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Council Approves Towing Advisory Board (VA)


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HARRISONBURG — In Tuesday’s meeting, City Council approved city staff moving forward with a towing advisory board.

The board is required by state law for any municipality that uses private contractors for towing services by law enforcement.


Council was not required to approve the proposed ordinance at the meeting as expected.


Staff planned to seek approval of an ordinance regulating how the Harrisonburg Police Department would choose tow truck operators to remove illegally parked vehicles, but City Attorney Chris Brown said Tuesday that “we got a little ahead of ourselves.”


“What we are asking for tonight is the authority for staff to begin recruiting members for the towing advisory board,” Brown said at the Tuesday meeting.


Voting in favor was Mayor Deanna Reed, Councilmen Chris Jones, Richard Baugh, George Hirschmann and Sal Romero.

Brown, Wesley Russ, assistant city attorney, and Cpl. Wayne Westfall began working on the project a couple of months ago and will move forward in filling the six seats for the board.


The board is required to be comprised of two tow truck operators, two police officers and two city residents.


Russ said in an interview Wednesday that Westfall has towing operators in mind who would be interested in being on the board, as well as a few residents who know about towing.


The application to sit on the board will be posted on the city’s website under the boards and commission page this week, according to Russ.


Brown said in the council meeting that tow truck operators sitting on the board cannot also be on the list operators for the city police department.


Council will review the proposed ordinance and make a recommendation to council on the ordinance. Council will also appoint the members of the board once staff presents the applications of those who applied to sit on the board.



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