Wednesday marks the first Albemarle County Board of Supervisors meeting since Scottsville District supervisor Chris Dumler's very public arrest for forcible sodomy last month. There was a lot on the agenda for the board, including a controversial proposed firing range in Dumler's district.
In October, Dumler was arrested and is facing one count of forcible sodomy after police say he had anal intercourse with a female victim through threat, force or intimidation. Click here for more information on the charge he's facing.
Now, some within the county office building question his effectiveness moving forward and whether his situation will be a distraction from the issues.
Ahead of Wednesday morning's board of supervisors meeting, a jovial Chris Dumler had nothing to say as he entered Lane Auditorium.
Inside in the meeting, things seemed normal. Dumler was attentive, asked questions, but did recuse himself from a vote on a controversial joint police firearms training facility near his district.
Dumler said, "I just want to avoid the appearance of any conflict of interest. So that's why I did what I did."
After the meeting we asked Dumler if he thinks the charges might hinder his effectiveness as a member of the board of supervisors. Dumler responded stating "No. I don't think so. Not at all."
Adding, "Cause I'm working on it behind the scenes."
Dumler says he's fighting the charge in court by way of a vigorous defense.
During the meeting board room, Dumler's fellow colleagues say they didn't notice a change in their interaction with him nor the dynamics of the board as a whole.
Albemarle County Supervisor Dennis Rooker said, "I think everyone wants to let Chris do his job and do it well."
With Dumler abstaining, the rest of the board unanimously voted to move forward with the firing range with a commitment to pump more money into the project to mitigate sound issues for nearby neighbors.
Albemarle County Supervisor Ann Mallek said, "I for one want to have it done here because I think it's our obligation just like not sending your trash someplace else to put it in a hole in the ground. We need to be responsible for that."
During Wednesday's meeting, police chief Steve Sellers gave a presentation about the proposed firing range at the Old Keene Landfill in southern Albemarle. There are mixed feelings about the facility.
Some residents have expressed concerns that building the range outdoors would create too much noise in the neighborhood, and would prefer that police pursue plans for an indoor facility. Click here for more information about the proposed range.
There is another Albemarle County Board of Supervisors meeting planned for Thursday to discuss economic development funding priorities. They will also hold a joint meeting with the Albemarle County School Board.
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