On Saturday, January 5, the Front Royal Town Council held its 2019 “Summit” to review local governmental and legal processes, departmental operations, the Town’s finances, as well as coming projects and goals. One key aspect of the summit is to give new incoming council members – of which there are two in the wake of the November election – an overview of what they are stepping into.
Departing the scheduled four-hour summit slightly after 3 p.m., first-time candidate and incoming Council-woman Letasha Thompson said she found the session informative and helpful. And while the other incoming councilman, Chris Holloway, declined comment, what he heard may have had a familiar ring from his first go-round on council circa 2006-10.
The only council absence from the summit was Jacob Meza. Also participating were Town Manager Joe Waltz, Town Attorney Doug Napier and Town Finance Director B. J. Wilson under the watchful eye of Council Clerk Jennifer Berry.
This first session with Town Manager Joe Waltz was broken into four sections: General Information; Council Orientation; Current and Future Projects; and Goal Setting. However, due to the length of the summit moving past 3 p.m. for the scheduled 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. event, as well as Meza’s absence, the Goal Setting aspect while touched upon, was slated for a revisiting by the full council at a coming work session.
Watch the Royal Examiner’s following video segments of the summit for an overview of the Town’s governmental processes as they impact, not only our elected officials, but all of us as town citizens.
Note: This first video does have some audio issues and is the longest session at about 55 minutes.
Council aligns with Planning Commission: No exemption from off-street parking
FRONT ROYAL – A motion to amend Front Royal Town Code 175-127.3 to exempt museums and art galleries from off-street parking requirements failed Monday evening (Jan. 14, 2019) at its second and final reading, as the Front Royal Town Council voted down the measure 4-2.
Councilman Jacob Meza and recently-elected LeTasha Thompson voted in favor of the code change to allow the exemption, while Councilmen Sealock, Tewalt, Gillispie and Holloway voted against the measure. Prior to the vote Sealock addressed his concerns about a lack of parking data and also reminded the panel that they had originally agreed to affirm the Planning Comission’s decision.
Virginia Beer Museum owner David Downes had previously submitted a request to receive an off-street parking exemption to expand the entity’s beer garden. The parking spots he hoped to eliminate are behind 14 and 16 Chester Street, where Downes’ law office and the museum are located.
He previously told Royal Examiner that his request was an attempt to be treated the same as the businesses on Main, Jackson and Chester streets, which are exempt from off-street parking requirements.
Last September, the Planning Commission unanimously recommended that Downe’s request be denied in favor of a town-wide parking study after a public hearing in which 14 citizens spoke in favor of the exemption, with three speaking against it.
In other business, the Town Council’s Monday:
- Appointed William C. Gordon to the Planning Commission, term expiring August 30, 2020.
- Appointed Eugene Tewalt and Jacob Meza to the Audit & Finance Committee, term expiring Dec. 31, 2019.
- Appointed William Sealock as Vice-Mayor. He will serve for two years, until the end of his term.
Town Summit – Part 6, Town Director of Finance B.J. Wilson gives us an ‘Financial Overview’.
In this 6th and final presentation of the Town Council Summit, Town Director of Finance B.J. Wilson gives us an ‘Financial Overview’.
Town Council Summit – Part 5, Town Attorney Doug Napier addresses the EDA
In late 1967, Town Council and the Warren County Board of Supervisors, by reciprocal ordinances, jointly formed the “Industrial Development Authority of the Town of Front Royal and the County of Warren, Virginia”, pursuant to State statutes. This local Industrial Development Authority (“IDA”) currently is known as the Economic Development Authority, or “EDA”. This session, Town Attorney discusses the EDA and its relationship with the County and the Town.
Town Council Summit – Part 4, Town Attorney Doug Napier addresses ‘Roberts Rules of Order’
In this fourth presentation of the Town Council Summit, Town Attorney Doug Napier addresses ‘Roberts Rules of Order’:
Town Council Summit – Part 3, Town Attorney Doug Napier addresses ‘Conflict of Interest’
In this third presentation of the Town Council Summit, Town Attorney Doug Napier addresses issues with Conflicts of Interest:
BOS Reports from County Administrator; County Attorney; WCPS; VDOT
At the Board of Supervisors meeting on January 8, 2019, the monthly reports from the County Administrator Doug Stanley, County Attorney Dan Whitten gave their reports:
Also Warren County Public Schools – Greg Drescher
And report from Ed Carter, VDOT