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Front Royal Town Manager: Matthew Tederick’s Peyton Places

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I must be honest with you, the television series “Peyton Place” was years before my time. In fact, I did not know the series was based on a movie from the middle 50s until a few days ago.

But it is amazing what one can find these days with a few calls and very basic searches on Google, to include what the actual “Peyton Place” series was about – I don’t think I would have watched.

We get enough of the real “scandalous secrets” here in Front Royal. Look at the past year!

That is the case with this article “Matthew Tederick’s Peyton Places.” I say “Places” due to the multitude of potential connections between the address of 100 Peyton Street and Matthew Tederick, along with other connections between Matthew Tederick and other firms he represents in some form.

It is like a crime scene you see in a bad movie with a wall full of pictures and strings attempting to connect the dots to who done what.

For this case, everything below is double sourced based on calls to officials or from official websites. In some cases, supporting Internet data is included to substantiate official information, i.e., this could include company websites or people’s public websites as examples.

This is all publicly available information which anyone has access to if they wish to search – to include our own Town Council.

Matt Tederick takes over as Front Royal’s Interim Mayor in early June. Royal Examiner File Photos/Roger Bianchini

In late May 2019, Matthew Tederick was selected from a pool (not likely) of candidates by the Town Council to fill the empty Mayoral seat due to unforeseen circumstances which need not be addressed in this article. I am not condemning the Council for attempting to quickly remedy the vacancy; however, due diligence is always best conducted at the time of action and very difficult after the fact.

When anyone is selected to a position of this nature, elected or in this case “placed,” I would assume that individuals would be required to complete a mandatory Conflict of Interest (COI) and Ethics statement – a requirement by the State of Virginia.

First question I have of the Town Council or responsible party, did Matthew Tederick complete a statement for both positions and/or did he make a statement that the first COI document was still accurate when he became Acting Town Manager? You would think/hope so.

A COI declaration is very well covered in Virginia by the following “Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council STATE AND LOCAL STATEMENT OF ECONOMIC INTERESTS issued December 2018. There are examples available for anyone to review online as well.

These Conflict of Interest statements help to ensure disclosure of any potential conflict of interest to both parties, as well as documenting other items that may cause potential issues later on. In simple terms, it alerts both parties on where one should step carefully – or not step.

Interim Town Manager Matt Tederick on the job at November work session.

Under “Instructions” it states:  “State and local officers and employees required to file pursuant to 2.2-3114, 2.2-3115 or 2.2-3116, or as designated by their local governing body are REQUIRED to complete and file the Statement of Economic Interests as a condition to assuming office, and then annually while serving as an officer or employee.”

My second question is rather simple, did Matthew Tederick accurately portray his total participation in the various firms he serves as a President, or in other roles, i.e., Registered Agent. Not sure, but I doubt he could recite today all the firms he serves in either of those capacities without a cheat sheet or the disclosure of other matters.

If the examples from the Internet are accurate, Matthew Tederick would be required to provide the following:

On the first page he is required to sign, he is required to identify the address for his business.

Schedule A: Disclose all business which you or a member of your immediate family is an officer or director and receives …

Schedule D: Business Interests and Rental Property. Note that Business Interests and Rental Property are likely separate tables.

Schedule E: Real Estate

Not having a copy of the document that Matthew Tederick should have completed when he became Interim Mayor in front of me – I hope the town had him complete one, as it appears they skipped many other common sense requirements and just ran full-speed over others for both the Interim Mayor and/or Interim Town Manager positions – puts me at a slight disadvantage.

A question I have – who is responsible within town management to ensure the accuracy of the material Matthew Tederick provided. I know it is not the public.

Why have a form submitted if no one bothers to check the accuracy of the information provided?

It would be very compelling for someone to look at what he may have included in that document, if completed, against the information provided below.

As a matter of fact, the LLC that Front Royal may be paying Matthew Tederick by (which he requested when he assumed the position of Acting Town Manager and still refuses to publicly state the name of the LLC) MUST be included as an LLC in that Conflict of Interest/Financial Disclosure statement. The reason it must be stated – LLC’s must pay for services to an LLC member or to a potential service provided activity which means he must have a position within that LLC. To be paid by an LLC, Matthew Tederick must be the owner, a partner or act as the Registered Agent – all positions that could be influenced by activities dealing with the Town of Front Royal. It would be also important to determine if the LLC is a wholly owned LLC or another form of an LLC, and his role in that LLC, something the Town SHOULD HAVE DONE PRIOR to any financial agreement with this LLC and Matthew Tederick.

