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Supervisor gains jail board seat

Cindy Bailey

WOODSTOCK – A Shenandoah County supervisor and vocal critic of the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail got her wish Tuesday.

The Board of Supervisors voted 6-0 at its meeting to approve its committee assignments that lists District 4 Supervisor Cindy Bailey as the alternate representative on the RSW Regional Jail Authority Board. While not expressed in the motion to approve the list, board members agreed that Chairman Conrad Helsley would attend the RSW meetings through June 30 and Bailey would do so through Dec. 31. The list also puts Bailey on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. Bailey also has criticized the Department of Parks and Recreation over its spending practices and did so at the meeting Tuesday.

The vote came after a heated debate over whether or not the language of the motion would also set up a scenario for 2018. County Attorney Jason Ham suggested a motion, based on the board’s discussion, that would keep the jail committee arrangement in place for 2018 in the event that supervisors can’t agree on who should sit on the panel. The board couldn’t agree on the committee assignments earlier this year.

Bailey has tried each year of her first term on the board to persuade members to put her, a former jail captain for the county, on the jail board. Sheriffs from each of the three participating jurisdictions serve on the authority board by statute. The agreement reached by the jurisdictions calls for the three county administrators and a member of the boards of supervisors to serve on the authority. Helsley has represented Shenandoah County on the panel since before the jail opened.

Bailey vocally criticized the creation of the regional jail in the years leading up to her election in 2013. She continued to voice her concerns –   specifically the cost to county taxpayers – about the jail, which was completed and opened in 2014 . When she took office in January 2014, Bailey shunned her committee assignments proposed by then Chairman David Ferguson, stating she needed more time to focus on the county’s budget. Bailey also refused to sit on any committees in 2015.

Bailey’s first term on the board expires Dec. 31. The supervisor said recently she plans to wait until the board votes on the fiscal 2018 budget to announce whether or not she intends to run for re-election in November.

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