was major embarrassment for the board as well as county staff at the highest levels.

Chairman Cedell Brooks displayed his embarrassment, saying, “There’s issues that I’ve never seen in 20 years. We cannot get along and we do not work together as a board like we used to. It’s bad. We need to do something to get back on the right track.”

Brooks even told the new division superintendent, Rob Benson, who was present to meet Supervisors, “It’s not as bad as what you think.”

MORE FROM LOBUGLIO ON EMS SURVEY

More awkwardness ensued with LoBuglio dredging up his controversial survey that had been sent out anonymously to a group of former EMS volunteers in mid-May.

This time he apologized for “any hurt that was caused.” But he also went into excruciating detail, again defending his rationale as he had at a meeting on June 5, when the meeting room was filled with EMS paid staff and volunteers protesting his interference. He also said he did not have any official results to bring back to the board because it only spawned 13 responses. 

The primary result of the survey episode was Brooks’s announcement immediately after LoBuglio’s board report that he was resigning, effective immediately, as the board’s liaison to Fire & Rescue. 

Brooks added, “I’m tired of all the fussing and bickering that is going on. I don’t want to deal with the stress of it. I’d rather just resign.”

Brooks had suffered a stroke last Nov. 22 which kept him away from board meetings for three months. He had skipped the previous meeting when it was known that a contingent of EMS would be attending the meeting, reportedly saying that he didn’t feel up to it. 

BRABO’S REQUEST

Brabo provided her suggested wording for her intended bylaws change, saying that Britton should put it into whatever language he recommended. 

She stated that she intended it to give effect to the following language.  

“The County Administrator and County Staff to each Board member shall disseminate all original reports, documents and information at the same time. No Board member shall be provided the information in advance of other Board members.  No Board member shall be allowed to direct changes to the data in advance of it being disseminated to all other Board members for review.”

Last week, she also suggested adding, “While acting on any other board, authority, commission, or committee on behalf of the county as a representative, that the member shall only take official action, which is consistent with the position taken by the Board as expressed in an official vote.”

Britton provided an informal preliminary synopsis of what he had learned already in discussing the request with legal colleagues, throwing up numerous road blocks to attempt to achieve what Brabo wants with a rule change. 

The brouhaha and the entire June 26 meeting of the Board of Supervisors can be viewed any time on our website, journalpress.com.

 

Phyllis Cook

 

 

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