County supervisor denied board appointment

WOODSTOCK — A Shenandoah County supervisor and staunch critic of the regional jail won’t sit on that facility’s leadership board.

In fact, Supervisor Cindy Bailey won’t represent the board on any local or regional committee.

Chairman David Ferguson would not assign Bailey to serve on the RSW Regional Jail Authority Board as she had asked. Ferguson instead assigned Vice Chairman Conrad Helsley to the jail board for another year.

At the end of the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday, Ferguson passed out a list of committee assignments for members. As chairman, Ferguson assigns supervisors to represent the board on local and regional committees. Ferguson said he came up with the list after contacting each member about his or her assignments.

Ferguson asked assigned members to represent the board and then report back on the committee activities.

Helsley then pointed out that Bailey is not assigned to any committees.

“The committee that she asked to be on I had selected someone else and she has chosen not to accept any other committees assignments,” Ferguson said.

“The only problem I see with that is what if the other five of us did the same thing,” Helsley said. “That would make it pretty difficult when you have nothing on any of these committees or have no influence on any of them.”

Bailey made no comments about the assignments.

In an email to Ferguson and other county officials dated Jan. 4, Bailey stated she would like to serve on the regional jail authority board this year. Ferguson responded by asking Bailey if she “will not consider serving on any other committee this year other than the RSW Regional Jail Authority?” Bailey demurred.

“It is regrettable that you have decided not to serve on any committee other than the RSW Regional Jail Authority,” Ferguson said. “As Chairman I feel it is important to keep the continuity of the team of individuals that have been responsible for bringing this facility on line.

“Supervisor Helsley brings to this committee a vast knowledge of all the issues facing the Authority in this startup period,” Ferguson added.

The chairman went on in his email to suggest that Bailey attend the jail board meetings should she desire and that Helsley, along with other representatives County Administrator Mary T. Price and Sheriff Timothy Carter, would listen to her input.

“Hopefully you will reconsider and join all of the other Supervisors in sharing the work load that these committees bring to the board,” Ferguson said.

Bailey was a vocal opponent of the regional jail project in the years prior to her election in November 2013. She has not served on any appointed committees since taking office in January 2014. At the board’s organizational meeting in early January 2014, Bailey expressed her disapproval of the list of appointments, noting then that she had told Ferguson prior to the session that she could not devote the time required of her to serve on the panels the chairman chose. Bailey said then that she had asked Ferguson to appoint her to the jail authority board. Ferguson chose instead to assign Helsley to the jail board. Ferguson did not change the committee assignments and Bailey resigned from her assignments later that month.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or