The once-routine practice of appointing members of the Harrisonburg Electric Commission (HEC) attracted unusual attention this week, as some city residents raised concerns about transparency and the commission’s commitment to the city’s sustainability goals. As a result, on Tuesday night, the city council postponed action for a second month in a row on two appointments to the five-member commission that governs the city’s electric utility.
“Good job, ladies! Good job,” said Mayor Deanna Reed, before a standing ovation from about 80 people at the city council meeting on Tuesday evening. The applause celebrated the council’s support for Virginia ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution. Small girls with their mothers and men sporting ERA buttons were among those clapping alongside eight women who had worked on the issue since Congress first passed the amendment in 1972.
The estimated cost of building the new high school has risen by $9.5 million, according to a presentation Grimm + Parker Architects made to the Harrisonburg City School Board on Monday evening.
As Harrisonburg Police Chief Eric English outlined his policing philosophies and answered questions from about 30 community members at his first town hall meeting Monday, he kept returning to a central theme.
What has been called the Thomas Harrison House for many years — and what the city of Harrisonburg planned to spend $1 million to restore and turn into a museum of the founder’s life — now remains in limbo as city staff decides where to go from here. But some residents see an opportunity for the still-historic, if not as old as first advertised, building to delve into more of the area’s background.