The Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce will host a Front Royal Town Council Candidates Forum, Thursday, October 11th at the Warren County Government Center beginning at 7 p.m. This event will offer the opportunity to hear candidates for Front Royal Town Council answer issue-based questions and provide information on their plans should they be elected. The public is encouraged to attend.
The candidates will draw numbers to determine speaking order and will have one minute for an opening statement. Then, in alternating order, the candidates will answer questions posed by the moderator. Questions for consideration can be delivered to the Chamber of Commerce prior to the forum. Attendees can also submit questions at the event. All questions will go to volunteers who will screen the questions before giving them to the moderator. Only questions that are issue-based and can be asked of all candidates will be posed. No personal attacks will be allowed. Candidates will have two minutes for closing statements.
Mike O’Dell will serve as moderator. The public is encouraged to attend.
For more information, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 540-635-3185.
The Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce is a 501c6 organization. Our mission is to promote and support our membership by serving as its voice, providing relevant programs, encouraging leadership, and creating a strong business climate and a vibrant community.
WATCH: American Legion Community Band 2018 Christmas Concert
The American Legion Community Band presented its annual Christmas Concert on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 at 7:30 pm in the R-MA Boggs Chapel in Front Royal. It was a free concert although a love offering was collected totaling $785 for the local C-CAP charity. There was music to please everyone, including traditional carols, a beautiful chorale and light-hearted selections delighting kids and grown-ups alike. The Royal Examiner’s camera was there to capture the event. Now take time, watch and welcome Christmas with the celebration of music presented by the American Legion Band.
The American Legion Community Band performs at a variety of concerts and community festivals throughout the year. All performances are free and open to the public. Their repertoire is both versatile and traditional with works ranging from classical to popular, marches and operatic overtures to modern works for band. The band is sponsored by the Giles B. Cook Post #53 of the American Legion.
We spoke with the Conductors Ed Richards, Ron Dye and Kristen Fristoe after the concert.
Also there was a special guest in the audience. All he said was his name was “Nick”.
How to take great photos on Christmas morning
One of the best parts of Christmas morning is watching your kids — or grandkids — open their gifts. It’s a magical moment to experience but also to preserve. Here are some great tips for capturing those special moments this Christmas.
Get your camera or phone ready beforehand. On Christmas eve, take a moment to make sure that the battery is charged and that you have enough memory available for new photos. Get the room you’ll be spending Christmas morning in ready too. Make sure you’re happy with the decor and that the lighting is suitable for taking pictures. As a rule, try to have as much natural light as possible.
Be in the right place
The little ones will probably be down on the floor as they open their gifts. You might want to follow suit. To get the best photo of that awe-struck or beaming face, make sure the camera lens is level to it.
Bonus tip: if you want to best capture the dramatic moment when your kids first enter the room and see the gifts under the tree, position yourself beside it so that you can photograph their faces.
Tell a story
The moment when your kid sees their new toy might be the climax, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Get pictures of them curiously weighing a wrapped box, trying on the sweater they discover inside and hugging grandma to thank her for the gift. Not only are these photos wonderful on their own, but they also tell a great story when placed side by side.
What you need to know about carbon monoxide poisoning
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas that can’t be seen, smelled or tasted. Since it doesn’t irritate the eyes or respiratory passages, it’s impossible for a human to detect it. It’s produced when cars or appliances burn fuels like gasoline, propane, oil, natural gas and wood.
Symptoms of CO poisoning
Nausea, headaches, dizziness and fatigue are the first signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. In more severe cases, it can lead to mental confusion, vomiting and loss of muscle co-ordination. In the most extreme cases, it can cause a coma or death.
Prevention of CO poisoning
To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, follow these tips:
• Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home, and test them regularly. Visit the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission website for more information.
• Properly maintain your fuel-burning heating system and get your chimney cleaned once a year to ensure that it’s not obstructed.
• Hire a professional to inspect the ventilation near appliances that burn fuel (like gas stoves).
• Never leave a car running in the garage, even if the door is open.
• Don’t use gas- or propane-powered equipment such as a camping heater, barbeque or chainsaw in your house or garage.
If you begin to exhibit symptoms of CO poisoning, or if your alarm goes off, go outside immediately and call 911. Don’t go back inside your home until emergency service responders have given you the all-clear. Ensure that any appliance that may have caused the leak is inspected before using it.
If your power goes out
Within your home, only use lighting, heating and cooking appliances designed for indoor use, and never use a gas stove as an indoor heat source — even for just a few minutes! If you use a generator, install it outdoors, as far away as possible from doors and windows, making sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Buying a snowblower: types and features
Are you on the hunt for the perfect snowblower? Wondering which one you should buy? Here’s what you should know about the different available types.
• Electric shovels: ideal for small areas like balconies, sidewalks or very small driveways. They can remove snow up to four inches deep.
• Electric snowblowers: best for small, flat driveways. They’re typically unable to remove icy or heavy snow.
• Single-stage snowblowers: also best for small driveways with trouble lifting icy and heavy snow. They can remove up to eight inches of snow.
• Two-stage snowblowers: suited for long, wide or sloped driveways. They have no problem moving over eight inches of snow, even if it’s heavy or mixed with ice. However, they take up a lot of room, so make sure you have sufficient storage space.
