RONDA — The Ronda Board of Commissioners meeting held on Jan. 10 concluded several outstanding issues in spite of concerns by residents that board members were having troubles getting along.
Although the ordinances addressing animals and nuisance properties were on the agenda, Commissioner Rheajean Benge asked that draft ordinances be taken off with Commissioner Helen Porter seconding the motion. These ordinances have been a matter of contention for several years with various boards discussing them without coming to any firm conclusion if they should be changed.
In spite of being removed from the agenda, they were brought up momentarily during the public comments section of the meeting. Although residents Kevin Reece and Dwayne Byrd gave opinions of the proposed changes, they were more concerned about problems between board members.
Byrd stated his distress that individuals elected to represent the interests of the town were not able to behave like the adults they were in order to work together. Commissioner Manuel Wood and Mayor Victor Varela are scheduled for a hearing in the Wilkes County Courts Friday due to an altercation between the two that took place on Wood’s property on Dec. 23, 2016.
Reece questioned the ability of Varela to dismiss personal interests in favor of what may be best for the town. Reece and Varela have a history of antagonism, which has resulted in legal action in the past.
In spite of public concerns, the board was able to conclude several outstanding matters including approval of changes to the personnel policy that clarified language regarding benefits and cleaned up inconsistencies. According to town administrative consultant Ron Niland, the policy is “a living document,” making it appropriate to make modifications as changes in personnel needs occur.
One of those changes will be the elimination of rolling over annual leave. Instead town employees will be paid for unused time. “We don’t give that much leave that there will be that big a payout,” explained Niland at the work session.
Payments for technical concerns also were approved including the website repair as well as the bill for Roberts Computer Repair. Although the board voted to pay the later bill in full, owner Jama Roberts took $50 off for the misunderstanding regarding the router inquiry.
After several months of discussion, the board also decided to get a bond through the insurance company for the Macedonia Church Road Water Extension.
The next work session for the Ronda Board of Commissioners will be Feb. 9 at 5 p.m. with the next meeting at 6 p.m. on Feb. 14.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.