An LLC is not a person – it is an entity that pays a member or a person for services. Hence, it would be interesting to identify his position/role in that LLC. Is he the sole owner or a partner? – It matters from an IRS perspective. I would say based on what I have collected, that it is a wholly owned LLC. Again, this is not a tax issue but rather a “did we contract out the current Acting Town Manager” position to an LLC? It’s rather simple. If so, then the LLC must be made public and documented on the COI, per the IRS agent I contacted.

Also, why hide the LLC? The LLC is not a bank or a financial institution. For the reason of this arrangement, I would say it is a wholly-owned LLC by Matthew Tederick – if so, again, why hide it?

Now, I will admit that sometimes people forget items, misspell words or just ignore items because it takes time to correct. So, one or two missteps could be accepted, but I would take my time to ensure it was accurate if I was completing this legal form.

However, if that is the case in most, or many, of the below, then I am just as concerned to his lack of attention to detail, as I would be to his honesty. Both are critical in either the Mayor or Town Manager’s position. Remember the below information is from official sites, available company information, etc.

To make it somewhat simple to follow, I have included a table that shows LLCs or Incorporated entities in the left column, the status of the firm today as stated by the official Virginia SSC filing office in the next column to include the Filing Number, the middle column identified the address and status along with the DUNS number if available, and the last two columns provide connections to his home address or to the 100 Peyton Street address to which he sold to Dollar House LLC (remember that name when you see the table) with that entity if it could be located. The last column identifies Matthew Tederick’s position with that firm. As many of the below do not have company websites, positions like President or Owner can be difficult to ascertain.

Note that the definition for a Registered Agent and what a DUNS number is provided immediately after the table due to its length, but one should not understate its importance as to how a State deals with an LLC or firm. All of this information is available for the general public to view.

Key phrases or specific words used for these searches included:
-Matthew Tederick
-Matt Tederick
-Matthew A Tederick
-Tederick Front Royal
-100 Peyton Street
-21 Edgewood St.
-21 Edgewater St. (address used in 100 Peyton St. sale)
-And names of firms identified in my searches
-DUNS and (any firm identified, addresses identified or the name Tederick)
-SCC Filings Virginia

COMPANY VIRGINIA SEC FILING

ACTIVE/INACTIVE and SCC Filing Number

DUNS #

status from official Web Site

what is/was DUNS #

ADDRESS USED TEDERICK CONNECTION

(based on the internet)

(appointment date)

Dollar House LLC Active

S5113915

Active

023434636

100 Peyton Matthew Tederick

Registered Agent

Gentle Knight Solutions LLC Active

(Fees in Delq 2019)

S374685

Active

061691590

100 Peyton Matthew Tederick

Registered Agent

Tederick Miller Investments LLC Active

S013223

Shows as Tederick Miller Investments

Shows as Miller Tederick as Out of Business

065489788

No Tederick Miller shown

16 Chester Matthew Tederick

Registered Agent

Information Intelligence & Operations LLC Active

S648419

No matches

065489788

100 Peyton

Also shows 21 Edgewood

Mathew Tederick

Registered Agent

Victory Communications LLC Active

S1297011

Active 100 Peyton
Blessing Gods Way LLC Active

S1319211

Active

184621162

21 Edgewood
Trinity Home Investments LLC Active

S7283452

Active 100 Peyton
Media Bridge LLC Active

S5287349

Active Spotsylvania Matthew Tederick

Registered Agent

1839 Capital LLC Active

S8280598

Not Listed Alexandria VA Matthew Tederick

Listed as President

Redneck Political Alliance Active

06446959

Not Listed Matthew Tederick

Employee

GTS Direct LLC

(does lobbying strategies and voter modeling)

Active

S7257746

Active 100 Peyton Website states that

Wealth Management is

Registered Agent (which is

Tederick)

Stronghold of Virginia LLC Purged

S1391707

Active

182969167

100 Peyton Matthew Tederick

Registered Agent

Tederick Real Estate LLC Active

S1582511

No matches Shows 29 Edgemont by no such address – believed to be typo for 29 Edgewood Matthew Tederick

