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Council divided on move toward second, Town-controlled EDA



‘Should we stay or should we go? If we go there could be trouble; if we stay it could be double’ – perhaps council and the interim mayor were humming the old Clash song ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ during their discussion of a future EDA direction … maybe. Royal Examiner Photo/Roger Bianchini. Video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

A new strategy on handling the EDA situation emerged from the Front Royal Town Council Work Session Monday night, September 23 – that strategy was a move from the “we don’t have anything to do with the EDA anymore” philosophy of self-imposed exile from EDA oversight into a “let’s start our own EDA separate from the one the County has allowed to go rouge” while we were just giving $10 million “bridge loans” to facilitate an allegedly fraudulent project inside the town limits.

The initiative appeared to gain momentum after Gary Gillespie broached the idea by expressing a fear that continued involvement with the EDA might make the Town liable for some of the EDA’s debt. First Chris Holloway, then Jacob Meza and Letasha Thompson jumped on the bandwagon giving the idea an apparent council majority.

Meza, who is council’s representative on the EDA Reform Committee that was scheduled to meet the following afternoon, suggested a two-year trial run to see how the dueling EDA system was working out and to revisit the existing EDA’s legal and financial situation after two years.

The notion of totally abandoning the EDA ship at this crisis point of efforts to right that ship under the guidance of a new executive staff and largely new board of directors drew criticism from an unexpected source, longtime councilman, former mayor, and current mayoral candidate Eugene Tewalt.

Tewalt has long been the primary seller of the notion that since the County took over the Town’s portion of the EDA’s annual operational funding as part of the ongoing North Commercial Corridor compensation negotiation, council “has nothing to do” with EDA operations and oversight. It is a questionable notion at best, in that many EDA projects including Royal Phoenix/Avtex and Afton Inn redevelopment, the new police department construction project, and marketing of other properties occur within the town limits and often with the direct assistance of Town funding, permitting and tacit council approval – perhaps Councilman Tewalt is catching on.

“I think we need to sit down and spend a lot of time on this. We make too many spur of the moment decisions – wrong decisions. I think we need to ride it for awhile as is,” Tewalt cautioned council’s younger generation about an abrupt change of economic development direction.

Vice Mayor William Sealock, a former EDA board member, joined Tewalt in urging caution.

He said he shared a concern the Town had taken on the role of “second fiddle” to the County in overseeing EDA affairs, but insightfully observed, “It could be because we’ve withdrawn, rather than be proactive in it. So my point is we need to be proactive into the EDA in whatever goes forward.”

Sealock also pointed to the potential cost to the Town of establishing its own economic development entity. He noted council’s reluctance to fund things it pursues like a building maintenance code, even the dilapidated building enforcement aspect of such a code.

Interim Mayor Tederick took a middle ground, saying, “I agree with everyone – how about that.”

But Tewalt and Sealock’s cautionary comments did appear to sway Holloway from his initially outright support to the separate EDA idea.

“I agree with Gene, that we take our time and make sure we do it right. We don’t have to jump right in and start our own IDA, we can take our time and make sure everything is in place,” Holloway said of avoiding a knee-jerk reaction to the situation.

Despite EDA Executive Director Doug Parson’s past promise to work with town officials to reach a mutually satisfactory end to the Town-EDA financial situation, Tederick summarized his perception of the council majority stance, a stance voiced by Meza, as one of avoidance of direct interaction with the EDA due to the Town’s civil suit seeking recovery of as much as $15 million in alleged misdirected town assets from the EDA.

Tederick also suggested council extend an invitation to State Legislative representatives to become involved in setting the legal stage for the Town’s creation of its own IDA/EDA independent of any County involvement.

However Tewalt led the discussion back toward increased Town involvement in the existing EDA – “Why can’t we have a representative (on the EDA board), we’re part of the county?”

“I like the idea of having a seat at the table of the EDA – our involvement brought everything to light … to begin with,” Meza suggested of a point perhaps more accurate if he was referring to the town’s finance staff and police, rather than any initial impetus from council itself. Of course Town Finance Director B. J. Wilson was exploring the Town’s financial status seeking a source for an internal, interest free loan to pay for a half million dollar Town Police radio upgrade at council’s direction when he discovered the years of debt service over-payments to the EDA, so there is that.

