P.O. Box 450/215 Main Street Brookneal, VA 24528

Downloadable PDF

July 12, 2022


7:00 PM – The regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council

The municipal government of the Town of Brookneal met with the following members present:

Richard Adams, Mayor
Mark Wilkes, Vice Mayor
Barbara Laprade, Joseph David, Cynthia Johnson, Scott Fisher and Conner Francis, Council Members
Bobbie Waller, Clerk/Treasurer
Russell Thurston, Town Manager
Mike Crews, Public Works Director
Richard Baldwin, Chief of Police



Upon motion by Barbara Laprade, seconded by Mark Wilkes, and unanimously carried, Council approved the agenda for the May 10, 2022, regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council.


Upon motion by Cynthia Johnson, seconded by Barbara Laprade, and unanimously carried, Council approved the agenda for the July 12, 2022, regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council with the following change: delete item #13.


Mayor Adams asked that the July 2022 treasurer’s report be filed for audit.


Be it resolved that motion was made by Mark Wilkes, seconded by Barbara Laprade, and unanimously carried, authorizing the payment of the invoices for the period of June 14, 2022 through July 12, 2022, in the amount of $21,836.23.


The following resolution was presented by Councilperson Francis to Em & Gene Moorefield who were in attendance at the meeting.


WHEREAS, the Golden Skillet has faithfully served the Brookneal community for 50 years beginning back in 1972; and

WHEREAS, this great country, this great county and this great community have been built by the likes of hard-working, risk-taking entrepreneurs such as the Harper, Rice and Moorefield families; and

WHEREAS, the Golden Skillet has provided their services with professionalism, honesty, integrity, and high-quality products; and

WHEREAS, the Golden Skillet not only operated a successful business but also has been a vital part of our community lending their support to many great causes; and

WHEREAS, the Harper, Rice and Moorefield families and their employees have established many longstanding relationships and friendships within the Brookneal community and beyond; and

WHEREAS, the Golden Skillet continued to overcome market and economic challenges, they solved problems and found ways to succeed where many failed; and

WHEREAS, Brookneal has greatly benefited from the Golden Skillet for more than half a century; it could easily be said that much of Brookneal was fed with their delicious fried chicken and other southern home cooked meals; and

WHEREAS, the Golden Skillet has been known for their family values, excellent services, good tasting food, and for promoting and providing many area youth with their 1st opportunity for employment,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BROOKNEAL TOWN COUNCIL that it shall be hereby acknowledged and affirmed with the Highest Honor that Golden Skillet has been a shining example of what can be accomplished with commitment, dedication, teamwork and perseverance, and that this day of recognition is well deserved and well earned; job well done and best wishes for a much-deserved retirement!

Adopted the 12th day of July, 2022.

Mr. Richard Adams, Mayor
Town of Brookneal


Mrs. Bobbie Waller, Clerk


The following resolution was presented by Mayor Richard Adams to Police Chief Richard Baldwin.


WHEREAS, Police Chief Ricky Baldwin has served the Town of Brookneal faithfully for the past 12 years, during which time the Brookneal Police Department responded to more than Ten-Thousand calls for service, and

WHEREAS, Chief Baldwin’s career has spanned a total of 48 years, including service to both the Appomattox County and Campbell County Sheriff’s Departments, and

WHEREAS, Chief Baldwin has been a “hands-on, lead-by-example” law-enforcement officer by conducting numerous investigations and was instrumental in solving crimes both in Brookneal, and in neighboring jurisdictions, pursuing criminals as far as Arizona, and

WHEREAS, Chief Baldwin would never ask any of his officers to handle an assignment that he, himself, would not also be willing to do, and

WHEREAS, Chief Baldwin’s conduct both on and off the job has been of the highest level of integrity and good character and has brought honor to the department, and

WHEREAS, Chief Baldwin always brought a good measure of humor to any conversation, he will be greatly missed by town staff, Town Council, and citizens, and will always be remembered as a good friend to many, including, some who found themselves on the wrong side of the law,

WHEREAS, Chief Baldwin’s beloved wife Nancy and their children also deserve credit for having supported him throughout his career as he would often respond to the call for duty at all hours of the day and night, not knowing when he would return safely into their loving arms

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BROOKNEAL TOWN COUNCIL Town Council and the citizens of the Town of Brookneal wish Chief Baldwin well in his much-deserved retirement as he spends more time with his family, more time in his garden, and more time hunting and fishing; Job well done, Thy Good and Faithful Servant. We thank you for fighting the good fight!

Adopted the 12th day of July, 2022.

Mr. Richard Adams, Mayor
Town of Brookneal


Mrs. Bobbie Waller, Clerk


Laura Meniktos, of the Inconvenience Store on Main Street, appeared before Council to request use of the community building for 1 evening per week for a yoga/fitness class. She said it would be a free class open to the public. She said the class would last about an hour and 15 minutes, and she wants to have the class on a Monday or Tuesday from about 5:15 to 6:30. She wants to start the class in about 2 weeks.

Upon motion by Conner Francis, seconded by Joseph David, and unanimously carried, the Council voted to allow Ms. Meniktos to use the community building one evening per week at no charge.


