Mount Jackson council denies developer’s request

MOUNT JACKSON – Town Council on Tuesday denied a request from Todd Holtzman to split costs to demolish a building on King Street.

Holtzman, a developer in the town, requested funds from Town Council in December to split the cost of demolishing a building at 5967 King St. that he had purchased for $2,000. Because the roof is in need of major repairs and the building has an asbestos problem, he asked council to split the $15,000 cost to treat the asbestos and demolish the building.

Council member Whitney Miller said the Ordinance Committee recommended to the council to reject the request. Council agreed with the exceptions of members Dennis Andrick and Donald “Donnie” Pifer, who both abstained from the vote.

Also at the meeting, the council unanimously approved the appointment of Marcia Brownfield, representing the Mount Jackson Garden Club, to serve as trustee of the Old Union Church, replacing Betty Luce.

Council member Rod Shepherd said that he has known Brownfield for over a dozen years and has served the town through various organizations.

“She’s one of the most unique individuals that improves every situation that she’s involved in,” he added.

At the beginning of the meeting, Miller and Andrick amended the agenda to include two new business items involving the town’s five-member planning commission, which has two vacancies.

Andrick made a motion to keep the current Planning Commission’s five-member team until the comprehensive plan is completed. After the plan is completed, the commission’s two vacancies would be filled. Council approved the motion with Miller and Shepherd voting against it.

Miller said she felt very strongly about having seven members on the commission to provide a variety of opinions.

Shepherd echoed her views on a seven-member commission and said the vacancies need to be advertised.

Miller also made a motion to create a hiring plan for future town vacancies with the assistance of the personnel and ordinance committees and the approval of all council members.

She said she spoke with Woodstock Town Manager Angela Clem and received an application the Woodstock uses to assist in the hiring process. Miller said she would like to see Mount Jackson create a similar application and make it easily accessible to town residents. She would also like to create a list of standard interview questions to be used during the selection process.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or