Watch this exclusive Royal Examiner video to hear council’s work session discussion of an economic development plan of action, including a seeming move away from a cooperative effort toward economic development reform. Perhaps a sign of that move was cancellation of Tuesday’s EDA Reform Committee meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m., according to staff at the Town’s request.

Maybe the Town’s committee reps didn’t want to be in the same room with all those criminally indicted County officials.

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Local Government

Grand Opening of the Warren County Splash Pad



Warren County’s Department of Parks and Recreation is excited to invite everyone to the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Warren County Splash Pad on Saturday, October 12, 2019, at 1:00 pm. The ceremony will be held at Dr. Saul Seide Memorial Botanical Gardens (beside Raymond E. Santmyers Youth Center).

Following the ceremony, the Splash Pad will be open for play and water fun until 5:00 pm. Please join us to celebrate an exciting addition to Warren County!

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EDA in Focus

Town, EDA civil motions arguments continued to November 8



A scheduled Wednesday afternoon motions hearing in the Town of Front Royal’s civil suit against the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority has been continued to November 8, at 9 a.m.

Apparently Harrisonburg-based Judge Bruce D. Albertson and attorneys for both sides were aware of the continuance, because as the clock turned to the scheduled single case 2 p.m. docket none of that trio was present. However this reporter, a colleague from another media outlet, EDA Board of Directors Vice Chairman Jeff Browne, a court bailiff and Circuit Court clerk were all present along with a single spectator who had traveled from Winchester.

A clerk’s call to the judge’s office and Browne’s call to the EDA attorney’s office quickly confirmed the new hearing date.

What will be argued on the new hearing date is the EDA’s claim of institutional sovereign immunity from the financial liability at issue in the Town’s litigation seeking recovery of “as much as $15 million” in misdirected Town assets related to the EDA’s own civil litigation seeking recovery of $21.3 million in EDA assets.

Current EDA Executive Director Doug Parsons has promised to work with Town officials to ascertain exactly how much the EDA owes the Town in overpayments or misdirected asset allocation.

However Town legal staff indicated the threat of statute of limitations deadlines on misdirected Town assets due to uncertainty on exactly what assets at what time are involved, in the decision to file the Town civil suit against the EDA/IDA.

Town Attorney Doug Napier is on one end of the sovereign immunity legal arguments anticipated at a motions hearing now scheduled for Nov. 8. Royal Examiner File Photo/Roger Bianchini

Of the Town’s dispute of the EDA sovereign immunity claim, EDA counsel wrote, “Plaintiff (the Town) argues that there is a fiduciary duty owed by the EDA to the Town that is actionable if breached. However, the relationship between the EDA and the Town of Front Royal is governed solely by statute,” which appears to be a legalese point of law based in the relationship between EDA’s and the municipalities that create them to oversee economic development for them.

“That the Town of Front Royal voluntarily waived its right to control the EDA, contrary to the statutory mandate, does not create an actionable fiduciary duty inuring to its benefit,” EDA Attorney Rosalie Fessier wrote, further observing, “The General Assembly has imposed a matter of accountability and protection of the public money within the statutory scheme and did not provide for a procedural remedy in the manner sought in this case.”

Town legal counsel contends that the EDA as an entity and its former executive director made unfulfilled promises regarding Town assets that negate the sovereign immunity claim: “… here, the EDA and McDonald represented to the Town they were going to invest in certain investments on behalf of the Town, the EDA and McDonald were engaged in ministerial, not discretionary, duties … The facts alleged above constitute an implied in fact, if not an express, contract between the EDA and Town. As pled, the EDA and McDonald breached those contracts.”

Uh oh, breaches of “implied” versus “express” contracts and fiduciary duties; and a “voluntary” abdication of oversight authority by the Town are likely to lead to some mind bending legalese arguments on November 8 – can’t wait.

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Local Government

Shenandoah Farms and Blue Mountain Sanitary Districts completion of Tomahawk Way, Phase II Rural Addition project



Representatives in photo: Shenandoah District Board of Supervisors Member, Tom Sayre; County Administrator, Doug Stanley; Deputy County Administrator, Bob Childress; Shenandoah Farms Property Owners’ Association Board Chairman, Ralph Rinaldi, and other board members; Blue Mountain Property Owners’ Association Board Chairman, Jim McMannaway; and members of Warren County Fire & Rescue.