Registered Agent

Child Care Property Developers LLC Purged

S2799536

Active

018636056

Shows 100 Peyton St

21 Edgewood Matthew Tederick

Registered Agent

Wealth Management Inc Active

05892526

Not shown as Wealth Management Inc or LLC  – shows link to  Dominion Financial 100 Peyton Matthew Tederick

President and

Registered Agent

Dominion Financial Services LLC A Website says

Tederick President

(See above under

Wealth Management)

Rexx Group LLC Auto Canx by State

T0635880

No matches 100 Peyton Matthew Tederick

Registered Agent

Patriots Alliance

Or Patriots Political Alliance

Old name as Patriots Alliance Active

023500332

100 Peyton
Matthew Tederick Not shown Out of Business

Was 149704280 Alternate name LPL Financial Services

100 Peyton
Shenandoah Valley Leadership Pac, Inc., (Pri) DUNS #1 Purged by State

06128375

Not listed 100 Peyton Matthew Tederick

Registered Agent

Shenandoah Valley Leadership Pac, Inc., (Pri)  DUNS #2 Purged by Sate

06104236

Not Listed Not listed Matthew Tederick

Registered Agent

A/O NOV 2019

What is a Registered Agent (RA) by legal terms?

“A Registered Agent is a responsible party who is located in the same state in which a business entity was established and who is designated to receive service of process notices, correspondence from that state’s Secretary of State and other official government notifications, usually tax forms and notice of law suits – on behalf of the corporation or LLC. The state where the business is registered needs to know it has a contact person for the business in the state during business hours (thus, PO Boxes are not acceptable for registered agents). If you don’t have a physical location in that state, the requirement is especially urgent that the business have a registered agent to accept document on the firm’s behalf.”

What is a DUNS Number?

“The DUNS Number is linked to your company’s business credit profile with D&B; which is used by lenders, suppliers and potential business partners to help determine if a company is creditworthy and/or financially stable. One important thing to note is your company is not issued a DUNS Number when you apply for an EIN.” An EIN number is what the IRS uses, as well as bank/financial institutions to show a business entity for tracking purposes.

I would say based on the statement of what a Registered Agent is responsible for, one could rationally make a statement that the RA acts as an agent for the LLC or firm and therefore would be considered a member of that entity for a specific reason. Again, I use the term a member of an entity for the following reason: If an individual is a member of LLC (wholly owned or partnership), one would assume that it should be included on any COI paperwork as a potential conflict of interest. That would include the employed Town Manager.

IF, Matthew Tederick now states that he was unaware of the fact he was still acting as a Registered Agent of an active firm as identified by the State, or that he thought the firm was no longer operational for a lack of a better term, then again my earlier comment regarding a total lack of attention to detail should concern all.

Is that the person this town needs in a position responsible for the management of millions of dollars on a weekly basis? I would say, be careful – who needs another missing or misplaced $17 million dollars unaccounted for?

Below is a screen capture of what the State of Virginia provides those doing searches on a firm’s status. It provides the firms name, entity number and if it is still active or not. For this example, I used the term “Tederick Real Estate”, since Tederick Real Estate owns the home adjacent to his home address.

With all the data provided above to include the definitions, let’s now take a look at just three examples, as there are numerous, that hopefully alert you, as it did me, as to why I do not believe Matthew Tederick is the right person leading the day-to-day activities of this fine town.

Those include 1839 Capital LLC, Dollar House LLC, and the address 100 Peyton Street located in Front Royal.

For our first example let’s look at 1839 Capital. After he agreed to become Interim Mayor, the firm 1839 Capital filed the documentation you see below. It shows a start date of July 2019 with Matthew Tederick as the President. The website for 1839 Capital also shows Matthew Tederick as President with a location of Alexandria. What specifically does the form state is the business expertise for this firm? A “Global Investment Firm” with emphasis on “Commercial Real Estate” per the submitted form and the website. As I stated in my first article published November 11th in the Royal Examiner. It was surprising that Matthew Tederick knew so little about how to deal with the Crooked Run West request when he stated in his 1839 Capital bio as President the following:

“Utilizing his governmental, real estate, and investment knowledge, Matthew Tederick developed a thriving business solving complex problems for national residential and commercial construction entitles … In many cases, Matthew Tederick led the entitlement team consisting of attorneys, engineers, and architects in order to accomplish client objectives. Matthew Tederick spearheaded over 35 projects ranging from single parcel to 1,500 acres, mixed use (residential, commercial, industrial, institutional) developments.”