Mr. John Gill, of Carson Street, appeared before Council to address any questions about the chicken issue at his home. He brought a copy of the letter from his daughter’s therapist that he had presented to the Council in February; he was told the letter was misplaced (Note: Staff has had a copy of the letter since February available upon request to anyone.) He said Barbara told him there were some questions concerning the chicken issue at his house. He said he was told he was going to be asked about “anyone” being able to get a letter like this on the internet; but he said they could not get a letter like his from an agency licensed in Virginia by a therapist licensed by the state of Virginia. He said he was also told he would be asked about why he had to have 6 chickens; he said that is the fewest any retailer will sell to you because they are a flock animal. Mr. Gill said that since his daughter has had the chickens it has helped to teach her responsibility, she is much more herself, and the monotonous activity of the chickens helps her with her anger issues and processing issues; it helps her shut her brain down. He said she sees her therapist via videoconference at least once per week; they stopped seeing her in person because of Covid. Mr. Gill said the chickens have only escaped the pen twice, and they did not go far. He said his daughter has a lot of problems processing emotions. He said other animals did not help his daughter like the chickens do. Mr. David asked Mr. Gill what he was asking the Council for tonight. Mr. Gill said he has been trying to get a permit or a variance or something, and no one has told him how to get one. Mr. David said that when the town attorney was here last month and he said if the Town issued a variance or exception, it would be forever at that property; if anyone else moved in, they would be covered under that variance as well. Ms. Laprade said that since the initial discussion about Mr. Gill, she has thought a lot about conditional use permits and so forth. She said she is having difficulty understanding if you have provisions for someone to do something outside of what is the norm and you establish criteria for that use, if there are no repercussions for violation of those conditions, then what’s the use of having the conditions. She said the lawyer is making everyone believe is that if you do a variance and someone violates it, that you can never take it away. She said that does not make sense to her. She said she is asking that this particular question about Mr. Gill’s chickens be revisited. She also said she had a problem with this also---Horizon Behavioral Health is a legitimate, well recognized institution within our area and in most areas. She said she had a problem believing that they would issue a letter on behalf of this child in a frivolous manner. She said that this particular situation with Mr. Gill does not need to be grouped in the same category as people who say they want eggs and they want chickens. She said it needs to be considered on its own variance; this man is reaching out for his child and if these chickens help his child to function, then wouldn’t anyone else do the same for their child. She asked everyone to please look at this a little further. She said you could look at it and say we are going to make these stipulations and if you violate these stipulations then we are going to remove this privilege; even say this needs to be renewed every year. Mr. Francis said he agreed with Ms. Laparde on this; he said anything the Town could do to help this child the Town should. He said that if the Town could do some kind of conditional statement that is not grandfathered in to the property or carried over from property owner to property owner, then they should.

Mayor Adams said that before he does anything with an additional authorization for Mr. Gill that he wants the advice of an attorney. He said he would like to defer this until the next Town Council meeting.

Mr. David asked if it would be appropriate to hold off on any fines or legal action against Mr. Gill. Mayor Adams said that he would give it 30 days.


Upon motion by Joseph David, seconded by Conner Francis and unanimously carried, the Council voted to hold off on any fines or legal action regarding Mr. Gill’s zoning violation of having chickens on his property until this issue is resolved.


Mr. John Vincent, of Cook Avenue, said he was in attendance at the Town Council meeting in June 2022, and that he was embarrassed by that meeting last month. He said he was also embarrassed by the lack of action that he thought the Town Council should have taken in defense of Russell Thurston. He said Russell was beat up pretty bad when he didn’t need to be. He said Russell was doing exactly what the Town Council hired him to do—enforce what is on the Town books right now.


Chief Richard Baldwin introduced Robert “Bob” Kolich, III, the new police chief who will start to work on August 1, 2022. He presented the police report for June 2022. Of the 154 calls for service, the Brookneal Police Department answered 132 and the Campbell County Sheriff’s office answered 22. Chief Baldwin said that Fun Float Day in June went well.


Public Works Director Mike Crews said that the crew installing new radio read meters are out and about in town on a 4-wheeler apparatus, and they will be in Town until they complete the installation of the new meters. He said he has no new updates on the 2020 trash truck that has been in the shop since January 2022; the CPC module part has not come in yet. He said the Dixie girls hosted the all-star tournament in Brookneal this year; he said it was a great turnout. He said the Brookneal Dixie Girls’ Belles won the all-star tournament and will go to the state tournament this weekend. He said the Brookneal Dixie Ozone Boys won their all-star tournament as well, and they are playing in the state tournament now.


Town Manager Russell Thurston told the Council that he put the Town of Brookneal sign up at the Golden Skillet by himself. He said he is working on the playground/boat landing project, and the architectural design firm is in the process of doing a survey right now.

Mr. Thurston said that he and Mike have been working on a child care/day care/preschool project with Altavista YMCA. He said they had had several meetings with them, and he said it will be a very good thing for the Brookneal area. He said some of the costs could be subsidized by the YMCA. He said he is still trying to get the downtown water tank back on line; he said he is trying to find out how much it is going to cost to get this done. He said there was an accident here on Main Street that destroyed one of the town streets lights.

He said that he is working on a grant for $50,000 to be available in $10,000 increments (or up to $10,000) for renovation of empty buildings here in the Town; this will be from ARPA funds (American Rescue Plan Act). He said the focus is going to be on unused buildings.


Upon motion by Conner Francis, seconded by Joseph David, and unanimously carried, the Council voted to approve the following transfers of appropriation as outlined by the Clerk/Treasurer.

Click to View


There were no committee recommendations.


Councilperson Laprade and Councilperson Francis both noted that there is much to be excited about in the Town of Brookneal. The new Brookneal Alliance is revamping the Chamber and there are new people in the area that are excited about the Town and what is has to offer.


Upon motion by Mark Wilkes, seconded by Conner Francis, and unanimously carried, Mayor Adams announced that the July 12, 2022, Council meeting was adjourned.

Bobbie A. Waller: Clerk/Treasurer

Richard Adams: Mayor

View More Meeting Minutes 

View RecentView Archives