Warren County officials and representatives of the Shenandoah Farms and Blue Mountain Property Owner Associations recently gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the Tomahawk Way, Phase II Rural Addition improvement project. Tomahawk Way lies within and serves several homes within the Blue Mountain Sanitary District and also serves as the primary access roadway to the Mountain View Section of the Shenandoah Farms Sanitary District, which includes over 100 homes and the potential for many more. The 0.25 mile long project to improve Tomahawk Way also included the reconstruction and paving of a 0.11 mile segment of the adjacent Old Linden Road, which also serves both Sanitary Districts. The long awaited completion of the Phase II project along with the original construction of Phase I, completed in 2013, now provides for a paved roadway for hundreds of residents out to Freezeland Road.

The project was identified as the Shenandoah Farm Sanitary District’s #1 Rural Addition priority in its Fiscal Year 2018/19 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The CIP, reviewed annually with the Property Owners Association Board (POSF) and approved by the Warren County Board of Supervisors, provides a blueprint for improvements within the District. The CIP includes both VDOT Revenue Sharing Projects and “in-house” projects in a prioritized list to provide guidance for staff to implement road and drainage improvements.

The project was funded primarily through VDOT’s Revenue Sharing Program with VDOT picking up 50% and Warren County 25% of the eligible costs. Since the improved roadways lie within and serve two separate Sanitary Districts, the remaining 25% costs were shared by the Shenandoah Farms and Blue Mountain Sanitary Districts on a 75/25 cost sharing basis. Since completion, the roadways have been accepted by VDOT for maintenance. Improving these types of roads and turning them over to VDOT allows for the Sanitary District funds that would normally be targeted for their maintenance to be used to maintain and improve other roads.

The completion of this project represent the 20th roadway the County has developed and upgraded through the Rural Addition program over the past 10 years. Since taking on the administration of the Shenandoah Farms Sanitary District road system in July 2010 the County has upgraded and turned over approximately 4 miles of roadways within the District to VDOT. This program allows for private subdivision roads to be upgraded to minimum state standards permitting their addition to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Secondary Road System. Tomahawk Way and Old Linden Road were reconstructed to provide a 20’ wide paved surface with 2’ stabilized shoulders.  Roadway culverts and private entrance pipes were replaced and/or supplemented throughout the project and side ditches constructed where necessary to improve drainage and safety signage installed.

According to Warren County Administrator Doug Stanley, “The VDOT Revenue Sharing Program allows the County to administer these types of projects at a much lower cost. Since we don’t have all the overhead costs that VDOT does, we can complete them much more cost effectively. Deputy County Administrator Robert “Bob” Childress, who manages the Shenandoah Farms Sanitary District for the County, developed and provided daily oversight of construction on the project. Bob’s background and experience in road maintenance and construction with VDOT prior to his employment with the County have proved to be invaluable as we seek to make improvements to the infrastructure of the Sanitary Districts.”

According to Childress, “The originally approved VDOT Revenue Sharing estimate for the project totaled $280,000, and while all final billing has not been processed, it appears the project has been successfully completed just under the budgeted amount.” The roadway grading and drainage work were completed by General Excavation, Inc. of Warrenton, with the asphalt surfaces being placed by Carroll Construction Company, Inc. of Winchester. Childress goes on to say, “We were very blessed to experience good weather this summer and to have had knowledgeable contractors on our team which allowed us to complete the project within our budget and construction schedule”.

Stanley further stated, “I am thankful for the partnering relationship between the County, the Shenandoah Farms, and Blue Mountain POA’s to advance and successfully complete this important project. The upgrading and paving of these local subdivision roads improve access, make travel safer for residents, and enhance response times for emergency vehicles/equipment.”

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Local Government

Board of Zoning Appeals approves variance requests for homeowners in flood zones



Pricillia and Mark Perko requested and received variances from the Board of Zoning Appeals. Photo by Kim Riley. Video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

FRONT ROYAL — Pricillia Perko, who along with her husband Mark Perko owns waterfront property in a flood zone on the Shenandoah River, on Thursday night literally asked members of the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) to help save her life.

The couple appeared during the BZA’s first public hearing session regarding their variance requests for a steel pavilion that covers part of the carport at their Avalon Drive property in Shenandoah River Estates (SRE).

