If you missed Montgomery County Supervisor Chairman Chris Tuck’s presentation at the monthly GOP luncheon July 28, 2016, you missed an example of democracy in action. After the last November election of Darrell Sheppard to District E, the board including Tuck of District B; Todd King of District D; and Gary Creed of District C has a conservative majority. Tuck pointed out aspects of the Republican Creed upheld by the board since that time. Two aspects, in particular, are noted: fiscal responsibility and good stewardship of natural resources.
Constitutional County Officers receive a supplement to their state pay from the county. State pay amounts to approximately $120,000 and the supplement $20,000. After the reelected Clerk of Circuit Court removed experienced personnel for no just cause, an action thought to reduce the efficiency of the office, the county supplement was cancelled for that office by the Supervisors. Further, plans are made to stop the supplement for the other constitutional officers: Sheriff, Treasurer, Commonwealth Atty and Treasurer when state pay is increased when the county population exceeds 100,000.
The controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline recently received attention from the board when they choose to hire an attorney, Ms. Elefant, to provide guidance and raise issues of concern regarding the environmental, economic impacts and protect the property rights of our citizens through filings with FERC. The Mountain Valley Pipeline was unaware of abandon coal mines located near or directly in the path of the proposed pipeline. In considering past projects that required blasting, such as the Smart Road, there was a major impact on citizens wells that went dry after the blasting began. Chris also stated that the reality is that coal fired electrical plants are being shut down in favor of gas-fired ones and the safest way to transport the gas was through a pipeline.
It is the understanding of the Supervisors that Ms. Elegant will assist the County in highlighting these type of issues with FERC and is not being hired to litigate issues in the Court system. Ms. Elefant charges $350 per hour and the Board has established a budget not to exceed $15,000.