City of Staunton Mayor responds to last night’s cancelled meeting

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 5:57 PM EST
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - A handful of Staunton City Council members called a special meeting to talk about the Augusta County Courthouse’s potential move out of the city, but too few members attended in person to allow for the meeting.

Some attendees called out the absent city leaders, saying they wanted to learn more about a proposed agreement between Staunton and Augusta County. Staunton Mayor Andrea Oakes, who didn’t attend the meeting, said nothing has changed since their last city council meeting on Dec. 9.

“The meeting was set up to answer some questions from the public; however, we have no new information, so there’s nothing to provide because we just voted on this on December 9th,” said Oakes, who added she couldn’t attend due to medical reasons.

Oakes said she has no plans to go back on the council’s vote to table the discussion about the courthouse.

“Whether you’re in the City of Staunton or Augusta County, I cannot be a part of flipping the will of the people,” Oakes said.

She said she doesn’t want to see the city lose the county seat, and she’s worried about how much it would cost the citizens of Staunton to take on the five historic buildings included in the agreement.

She said she needs more information, and that’s why the matter was tabled.

“We need to have information that’s valid and has been properly researched and not rushed. Slow the process down. We can have information in order to put it out there for our citizens and have a proper public hearing,” Oakes said.

Discussions about the courthouse are on the agenda for their next meeting Thursday, Jan. 13.

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