“Our carport, as silly as it may seem to others, actually serves as a lifeboat for me in the winter,” Pricillia Perko said in a statement read by her husband to the BZA during its October 3 meeting.

“When I have flare-ups, I can’t wait for an ambulance and can’t take a chance that it would not be able to get to me or not be able to get me out once it arrived if the roads were bad, as they have been many times.”

Pricillia Perko, a lung cancer and heart attack survivor, currently suffers resulting health conditions that have severely impacted her breathing. One of the ways that Mark Perko tried to help improve her quality of life and to proactively prepare for emergencies occurred in 2015 when he erected the pavilion, which serves two purposes: as a canopy that allows Pricillia to enjoy the outdoors without being baked by the sun, and for car shelter during inclement winter weather when she may need emergency transport to the local hospital.

The community’s roads are not maintained by either the County or State, making travel difficult for ambulances during winter weather, said Mark Perko.

“Ice and snow events are the types of situations that scare me,” according to Pricillia’s statement. “My husband keeps our truck emergency-ready with chains on it when ice is forecast.

Unfortunately, I do not have time to wait for him to clean off snow and ice or get a vehicle road ready. In those cases, I need to leave very quickly. This is when the carport becomes a lifeboat for me by keeping a vehicle emergency ready.”

The problem with the permanent structure, however, was that the pavilion didn’t meet certain Warren County zoning requirements, according to Matt Wendling, the County floodplain manager and planner II, who toured the Perkos’ property during a community assistance visit this spring with a representative from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“This is how Mr. Perko’s pavilion was discovered,” Wendling wrote in his September 23 staff summary for the BZA. “Planning Staff requested Mr. Perko to apply for a building permit, which he did and was approved by the Building Inspections office to be flood proofed. However, zoning could not approve the permit because the pavilion does not meet the zoning ordinance setback requirements.”

Ultimately, Wendling told the Perko family that they needed to request a variance to Warren County Code Section 180-12(B)(4)(b) and 180-22(H)(1)&(3) to allow an accessory building to be located within the front yard at a front setback of 19 feet in lieu of the required 50-feet setback. They also needed to request a variance for another County code regarding the number of accessory structures on a property less than one acre in size located in the County’s special flood hazard area.

But Wendling also noted in his staff summary that the pavilion’s location “does seem to be the only location on the Perkos’ property where they could place the pavilion” because the parcel is a small lot (0.16 acres) where there’s also a house, shed, septic system and well.

The Perko family requested variances to County codes for their pavilion and shed. Photo from County file

Nevertheless, before requesting their variances, the Perkos experienced months of what Mark Perko called “high anxiety” as they jumped through bureaucratic hoops.

“I personally think that the citizens of the flood zone areas want to obtain permits and follow the due process,” Mark Perko told BZA members, “but our experiences have been that the current attitude of the County forbids that from happening when one has specific needs or wants to improve their home or property in these communities.”

That sentiment was echoed by several of his neighbors from Shenandoah River Estates who also attended the BZA meeting to support the Perkos’ request, voice their own concerns, and offer suggestions for improving zoning processes and codes.

Eva Challis, for instance, who is vice president of the SRE Civic Association, pointed out what the group considers a key discrepancy between residents and County planning and zoning officials: the variance issue regarding what constitutes a front yard.

Waterfront homeowners consider their front yards to be facing the Shenandoah River, while the County refers to a front yard as being on the side of the house facing the street.

“Our community was created as a waterfront community because the view should be the river, not the road,” Challis said. “To have a beautiful view of the river it wouldn’t make sense to want to put sheds, carports, a garage or whatever is allowed in front to obstruct your view. It would make sense in our specific community that the back of your house faces the road.”

SRE formerly was part of Happy Creek Farm and was developed in the flood zone in the 1950s when lot-size requirements didn’t exist. Most lots were purchased for a standard 50-feet wide with varying lengths, which subsequently have changed due to erosion caused by the Shenandoah River, Challis said.

“If it’s possible, it would be great if we could be considered as some sort of an exception,” suggested Challis, noting that if the residential zoning for SRE could be changed to agricultural, then SRE would be allowed more variances or exceptions.

“Just because we don’t fit the current subdivision definition, perhaps you could consider changing the code to help us to fit into perhaps some other categories,” she added.

