Katie Thisdell reports on news from Stafford County. Contact her at email@example.com or at 540/735-1975.
SPCA? SP…C You Later!
Since I’ve gotten calls from both George Schwartz and Paul Milde today I thought I’d better go ahead and get this out there.
Avid readers of the print edition of the FLS might recall a recent full-page, full-color ad in the paper for the Stafford County SPCA (Tuesday’s Stafford Extra). The ad contained a call for SPCA supporters to come to the public hearing on Aug. 18. I think that most people, including me, assumed that the Board of Supervisors would hold the public hearing and vote (or defer) on the SPCA’s Conditional Use Permit at that meeting. Not so fast…
The agenda has not been set or advertised, and board chairman Schwartz has decided he will not put the SPCA hearing on the agenda. He’s the chairman, it’s his prerogative. Milde has accused Schwartz of pulling the item from the agenda.
"I didn’t pull it because it was never on the agenda. It was an expectation by Milde and Bill Hoyt. Based on that expectation, Hoyt purchased a full-page ad in the Free Lance-Star."
Milde’s only recourse would be to hold a special meeting of the board, convene a quorum and take an affirmative vote to add it to the agenda. Unfortunately for Milde, he missed the window of opportunity to legally do that. He will add it as a discussion item to the Aug. 18 agenda and said the public hearing could happen as soon as Sep. 15.
"He’s left us in a situation where we can’t get together quickly enough to keep it on track," Milde said of Schwartz. "It is a blatant attempt to frustrate and even punish the proponents of the SPCA. It’s incredibly disrespectful to all these people."
"Part of the reason I did it," Schwartz said, "is that a private citizen doesn’t set the agenda. There should be no expectation that something will be on the agenda until the county sends out a legal notice. Until that happens, no one can say something will be on or off the agenda-particularly a public hearing."