We attended the Reidsville city council meeting yesterday evening, and have much to report. As our regular readers know, we make fun of a lot of stupidity by public officials, as well as shame local criminals, but we give credit where credit is due. In this case, credit is due to Kellie Murray, the Reidsville city clerk. The minutes she prepared for the meeting are exceptional. Detailed and accurate, they serve precisely the desired role of minutes in that one can tell what happened in a meeting without having been there. Her work can serve as a model for how other clerks can perform their work.
We also want to congratulate Councilman John Wingate. He apologized for some of the regrettable problems in the past, exhibiting a humility that is refreshing to see in a public official. We encourage other public officials to follow his example.
Another important development is that we have been informed by the Reidsville city clerk of the pending resignation of the newly hired city attorney, B. Jay Swindell. During Mr. Swindell’s brief tenure as the city attorney for Manassas, this author was falsely accused by the Manassas mayor of criminal behavior during city council meetings, a ridiculous and error-riddled allegation that, according to documents recently provided to our attorney by the sheriff’s department, not one witness has stepped forward to substantiate with sworn testimony, not even the mayor herself. Despite a complete lack of evidence, Manassas has dodged this issue in ways we’ll address in future articles, leaving the sheriff’s office with an embarrassing half-eaten documentary sandwich.
After leaving Manassas only a few months ago, Mr. Swindell then took his post as Reidsville’s city attorney. This move caught our attention, so we decided to begin looking into Reidsville’s operations. We regret Mr. Swindell’s departure so soon after his drawing our attention to Reidsville; we’ll be eager to follow his career should he take a similar public position in the future.
One other issue arose regarding the display of the Son’s of Confederate Veterans emblem on the welcome signs leading into Reidsville. It appears that, after months of delays and deliberations, the city has decided to punt the issue over to the Rotary Club and the Department of Transportation. We’ll be looking more closely into this issue, including the circumstances under how their sign was removed and whether this constituted theft of private property, particularly if it was performed or condoned by a public official beyond the scope of his authority.