Another resident supporting the Perko family variance request sent an October 3 letter to BZA Secretary Cindy Kodernak, Mark Perko, and Thomas Sayre, vice chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors, whose Shenandoah District includes SRE.

SRE “residents should not be limited by unrealistic stringent planning and zoning rules as our neighborhood is unique and was built this way,” wrote Sally Long, who lives on Harris Drive. “We need clear guidelines to follow that apply to our riverfront community and reflect the way it was originally established by the developer. We need special exemptions to the code.”

Sayre also attended the BZA meeting to support the Perkos’ request.

“I think it makes a statement that a County supervisor cares enough about the citizens under his authority to take his personal time to attend this meeting and hear his constituents’ concerns,” Mark Perko told the BZA.

Following the Perkos’ public hearing session, the BZA considered their variance requests, with BZA Vice Chair Lorraine Smelser motioning to accept an accessory building to be located “within the front yard at a front setback of 19 feet,” and to allow two accessory structures on the property “with the condition that the applicant meets all building and zoning permitting requirements.”

The motion was seconded by BZA member Robert Conway and unanimously approved by the Board — action that generated audience applause.

BZA members then held two more separate public hearing sessions for similar variance requests for setback increases, as well as increases to the number of accessory structures on properties less than one acre in size.

Gang Li (left) and Helen Xiaohui Wu (center) discuss their variance request with Warren County Floodplain Manager and Planner II Matt Wendling (right). Photo by Kim Riley

In each case, the Front Royal residents said they previously received incorrect information about whether they needed certain County-required documents to construct certain structures on their properties.

For instance, Helen Xiaohui Wu and Gang Li, who live on Old Dam Road on the Shenandoah River, had to request a variance to Warren County Code Section 180-12(B)(4)(b) and 180-22(H)(1)&(3) to allow a garage and deck to be located within the front yard with no front setback in lieu of the required 50-feet setback and a side setback of 6 feet in lieu of the required 10-feet setback.

Warren County planner Wendling reported that in March, when County planning staff and a FEMA floodplain manager made site visits to locations around Warren County, they “observed a garage, deck and storage shed” on the Xiaohui/Gang property as they drove through the subdivision.

“These structures appear to be placed there a number of years ago, but we have no records of it being permitted,” wrote Wendling in a June 21, 2019 letter to Xiaohui and Gang, adding that without the required permits, “the property would be in violation … and may make you subject to zoning enforcement actions.”

Xiaohui apologized to BZA members on Thursday for being “ignorant about how the building process works which is why I hired a contractor to take care of the necessary details. I now know that this contractor did not comply with the standard process for building projects.”

Similarly, Kent Wager in 2017 built a carport on his Valley Retreat Road property on the South Fork of the Shenandoah River that a formerly employed County building inspector told him didn’t require a permit. But then this year Wendling told him the structure did require a variance for the 19-feet front setback in lieu of the required 50-feet setback.

Each variance request for both applicants also sought to allow for the number of accessory structures on a lot of less than one acre in size to be increased to four in lieu of two.

The BZA approved both requested variances with the condition that each applicant meet all building and zoning permitting requirements.

And BZA Chairman David Feiring told Xiaohui to make sure that any future contractors she hires understand what’s required by the County before they conduct any work.

Watch the BZA meeting in this exclusive Royal Examiner video:

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EDA in Focus

EDA board tours ITFed site to view status of disputed drainage pipe



EDA board members view a ditch with no drainage pipe laid as of Oct. 4, 2019. The path of the disputed segment of a stormwater drainage system is to the right-center of the photo. Royal Examiner Photos/Roger Bianchini. Video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

Following a 20 minute open session and two closed sessions totaling three hours and ten minutes, the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Board of Directors walked next door to the ITFederal building construction site to view the status of a drainage ditch through portions of the property.

Town Engineer Robert Brown soon joined the EDA board members to revisit the situation. That situation appeared to be a continued impasse between ITFederal CEO Truc “Curt” Tran and the Town of Front Royal over responsibility for placing the stormwater drainage system across portions of the 30-acre ITFed parcel.

As Brown first explained to town council and staff at a September 17 work session, Tran is claiming the Town is responsible for paying to install the drainage system based on what town officials claim was a draft architectural drawing that was never submitted, as opposed to the final, submitted version.

