Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Supervisors call for accountability

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Accountability was definitely the word of the evening at the Board of Supervisors meeting.

County Administrator Doug Barnes brought some draft standard operating procedures to show the supervisors tonight. These are the SOPs the fire and emergency medical services commission approved earlier. They’re currently in the county attorney’s office being vetted. But Barnes wanted to give the supervisors a taste of these procedures, which he believes will cut down on future incidents like those of the past two weeks–two firefighters getting charged with sex crimes involving minors.

Some highlights from the SOPs include:

“The Chief is responsible for the direction of all activities of the department.”

“The Chief has full control over departmental activities.”

“An employee/volunteer shall not violate the public trust, discredit the County or its employees/volunteers, or hinder the effective performance of the County’s governmental or proprietary functions.”

The SOPs also contain an organizational chart, with the Fire, Rescue and Emergency Management chief at the top.

But supervisors said that there are higher authorities–including Barnes and themselves.

“It’s got to start from the very top and I think that includes us,” said Supervisor Gary Skinner.

Chairman Benny Pitts told Barnes that he holds him accountable for getting the issue fixed.

Barnes told the board that he plans “aggressive moves.”

Supervisor Hap Connors said: “If we have people in charge that are turning a blind eye to these sorts of things, we should ask them to leave, we should ask them to leave and never volunteer again.”