• Three-stage snowblowers: perfect for large driveways and areas that regularly get huge amounts of snow. They can be up to 50 percent more powerful than two-stage snowblowers.
Now that you’ve determined the type of snowblower you need, you can start looking at the different models that are available. Some have heated handgrips. Others come with power steering, a feature that makes using a big machine much easier.
It’s best to invest in a popular brand because if replacement pieces are ever needed, they’ll be more readily available.
Always buy the best model of snowblower you can afford. Inexpensive ones tend to require more in the way of maintenance and repairs.
Warren County Market Report – November 2018
Watch this video for a quick summary of Warren County real estate for November 2018. Charts demonstrate the changes in the market, so be sure to click play!
In general summary:
- Volume is about the same as last year.
- Values are slowly going up.
- Homes are selling slightly quicker. (79 DOM)
*If you would like a copy of this report emailed to you, please just send your request to Jennifer@nexthomerealtyselect.com.
Resource: 2018 Market Stats by ShowingTime
MRIS: Statistics calculated December 6, 2018
Jennifer Avery, Realtor for NextHome Realty Select
BPOR, SRS, CNE, ASP, E-Pro Certified | Licensed in VA
firstname.lastname@example.org | 540-683-0790
210 E Main Street, Front Royal VA | www.nexthomerealtyselect.com
County looks at $1.1 million cost to meet compensation study recommendations
The Warren County Board of Supervisors got an update on its contracted Compensation and Benefits Study at a December 18 work session: the good news: in general the County pays better than 6 out of 10 surrounding municipalities it was compared against; the bad news: the recommendation to improve that standing and employee retention will cost the County nearly $1.1 million; with a corresponding compensation study of the public school system still to come with a recommendation promised to be “a BIGGER number”.
How much bigger might be ascertained from staff numbers included in the June Request for Proposal (RFP) leading to the July 2018 contract with Paypoint HR provided by the County Human Resources Department. Those numbers for the county government were 337 total employees, 212 full-time, 85 part-time and 40 seasonal; and for the public school system 936 total employees, 791 full-time, 145 part-time.
Other bad news includes the fact that the richer Northern Virginia municipalities to the east in the D.C. Metro area that were not included in the wage comparison study (other than Fauquier to our immediate east) are still there and will continue to dangle higher salaries to qualified and experienced employees willing to deal with the 30 to 60-or-so-minute commute.
It was also noted that one regional community that was included in the comparison study, Frederick County does try to offer competitive salaries with some of those Northern Virginia communities like Loudoun County “which skewers the numbers a bit,” County Administrator Doug Stanley pointed out.
“This gives us a lot to think about,” Board Chairman Tony Carter commented toward the end of discussion of the Paypoint HR power point presentation at the 10 a.m., one agenda item work session.
Carter’s earlier question to Paypoint HR representatives, “Can you guarantee that every employee will be happy if we implement this?” led to some laughter, as well as more serious responses from Paypoint HR President Dr. Rick Campbell and CEO Karin Campbell.
“What we do is establish what is fair pay in a given region,” Rick Campbell told the Warren supervisors who hold the County purse string decision-making authority.
Karin Campbell noted that the role of an independent, third-party consultant was to “bring an unbiased, objective opinion” to the county’s officials – “We are the messenger of these numbers,” she said.
The compensation study was contracted in July in an attempt to diminish the number of experienced employees the county regularly loses to higher-paying jobs elsewhere.
County Administrator Stanley elaborated that the comparative study area was comprised of 13 municipalities, including all adjacent counties and some of the towns in those counties.
After Paypoint HR CEO Karin Campbell reviewed the company’s methodology and scope which included an excellent 94% response rate from county employees, she cited one area where she noted “opportunity for improvement” by the county. That was in “the area of employee wellness, education and communication of benefits.”
She elaborated that some municipalities offer additional perks from cell service discounts to tuition reimbursements that employees look at as an extension of their benefits package.
Rick Campbell then reviewed the existing salary scale, what was determined as the minimum adequate living wage for this community – $12.18 per hour – and recommended alterations to the county’s wage structure to improve employee retention.
Those recommendations included: 1/ raising the salaries of positions below the $12.18 hourly rate – “nine 40-hour Part-Time General positions” requiring $25,787; 2/ raising the salaries of positions Substantially Below the competitive study area Market rate – 151 positions including 22 in the Department of Social Services and 30 in Fire and Rescue with the remainder General positions both full and part-time, requiring $929,784; and 3/ raise another 47 positions also considered below the Market rate – $142,990 to implement. Those numbers add up to a total cost of $1,098,561 impacting salaries for 207 county employees upward.
The recommendation concluded with advice to “continue providing raises to positions Near Market” rate, and discontinuation of “providing raises to positions Above Market or Substantially Above Market” rates.
The study summary concluded with a reference to more work on a Sheriff’s Office Career Development plan. – “Prior to implementing a career development program for any single department or employee group, career development plans for all non-supervisory personnel should be considered,” the report stated, adding that Sheriff’s Office deputies in patrol, animal control and school resource officer Grade 14 level – noted as the bulk of the department – was currently compensated at a 63% rate of the external study area market.
County staff estimated that board consideration of the final report would come in January or February 2019. A multi-year implementation plan has been requested by the County.