At issue is a 505-foot stretch of 42-inch stormwater drainage piping with a cost estimate of about $150,000 to install. Last September Brown told council that the initial 505 foot stretch was estimated at $120,873 with an additional 700-foot channel extending beyond the 10,000 square-foot building under construction adding as much as an additional $50,000 to the project.

As noted in our September 19, 2017 story, town officials have drawn a line in “the mud” if you will on the issue with the embattled ITFederal CEO.

Stormwater accumulated in Sept. 2018 at the time town officials were briefed by staff on the cost dispute. Phase one of the W. Main Connector road had yet to be paved at the time.

Friday Brown confirmed that it would be unlikely the Town would issue an occupancy permit for the building without the drainage system being installed. The disputed portion of the drainage piping traversing the rear of the ITFed building is necessary to carry natural stormwater flow that has passed under the first phase of the West Main Connector Road in a drainage system the Town installed beyond the ITFederal construction project to a collection point.

Town Engineer Robert Brown points to a traditional point of origin for stormwater naturally flowing across the northern section of the Royal Phoenix property near Kendrick Lane.

One of the few conditions Tran has to meet to remain compliant with the payback and construction terms of the EDA’s $10 million loan to ITFederal is to have an occupancy permit in place by mid-2020.

Failing that requirement it would appear at that point Tran would be considered in default of the terms of his EDA loan agreement. It is a loan the EDA has included in its $21 million civil litigation as already recoverable as illegally acquired EDA assets.

Former EDA/County Attorney Dan Whitten has cited the ITFederal loan as acquired under false pretenses. The false pretenses appear to include the fact that a $140-million federal government contract asserted by Tran, Congressman Robert Goodlatte and former EDA Executive Director Jennifer McDonald as the basis of a $40 million ITFederal investment in the site sold to him behind closed doors for one dollar, never existed.

Following the first 2-1/2 hour closed session Friday morning the EDA board approved a motion to amend its civil litigation to add new defendants. That amended filing is expected to be made by the end of the day. When filed at the Warren County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, the amendments to the $20-million EDA civil litigations will be added in a related story.

In the meantime watch this exclusive Royal Examiner video of the EDA tour of the ITFederal property:

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Local Government

Stanley leads RSW Jail Authority through routine business meeting



From left, RSW Authority Chair Doug Stanley, Shenandoah County’s Conrad Hensley, Dan Murray and Sheriff Arnold hidden behind Authority legal counsel.. Photo by Roger Bianchini. Video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

On Thursday, September 26, just two days after being booked along with 12 of 13 other municipal officials on three misdemeanor counts of misfeasance and nonfeasance in the conduct of their public offices, Warren County Administrator Doug Stanley returned to the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren County Regional Jail.

However this visit was for the more pleasant task of chairing the RSW Jail Authority Board of Directors meeting. Stanley has held the authority chairmanship for several years. The board is comprised of the three involved counties’ chief administrative officials, a county board representative, the three sheriffs and various jail officials.

Warren County Board of Supervisors Chairman Dan Murray, also indicted on those three misdemeanor charges related to an alleged lapse of due diligent oversight of former Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Jennifer McDonald over the last four months of 2018, also represents the County on the RSW Authority Board along with Sheriff Michael Arnold.

No mention of the Warren County officials’ legal situation – all charged were released on personal recognizance bonds without ever being booked into the jail – was made during the meeting. However prior to the meeting’s start Murray did audibly converse with Shenandoah County Board member Conrad Hensley, seated to his right, about his desire to sell his house upon his pending retirement from local politics. New Jersey native Murray is not running for reelection in the wake of personal and family health issues.

RSW Jail Superintendent Russ Gilkison directed the meeting through several staff reports on jail operations, financing and staff issues.

And for those disappointed in not hearing all of Davenport & Associates’ Ted Cole’s somewhat detailed summary of the pending VRS municipal bond reissue at the October 1 county supervisors meeting, Cole made a similar uninterrupted presentation on the RSW Jail bond reissue.

Ted Cole, white shirt, explains in detail the potential advantages of a municipal bond reissue for the RSW construction bond if current interest rates hold.

