Supervisors differ on Library Board pick

WOODSTOCK – Shenandoah County leaders tapped a former supervisor Tuesday to sit on a local board — but not without some public debate.

Supervisors voted 4-2 to appoint Sharon Baroncelli to the Library Board of Trustees to fill one of four vacancies. Baroncelli, a former District 4 supervisor, had represented the panel on the Library Board of Trustees.

Prior to the vote in open session — as is usually the case and allowed under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act — the board discussed the potential appointments in closed session.

In open session, Vice Chairman Conrad Helsley first made a motion to reappoint John Schillinger and Cindy Rinker each to a second, 4-year term, set to expire June 30, 2019; to appoint Melissa Lewis to fill a term that expires June 30, 2018, replacing Krista Heres, who resigned; and to appoint Jeff Fleischer to a 4-year term set to expire June 30, 2019. Helsley had not yet suggested Baroncelli as the fourth appointment. The board voted 6-0 on the motion.

District 4 Supervisor Cindy Bailey then made a motion to appoint Warren Halvorson to fill the fourth vacancy. District 5 Supervisor Marsha Shruntz seconded the motion. Helsley voiced opposition to the nomination.

“My only concern there is that the Library Board of Trustees have made their recommendation and we approved those earlier on some and even though this guy could be considered at a later time, he is not the one that this year is being recommended by the Library Board of Trustees,” Helsley said.

Chairman David Ferguson noted that the Library Board met with all candidates and stand by their recommendations. Library Board Chairman Richard B. Ryan concurred.

District 1 Supervisor John R. “Dick” Neese and District 2 Supervisor Steven Baker voted with Ferguson and Helsley against Bailey’s motion.

Neese then made the motion to appoint Baroncelli to the Library Board. Baker seconded the motion. Neese tried to comment on his recommendation but Bailey interrupted.

“I guess the public would like to see different individuals have an opportunity to be on these committees and Mr. Halvorson and his background in the school system and the library – his wife had been on the board previously as well – he would have been a real good candidate to take up this position,” Bailey said.

Neese responded, “I think, in the past, we’ve always followed the recommendations of committees, boards for who they recommend to serve with them.”

Baker echoed Neese.

“I really do think we need to respect their recommendations,” Baker said.

Supervisors then voted 4-2 to appoint Baroncelli to the Library Board, with Bailey and Shruntz dissenting.

Baroncelli and Fleischer replace James Clayton and Hank Zimmerman,whose terms had expired.

Ryan said after the meeting that he appreciated the board for supporting his recommendations. He interviewed all of the candidates supervisors had put forth.

“I’m pleased with the results,” Ryan said, adding that he expects Baroncelli to “do a very good job” on the board.

Also at the meeting, supervisors:
• Voted 6-0 to amend an ordinance to relocate a District 5 polling location from the Toms Brook Volunteer Fire Department to the Round Hill Church of the Brethren
• Voted 6-0 to approve a declaration of emergency regarding the flash flood that occurred in Woodstock on July 13
• Voted 6-0 to approve pump-and-haul permits for Quicksburg United Methodist Church and for Michael and Joan Weaver at 1564 Deer Rapids Road, Strasburg
• Voted 6-0 to add property to the Stoney Creek Sanitary District
• Heard the annual report on People Inc.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com