I have heard that Matthew Tederick signed a statement regarding the fact he will devote full time and effort to the performance of the Town Manager’s duties only. Does that mean his other business-related activities are put on hold? I wonder what firms like 1839 Capital will do without their President.

For my second example let’s look at Dollar House LLC. Dollar House, per the VA SSC filing, started in January 2004 with Matthew Tederick as the Registered Agent using the address 100 Peyton St. I am not sure if he holds any additional positions within the LLC. Remember, the owner of an LLC may also serve as the Registered Agent if they are the sole individual associated with the LLC.

Although I could find information on Dollar House from official websites and one additional website named Bizapedia.com which confirmed Matthew Tederick as the Registered Agent, there is NO Dollar House LLC website which will allow the reader to find out any specifics as to its owner, etc.

Dollar House LLC per Warren County, shows that Dollar House owns two properties within the county. The first being 0 Peyton which was purchased from Matthew and Susan Tederick on June 25th with Dollar House using the address of 21 Edgewater St., and the second property, being adjacent to 0 Peyton St, being 100 Peyton St., which was also purchased June 25th from Matthew and Susan Tederick. Again, the address used by Dollar House is 21 Edgewater St.

A strange condescendence possibly, but the address provided for Dollar House in Front Royal is incorrect, as there is no 21 Edgewater St. in Front Royal. Besides numerous out of state addresses of the same, the only one in Virginia with that address is located in Chantilly. I would assume, without any hesitation, that the address should instead be 21 Edgewood St. in Front Royal.

Strange but that is Matthew Tederick’s home address as documented in several websites. So now it appears that 21 Edgewood St. is the home address for the LLC named Dollar House. That is too close to home (ha), and I wonder if Dollar House and his relationship with the LLC is documented in any Conflict of Interest statement to the Town of Front Royal? It would also be very interesting to see Matthew Tedericks’ real position, besides as a Registered Agent, with Dollar House LLC. Remember he was Interim Mayor prior to the sale, so both properties would have to be listed in the COI under his name since it was his name on the agreement and not a real estate firm, etc.

I wonder who Dollar House LLC, with an address of 21 Edgewood St., now works with to fill the apparently large empty lot known as 100 Peyton St. If Dollar House is indeed tied to Matthew Tederick these future earnings must also be reported on the Conflict of Interest document.

Now let’s look at our third and last example. That example is 100 Peyton St. We know that the property is now owned by Dollar House LLC and whatever relationship Matthew Tederick has with that firm, however, the address is used by numerous LLCs, firms, etc. If you look at the table I provided above, there are 13 that use that address that I did additional research on. In addition, I was able to identify several more that use that address just this morning. They included but are not limited to: Williamsheacock LLC and Kie Law PLC which have active DUNS numbers but show cancelled or converted by the Virginia SCC.

Of particular note from the table was Gentle Knight Solutions LLC. This LLC was established in 2014 and uses 100 Peyton Place (sorry) Street, as its business address with Matthew Tederick as its Registered Agent which agrees with the States SCC filing.

However, of interest was that in a local newspaper article dated May 29th of 2019, after Matthew Tederick was selected as the Interim Mayor, it states that Matthew Tederick also serves as the Vice President for Gentle Knight Solutions which was confirmed by a second website. The news article states that Gentle Knight Solutions “dabbles in Health Care” — that’s a strange term for what a firm does. But since Matthew Tederick was now the Interim Mayor, I wonder if he had listed Gentle Knight Solutions, for either his VP position or his RA position on the Conflict of Interest form he would hopefully fill out shortly. Possible he just quit the firm, but their website still shows him as VP. Possible he is working for free.

Remember he made the statement that he would not work outside business related activities while serving for the Town of Front Royal. Did all the firms to which he serves as a Registered Agent or in a senior position such as President or Vice President just go by the wayside – I doubt it. And did the Town of Front Royal document that he could not work on outside activities such as these in their Agreement?

