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Letters / Mayor Disallows Discussion of Proposed Intake by Town’s Water Committee

In regard to the Boone Town Council special meeting of the above date and the Water Use Committee, the referenced meeting minutes, (see below), display the arrogance and capriciousness of Boone Town Mayor, Andy Ball.

Please bear in mind that every member of the Town Council is on the Water Use Committee along with their appointees.  And, this committee meets only upon the request of the Town Council.  While common sense would suggest that the Town Council would have a reason (agenda items) for calling the meeting, Mayor Ball arbitrarily set his own limited agenda.  Despite almost a decade of discussing a proposed intake on the South Fork of the New River, Mayor Ball decided it was not in the water use committee’s realm of discussion. This comes at the heels of the exodus of  the town’s manager and attorney of many years signaling a wrecked ship.  With the naivete of the new manager and attorney, the ship is sinking.  Longtime town activist Pam Williamson attempted to bail them out to no avail.

Pam Williamson, a longtime member of the water use committee, requested an update on the proposed water intake.  To prevent the discussion of this highly controversial project, Mayor Ball decided he would limit the realm of duties of the water use committee to those duties established when the committee was formed, arbitrarily discounting the changes to their scope and duties over the past decade.  Mayor Ball’s deeds and words have been more controversial than the intake itself over the past year with the formation of the New River Advocates, Inc., a group that has exposed the truth regarding the proposed intake.

The meeting minutes demonstrate the level of absurdity Mayor Ball will descend to.  At the onset of the meeting, Pam Williamson, who noted that the agenda items she requested were not on the agenda, made a point of order concerning the process for placing items on the agenda for discussion.  Mr. Ball explained his opinion of the purpose for the Water Use Committee which did not include the proposed intake. And, as to agenda items, he, Ball, makes the decisions regarding the agenda items to be discussed by the subject committee.  Williamson then asked just who was responsible for the 3rd item, which discussed the scope and duties of the committee.  Ball said this addition was his decision as a modification of Mrs. Williamson’s request to discuss the an update on the intake.  Williamson doubted whether the Mayor had that power without a vote of the Town Council, and she continued with concerns regarding agenda items, past and tentative. Despite a debate and the subsequent Williamson’s motion, which was seconded by committee member and ex-mayor Loretta Clawson,  councilman Quint David questioned the suitability of Williamson’s motion.  Then committee member Patrick Beville offered an amendment, to be considered by the Town Council, to Mayor Ball’s scope of duties to include discussion of “any needed items that might have impact on the Town Water and Sewer policy”.   Williamson did not vote for the amendment as she did not think Mayor Ball’s action of establishing  the committee’s scope that did not include the proposed intake was legal.  if common sense prevailed, Mr. Beville’s motion would not be necessary; it would be a given.  How does the committee discuss allocation of water to future needs when the committee cannot take into consideration the future supply?

New River Advocates, Inc. has exposed years of deception and misconduct surrounding the proposed intake.  We believe Mayor Ball is unable to truthfully respond to discussion, so he is attempting to shut discussion down completely in the same fashion of deception and misconduct of the past.

Deborah Greene

Madeline K. Carter