See that “scintillating” piece of financial analysis and the rest of the RSW Authority Board discussion of jail operations in this linked Royal Examiner videos: – Get the popcorn, dad! I can’t wait to hear ALL of Mr. Cole’s analysis of the ins and outs of the flow of interest rates toward historic lows and if that can hold through the next month and save all of us, well, all of you taxpayers $7 million in interest payments over the next 20 years or so:

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King Cartoons

Get Your Zombie Walk Shirt

Front Royal
07:2118:35 EDT
Feels like: 46°F
Wind: 0mph NE
Humidity: 93%
Pressure: 29.98"Hg
UV index: 0
min 43°F


Upcoming Events

10:00 am Acrylic Painting: An Individuali... @ Art in the Valley
Acrylic Painting: An Individuali... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 15 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Acrylic Painting: An Individualized Approach @ Art in the Valley
With an emphasis on individuality and creativity, this acrylic painting class welcomes all skill levels. Some concepts we will explore include various paint application techniques, color theory, and composition. Within these basic parameters, we will[...]
10:30 am Art Class “Fall is Here” @ Art in the Valley
Art Class “Fall is Here” @ Art in the Valley
Oct 16 @ 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Art Class "Fall is Here" @ Art in the Valley
We are offering classes for children ages 7-12 who would enjoy expressing themselves through art. The students will expand their creative side with drawing, painting and constructing, using various mediums such as acrylic, pastels, watercolor[...]
7:00 pm Author Jeff Hunt book signing @ Warren Rifles Confederate Museum
Author Jeff Hunt book signing @ Warren Rifles Confederate Museum
Oct 16 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Author Jeff Hunt book signing @ Warren Rifles Confederate Museum
Author Jeff Hunt will be presenting and signing copies of his books from the Meade and Lee Series at multiple events in the state of Virginia. The first event is at 7:00 pm on Wednesday,[...]
1:30 pm The Fundamentals of Oil Painting... @ Art in the Valley
The Fundamentals of Oil Painting... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 17 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
The Fundamentals of Oil Painting - Fall 2019 @ Art in the Valley
This class will focus on proven approaches for successful oil paintings. Subject matter will be the student’s choice. No previous painting experience with oils necessary. The class will introduce students to fundamental concepts of color[...]
10:00 am R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Oct 18 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Randolph-Macon Academy will welcome alumni and their families back to campus on Friday and Saturday, October 18th and 19th, during the annual Homecoming weekend. Events that are open to the general public include the Homecoming[...]
1:30 pm The Fundamentals of Acrylic Pain... @ Art in the Valley
The Fundamentals of Acrylic Pain... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 18 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
The Fundamentals of Acrylic Painting - Fall 2019 @ Art in the Valley
This class will focus on proven approaches for successful acrylic paintings. Subject matter will be the student’s choice. No previous painting experience with acrylics necessary. The class will introduce students to fundamental concepts of color[...]
10:00 am R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Oct 19 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
R-MA Homecoming @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Randolph-Macon Academy will welcome alumni and their families back to campus on Friday and Saturday, October 18th and 19th, during the annual Homecoming weekend. Events that are open to the general public include the Homecoming[...]
10:30 am 2nd Annual Peak Leaf Music & Bre... @ Valley Roots Farm
2nd Annual Peak Leaf Music & Bre... @ Valley Roots Farm
Oct 19 @ 10:30 am – 7:00 pm
2nd Annual Peak Leaf Music & Brewers Festival @ Valley Roots Farm
Join us for the 2nd annual Peak Leaf Music & Brewers Festival! Come party on Saturday, October 19th, 2019, for a day of live music, local brews, local merchants, and local food trucks; all for a[...]
1:00 pm Workshop: An Introduction to Col... @ Art in the Valley
Workshop: An Introduction to Col... @ Art in the Valley
Oct 19 @ 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Workshop: An Introduction to Color Theory @ Art in the Valley
This one day workshop will be an introduction to color theory as it applies to image-making. We will talk about primary, secondary and tertiary colors and how to mix them from a simple palette for[...]
5:30 pm 7th Annual Front Royal Zombie Walk @ Bing Crosby Stadium
7th Annual Front Royal Zombie Walk @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Oct 19 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
7th Annual Front Royal Zombie Walk @ Bing Crosby Stadium
Put on your best zombie costume and practice your best shambling limp, because it’s time for the annual FRONT ROYAL ZOMBIE WALK! The Walk will begin at Bing Crosby Stadium at 6pm sharp. We will[...]