Like in the movie “Peyton Place” or the television show, the ending is not kind. Let’s see what happens to the live “Tederick’s Peyton Places” show in Front Royal to see this as yet unscripted ending.

His record as a businessperson begs questions, as does the address 100 Peyton which he owned, and may still own under Dollar House LLC. But just as important is what did he list on his Conflict of Interest Statement with the Town of Front Royal? Was it filled with the whole truth or just a few examples of what he does? Words matter – as does transparency and the truth.

NOT SURE I WANT TO WATCH this show’s ending.

Simon Mays
Front Royal

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Another ‘Thank You’ to local law enforcement for its community policing

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A couple of weeks ago, a friend told my wife this true story, based on self-experience.

“The lady had just brought her dog home after major surgery. The dog went downstairs and opened its stitches. She found the dog downstairs bleeding to death. It died in her arms. She did not want her daughter coming home to the scene, but also did not know how to move an 80-pound dog.

She called the Front Royal Police and soon admitted an officer. He was very happy to help and told her so. The officer gently placed the dog’s body in his car, asked her where she would prefer it be taken. With her following, he then took the dog’s body to where she asked. He was respectful, solicitous, and considerate the entire time. He told her that the entire force was there to serve the community.

After hearing this story from my wife, I had to ensure that the Front Royal Police Department be thanked. The Police get a lot of bad press, mostly because of a small number of bad apples. I wanted to make sure they were thanked for their service, and got some positive press, for a change.

Lalit Piplani
Front Royal, VA

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A missing child search and a heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to local law enforcement

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Last night, July 2, around 11 p.m., on a very starry night, the sound of a chopper circling and circling over the High Knob Community broke the stillness.

A check of Facebook group pages revealed a 3-year-old child had gone missing. The mother informed us her baby had presumably followed the dad who had taken the family pup outside for a late evening relief. When the parents discovered the child was missing and couldn’t be found, they called for help and our local deputies responded in a hurry.

In addition to sweeping the area and calling in a search and rescue helicopter, nearby concerned neighbors turned on their yard lights and looked for the missing child. While the outside work was underway, a thorough search of the home was undertaken. And there that 3-year-old was, hidden under a pile of blankets playing hide-and-seek.

What a relief!

So we have a happy ending. The deputies were able to go home, neighbors headed back to bed, and we were all secure in the knowledge that a cherished child was safe.

A big thank you from a neighbor to all the deputies who jumped to help find a missing child, and to the officers who were flying the search and rescue helicopter. That’s a job with some big risks over mountainous terrain. I happen to know the local police department and sheriff’s department spend a lot of their resources in looking after our vulnerable children and teens. If we can get better mental health services throughout the Commonwealth, the schools to jails pipeline could be broken, and lives mended.

Please if you see a police officer or sheriff’s deputy, thank him or her for being ready to serve, protect, and rescue the most vulnerable in our community. Right now they need to know we appreciate their service very much. And yes, indeed, there are some things that need fixing. Nonetheless, if we all work together, every mother’s child will be safe.

Rea Howarth
High Knob, Warren County

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What are American values?

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Today, we have many debates over the values of Americans. We disagree on some, but some ring true to most:

Human dignity: Every human being is entitled to what our founders called life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The rule of law and equal justice: The powerful person will not be allowed to escape the law. The accused person must have the right to face accusers, state his case, and be judged by fellow citizens. No one person or group of persons should be exempt from facing justice or winning justice. The mob does not determine guilt, innocence, or punishment, but only by due process of law can a person be found guilty or innocent.

Respect for women: The empowerment of women is visible everywhere, from business to academia. In every walk of life, women should have the same rights as men.

Private property: This fundamental belief reaches into every aspect of our lives. We can start a business by hanging out the shingle. Our home is our own. Our property is sacred. And tucked into this notion of private property is ultimately the idea of ownership of your ideas and work.

Free speech: Free speech is one of the most radical ideas in history. The common man can criticize the government; the powerful man can do the same. Each should be able to do so equally and without restrictions.

Religious tolerance: For centuries, the king’s religion was yours. Period. But free people today recognize freedom of conscience and religion, to believe or not as they will.

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Continental Congress calls upon the Black Regiment

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The debating was over, and the Declaration of Independence had been approved by the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia on a hot July day. Questions abounded still and anxiety as to the future was on the minds of men who had now affixed their signatures to a piece of paper destined to be the greatest and most historic document in the history of the world.

