Note from Dan: The following screed was sent out as an email Friday by Butch Church, chairman of the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors. It’s also on his campaign website. He is seeking re-election and is in a three-way contest that voters will decide Tuesday. The email references — and casts aspersions on — a story by my colleage, Katelyn Polantz, that in certain ways exposed some of Church’s board and county-government machinations. Read both, and see how many outright falsehoods you can find in the missive below.
From: Butch Church
To: The many loyal and concerned citizens in the Glenvar-Northside-Catawba District
IT IS CRITICAL THAT YOU READ THIS MESSAGE IN IT’S ENTIRETY
For weeks, you and I have watched the printed media and one of my opponents disseminate an unbelievable barrage of untruthful information, with insulting innuendos attacking my character and my job performance as your supervisor. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. It is time that my constituents hear the “rest of the story” — which includes all the facts. Then YOU can make your own decisions about who really represents your best interests. I believe in you and I trust you, as we have had an open and transparent relationship for 12-years now.
I will begin with basic facts. Our Board of Supervisors (BOS) has control over 3 positions: the County Administrator, the County Attorney, and the Clerk to our BOS. The written and legal documents state: “These positions work at the pleasure of the BOS.” This means that any of these 3 positions can be terminated — at any time and for any reason by the BOS. One supervisor on the BOS cannot make this decision alone.
Fact: Personnel matters are always discussed in closed session (without media, etc.) This has been done by all governments for many years.
Fact: Our BOS closed sessions are seldom discussed in the public, especially as it relates to personnel.
Fact: Our board clerk was changed by the entire BOS. (This was not mentioned by the newspaper . . .why not?) This was done over a year ago with ample good reasons. Keep in mind that our BOS did not even need to have reason.
Fact: The previous clerk was almost 1-full-year behind in the preparation of BOS minutes (Not mentioned in the newspaper article . . . why not?) Minutes are required by law to be maintained for permanent public records.
Fact: There were 3 employees working in the clerk’s office at this time. Currently, the new clerk is doing the work of all three and doing an excellent job. (Not mentioned in the newspaper article . . .why not?)
Fact: The previous clerk requested an extra piece of computer software, costing approximately $60,000. (Not mentioned by the newspaper. . .why not?) The request was made to assist in “catching up the above mentioned BOS minutes that were so far behind.”
Fact: As chairman, it is my duty and obligation to safeguard and be a good steward of your taxpayer money. I asked the county administrator to determine if this new equipment was indeed justified. In checking on this request, the administrator informed me that, after looking into the matter, he could not determine the job performance of the former clerk. Thus, we began to look further into performance. (Not mentioned in the newspaper article…why not?)
Fact: Shortly after we began looking into job performance, the former clerk — on her own and without justification — pulled my county cell phone records and highlighted calls made to the deputy clerk of the BOS.
Fact: There were a total of 10 calls to the deputy clerk, which were made OVER A 10-MONTH TIME SPAN. (The newspaper conveniently did NOT mention this fact.) The two longest calls made dealt with BOS matters: work session information and review of the chairman agenda for the following day’s BOS meeting. The remainder of the ten calls were under 8 minutes each. ALL calls made were routine and normal business discussions. As a BOS elected member my hours are not set. I don’t work an 8 to 5 shift. I work all the time! I do that for YOU.
Fact: It is interesting to note that I am the only supervisor whose phone records, email, etc. were pulled for review. Since it took a consensus of our Board to make this change in personnel, why weren’t all 5 BOS members’ records pulled and scrutinized? (Doesn’t this strike you as very strange? Could it be because I am up for re-election? You decide.)
Fact: My number of phone calls exceed 1,000 during this time frame yet, only a few were selected. What about the number of calls to other BOS members 89 in one month alone. And, what about calls to the county administrator 26 in one month alone, almost all of which were made during very early mornings/very late at night/weekends/holidays, etc. (Not mentioned in the newspaper. Why not?)
Fact: Our new BOS Clerk has single-handily caught up over 10-months of back-log in THIRTY DAYS WITHOUT OVERTIME. Citizens, I trust your intelligence. Think about the amount of taxpayer money that has been saved, including salaries/benefits/= over $150,000!!! (Why were these facts NOT mentioned in the newspaper?)
Fact: A payment was made to the former clerk in late 2010, but NOT with MY consent whatsoever! In fact, I objected vehemently! (Why did the newspaper conveniently omit this fact?)
I have been portrayed as “all powerful” by the newspaper. Ask yourself this question: If I am “all powerful” why was this payment made over my objections? You know folks, they cannot have it “both ways.” You deserve to know ALL THE FACTS, not just what my opponent and the newspaper want you to see.
Fact: As chairman, I have only 1 vote — the same as every BOS member. I do NOT control any of the things that the newspaper and my opponent want you to believe. I honestly and openly represent you — my citizens – to the very best of my ability.
Fact: My operative word is transparency. I want you to see and be a part of my service to you at all times.
Fact: My record of service is one of openness and public record, for all to see. Why has my opponent chosen NOT to talk about substance — about issues or my true record? I believe you know why — because my record is solid. It is there for all to see.
I hope you will consider all the positive things and loyal service during my (3) terms. I have been told by many constituents that they are weary of my opponent’s attempts to dig “under rocks” and look for innuendos and meaningless gossip to fuel his campaign. It truly saddens me to see this happening in my hometown.
I refuse to run a negative campaign. I NEVER have and I never will. My record of service and my honesty is there for you to review at all times.
I truly serve you!
Fact: In my 12 years, I have NEVER seen such an attempted character assassination. Ask yourself this question and you make your own decision:
QUESTION: WHAT IS DIFFERENT IN THIS ELECTION THAN ALL OTHERS? ANSWER: MY OPPONENT AND A WRITER WHO WANTS TO MAKE A BIG SPLASH.
I have always trusted you, my constituents, and I surely trust your decision and your heart-felt convictions.
Openly and honestly, I am asking for your support on November 8th. Please support me as I have always supported you!