At the bottom of the original Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress had ordered that when printed and ready for distribution on July 4th the documents would be sent to parish clergy and ministers. The importance of this is that the instructions did not direct this circulation to town clerks or newspapers, but to preachers of the Gospel, men known as the “Black Regiment” thus named for the black robes they wore.

The pulpit had already played and would play a more important role in American freedom. The black-robed ministers would encourage activism and many would personally join in the fighting and serve as soldiers and chaplains. As many as one hundred would leave the pulpit of the church for the “pulpit of the camp and battlefield.”

The Declaration when it arrived in the hands of the clergy was “required to read the same to their respective congregation, as soon as divine service ended, in the afternoon, on the first Lord’s Day after they have received it.”

Church members would find it hard to have services without their ministers now gone to war and with attendance dropping off for lack of clergy personnel on the home front. However, the war and home front would be the same… every place where the British chose to camp and sought to destroy George Washington’s “rag tag” army in the north and Nathanael Greene’s in the South.

Tempers flared in all corners of the land and debates were held between Loyalists and patriot members of congregations. In Loudoun County, Virginia, at Ketoctin Baptist Church, a debate between Tory John Osborn and Preacher John Marks was arranged. Heated tempers caused the debate to be called off and John Marks joined General Washington’s Army as a Chaplain. John Osborn would not give up his support of the King’s cause and in defiance would name a new son Tarleton after one of General Cornwallis’ most cruel officers, Colonel Banastre Tarleton. Tarleton is portrayed in Mel Gibson’s movie The Patriot as merciless and inhumane.

The Rev. Jonathan Boucher, Anglican Priest, would carry not just his sermon into the pulpit but also a loaded pistol. His congregation was split and the danger of personal attacks was ever present.

The Rev. Peter Muhlenberg of Woodstock, Virginia, preached regularly for the cause of freedom for the American colonists. He had a surprise for his congregation on the day of his final service in his Woodstock church to drive home his point that the American Revolution must succeed. Following the final hymn, he threw off his black robe as he recited Ecclesiastes 3:1 to reveal his uniform of a militia colonel. He then recruited men of his congregation to join the fight for independence and they became known as the “German Regiment.” He had been licensed as an Anglican priest and ministered to the German settlers of the Shenandoah Valley. He served with honor as a Revolutionary War officer and rose to the rank of major general. There is a statue of this black robed priest in the yard of the old courthouse in Woodstock honoring the Rev. Major General John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, Priest, Patriot, Soldier and Hero.

The majority of Baptists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Puritans, Methodists, and most of the denominations in the Colonies excepting the Quakers would join in preaching the insurrection. Anglican priests were split because of their vows of allegiance to the King but still many would heed the call of Independence. The torch of Independence was lit early with Anglican George Whitefield’s arrival in the Colonies in 1740. He was known as the greatest preacher in the Colonies. He preached salvation through Jesus Christ and gave warning to the people about the oppression of the King in his revivals and launched the “Great Awakening.” He traveled from New England to Georgia setting attendance records and started “field preaching” which Anglican John Wesley also used. The difference in the political points of view of Whitefield and Wesley were commonly known. Wesley taught “obedience” to the Crown and Whitefield spoke of “man’s right of freedom” from oppression, including the slaves.

We cannot avoid, ignore, or abandon our responsibilities in striving to preserve the heritage secured by our Founders. Laity and the clergy must be vigilant and ever ready to fight for our Republic to ensure it is not weakened by interlopers and left for scavengers who come to suckle from the breast of Liberty bought with the blood of patriots. We must speak out against the mocking of our form of government and the eschewing of our Constitution to satisfy alien purposes while abandoning individual freedoms we treasurer. Our Founders knew and voiced the reality that moral values of Christianity are the “bedrock” foundation of our Republic and it will crumble without them.

I invite all true Americans from the mountains to the plains, from sea to shining sea, from Alaska to the Keys, and from Virginia to Hawaii to light the fires of that “old time religion” and preserve the freedoms won on the frozen tundra of Valley Forge, in the icy Delaware River, on the dusty field at Guilford Courthouse, in the snake filled swamps of South Carolina, and finally, on the sandy beaches at Yorktown.

Arise if you heart is filled with concern for the future of our Country.

Larry Wilson Johnson
Front Royal, Virginia

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Is there something to hide regarding past County actions at FR Golf Club?

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My name is Brandon Tolson. I have been a member and\or worked at the Front Royal Golf Club for the last 2 decades, under the member-run tenure and the current county-run administration. With that being said I’ve been part of, and witnessed firsthand many different good and bad situations. That is why I’m trying to get as much information out that many county citizens know little about.

First, being how the County inherited such a prime piece of commercial real estate. It was decided by 1 vote in the end, and there are still people to this day that voted nay to County occupation who believe it was a payed-for land grab. Many still want the members to take back control of this facility. But let’s move past that and talk about what the County has done at Front Royal Golf Club.

Well after the initial handshaking and back patting died down and we got past all the “what the county was going to do for you” talk, the wheels quickly appeared to start spinning on how to sell some of the property – and it was moved as Dominion Power became interested in the area. Some would say for the good others for the bad, I let you be the judge of that.

So then most folks would say there should have been some profit here since you sold/leased off prime long-term equity for short-term gains, right? There must have been. With that being a one-time deal you would think if you were in it for the love of historic recreation and a frugal money manager (which you should be when you handle all our tax dollars) you would know that you would have to set that aside for minor restoration and upkeep at the very least.

Even at this point a large investment and major restoration could offer even larger rewards. But instead, it was put in the county government fiscal year churn and spit out God knows where, with both the County and the EDA involved in the property’s advisory group.

Then they did their patent move: raise the price on everything to the club membership and guests.

At this point I can only speculate whether it was to start to sink the ship for a land movement, or was it just because they thought they could. But basically what you’ve done for your loyal followers thus far was to sell or lease one-third of our land; did nothing new for the golf course or boat ramp; and put a walk trail thru it which everyone with proper mental compacity was against, citing hitting little white rockets at children and chihuahuas as potentially cruel and inhumane. But they did it anyway to diversify the recreational uses and because they’re trying to connect that corner of the world with walk trails.

And some lucky fella down river has been getting fencing material ever since. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good walking trail, and my son and soulmate and I have even enjoyed the Shenandoah National Park at the top many times, as I’ve witnessed many families do. But I wouldn’t have built a walking trail thru a dead man’s memorial golf course built for his unfortunate son, pre-WW II and left basically to the people – too much opportunity for a BAD golf ball/hiker accident. I wish I could have met them both so I could shake their hand and say thank you for all the recreation and employment it has given me; not to mention just the life lessons learned while being out watching other earthlings operate.

But looking past headache lane, the course was handicapped further when all stormwater and trash from the Walmart and Lowes-anchored shopping center was allowed to run off on top of the course and what we couldn’t clean up, was in to your beloved Shenandoah River for years now. All the trash that doesn’t make it in the dumpsters, and even some that does, goes on our course and then in the river. It seems the course is used as a filter. Does the course get paid to be a trash and litter filter?

Wait there’s more: then we started the whole indentured servant program picking up prisoners from RSW to work for free on the course. Then forcing your workers to take responsibility of inmates without any training or pay increase. And making them pick up different sex inmates which anybody would know you are putting your workers in a bad situation, as well as the inmate. Not to mention the county-wide expenditures put on the golf course cost code.

Year after year; bad decision after bad decision.

But to be honest with you, how could we not at least give these new guys that got some love for the game a shot at running it just for the very least to get to the bottom of a financial enigma using them as a cheap 3rd party audit, and maybe a long-term good thing for us, the people Mr. Carson Sr. intended the course’s use for into the future.

So what if they are competing with other businesses? If the course loses there will be a Home Depot or it’s like competing there, providing pollution and no recreation. Did I mention by then we might just find out what was really going on out there at the Front Royal Golf Club?

The only way they can’t take the new deal being offered that brings money to the county is if they’re scared of uncovering a financial trail to explain some of what I have described above; or they are just incompetent. One thing I know thru all my experience – and for anyone that doesn’t know me, it’s vast and I know multiple successful golf business owners here and abroad – that place can operate at a tenth of the cost of what they’re telling you at the worst. The place didn’t stay in business for 80 years losing money. I don’t think we have a Golf Course Problem as much as we’ve had a county management problem. Properly managed it is just fine with the beautiful river beside it. And even during the recent turmoil it has remained a place for many to get out and find themselves, as I think Mr. Carson intended beyond his and his son’s lives. Damn near any county would be grateful to have it as a municipal recreational option for its citizens.

Say yes to the new course management contract offer and no to incompetence and abandonment.

Brandon Tolson
Warren County, Virginia

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Opinion

Domestic Military Action

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If you read this column, then you know my goal is not to persuade a particular belief but to merely inform with historical knowledge. Such is the case with many online comments I have read over the past few weeks. With protest marches widespread, President Trump has threatened to use military action to stop the violence. I read recently that if the President uses military action against American citizens, then this country as we know it is over. I am not saying that we should use the army, and I am hoping it is not necessary. However, historically speaking, it has been done before, and actually our Constitution was created because of it.

As always first things first, something we don’t always use as much as we should. The Preamble to the Constitution lays out the five main roles of the federal government. The government is to establish justice, provide defense from our enemies, promote the welfare of its people, secure our liberty, and of course ensure domestic tranquility. In other words, one of the principal functions of the government is to protect us from internal threats.

In the first century of our nation, those functions meant very different things. This was the century where the federal government had little role in people’s lives. One area the government took seriously was domestic tranquility, especially when it came to strikes. As labor unions grew and began to strike, the American government always took sides with management. If the companies and their people could not break strikes themselves, then state militias and even the federal government was always willing to step in. Arguably the most famous of these strikes was the Pullman strike.

In 1894 the American Railway Union went on strike. It started at the Pullman company town outside Chicago. Among the many complaints was that the Pullman Company reduced wages but not rent on the home’s employees were forced to live in. When railway workers across the nation struck, President Cleveland called out the Army to put it down.

As I said in the beginning, the idea of using federal forces helped lead to the Constitution. When men like Alexander Hamilton called for a stronger federal government at the Annapolis Convention in 1786, they did not receive much support. However, shortly after they adjourned, Massachusetts experienced Shays’ Rebellion. As always, my space is limited, so suffice to say a group led by Daniel Shays, upset with treatment from the Massachusetts government, marched in Boston. Governor Bowdoin called out the militia, but Shays’ men were veterans and many were part of the militia. Bowdoin was forced to collect private funds to raise a private militia. Under the current government then, there was no federal support. Shays’ Rebellion scared the other states who were having similar incidents and worried about what might happen with rebellions in their own areas. Shays’ Rebellion was one of the incidents that motivated leaders to meet at the Constitutional Convention to secure federal protection against domestic insurrection.

It did not take long for the new government and Washington to use the army. In 1794 when western Pennsylvania farmers protested a new tax on whiskey, Washington sent out the U.S. Army to squash the protesters and show the nation that there was a new sheriff in town or at least a new government. He even led the army part of the way, the only time a president marched at the head of the U.S. Army.

Washington was not alone. In fact, three of the four presidents respected enough to make Mount Rushmore used the army domestically. Most people know Lincoln used the army to maintain martial law in the south, but he also used it to influence domestic affairs in officially union states, like Missouri and Kentucky. The army even arrested the Democratic candidate in the 1863 Kentucky governors’ election. Teddy Roosevelt did not end up using the army, but in 1902 during the Anthracite Coal strike, when management refused to negotiate with the union, he threatened to use the army to take over the mines.

Throughout the rest of the 20th century, presidents continued to use the army in domestic affairs. When WWI vets marched on Washington to collect their promised bonus in 1932, President Hoover called out the army to disperse them. Then of course there are all the events during the Civil Rights Era. In 1957 when Governor Faubus of Arkansas blocked the Little Rock Nine from entering Central High, President Eisenhower called out the 101 Airborne Division. There were several riots in 1967 and 1968, especially after the death of Dr. King, and while National Guard units handled most of the violence, in some episodes the army was called out.

I am hoping the army is not needed in the protests and that the message is given without violence. You can also share your opinions on whether the President should or should not use the army on civilians. Make your arguments for both sides, but make them correctly.


Dr. James Finck is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and Chair of the Oklahoma Civil War Symposium. Follow Historically Speaking at www.Historicallyspeaking.blog or Facebook at @jamesWfinck.

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