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Second Amendment Rally in Richmond

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I attended the rally and was filled with pride and excitement being among so many great Americans and Virginia Patriots! The following day I heard Governor Northam complimenting his ‘team’ for ‘de-escalating’ the situation. What pure BS! There was never a situation that warranted de-escalation. The declaration of a ‘state of emergency’ was nothing less than a government over-action and a ploy to restrict both the First and Second Amendment rights of Virginia citizens who were seriously concerned about the direction of their government. The organizers advertised that a non-violent rally of possibly 50,000 Americans intended to communicate to the Virginia Government their opposition to the bevy of proposed gun control bills that would not have prevented prior gun tragedies or those that will almost certainly occur in the future.

The Governor’s emergency declaration was intended to;

– scare people into not attending an assembly which the Governor warned could involve controversy and possible violent behavior,

– inhibit the rally goers on the capital grounds from using small wood support sticks and poles to attach flags and poster board signs to assist in their exercising free speech,

– mis-represent the gathering as an event promoting white supremacists and having a substantial number of outside agitators,

– liken the advertised rally to the previous tragic event in Charlottesville and

– prevent rally participants on the Capital grounds from lawfully carrying firearms either openly or concealed, consistent with their inalienable and Constitutional right to bear arms.

The Governor justified that preventing rally goers from bringing firearms onto the Capital grounds was necessary to ensure safety when the result was just the opposite. The government estimated 6,000 citizens on the Capital grounds, carrying firearms, would have been a sure way to prevent criminals and agitators from initiating mayhem. Forcing rally participants to rely on the Government for safety is exactly what we are saying is unacceptable. The presence of a large crowd of armed, law abiding citizens would have been the best way to prevent violence from being initiated by extremists because the bulk of attendees would not have permitted their event from being high-jacked for another purpose. Thankfully, approximately 16,000 Virginia Patriots, most of whom were armed, surrounded the Capital grounds and had their fellow Patriots’ backs. That statement is not at all to disparage the large contingent of law enforcement officers that were at the rally as well. They did their job as ordered and were professional and congenial with the rally attendees who overwhelmingly support the law enforcement community that honors the Constitutional rights of the citizens they serve.

The Governor’s declaration was never necessary just because there was internet chatter and some expectation that there might be violence or an attempt to storm the Capital. Negative internet chatter of possible mayhem constantly exists and leaders should not over-react, in an abundance of caution. The news reports of there being several arrests in Washington State of members of one radical group indicates that law enforcement was doing its job of responding to law breakers.

The Governor mischaracterised the vast majority of citizens who planned to attend the rally as potential violent criminals and racists and insulted Virginians that only intended support of their Right to exercise inalienable and Constitutional rights to bear arms for self protection and as a guard against tyranny. He is unfit to occupy the highest office in Virginia and if he had any honor or personal integrity he would apologize to the citizens and resign. However, considering that he did not resign previously when it was learned of his potentially racist past, there should be no expectation that he will do the right thing now.

The violence in Charlottesville was the result of a failure by Virginia’s government to effectively address an effort by a radical group to contest the removal of Confederate monuments and to promote their radical white nationalist philosophy. While I strongly oppose white washing history by the removal of historical monuments, any assertion that justifies favoring one racial group over another is equally abhorrent. The truth is that our government was incompetent in separating the rally goers and counter protesters and bears a high level of responsibility for that tragedy. Also, the Governor chooses to exaggerate the dimension of the tragedy with his announcement that the result was the loss of three lives when only one death was relevant to the on-ground conflict. The two police officers that died when their helicopter crashed was not contributed to by the demonstrators or counter protester activities. In reality the Government failed to properly prepare for the Charlottesville event and over-reacted to the planned pro-Second Amendment rally and the Governor only seeks to divert attention from their culpability. Also, the Governor’s comparison of the Charlottesville event and Monday’s rally is nothing short of a conscious, deliberate effort to deceive the public and impugn the character of the citizens who intended to peacefully voice there opinion on a serious public issue. The Governor purposefully mischaracterized Monday’s rally because it fit his ideological bias that gun right supporters are racist and have violent tendencies. Monday’s rally had no racial overtones in contrast to the Charlottesville event and there was no legitimate, substantive evidence otherwise. Obviously us Deplorables couldn’t possibly have a legitimate, positive message to promote (sarcasm intended).

The Governor has said that the gun control proposals being pushed by the Democrat majority are both common sense and have passed Constitutional scrutiny but he is wrong on both counts and he should be smart enough to know that rather than to just try to hoodwink Virginians. Anyone with any critical thinking ability would realize that;

– Limiting gun purchases to one a month or authorizing local governments to create more dangerous, gun-free-zones would not make citizens safer when the truth is the opposite.

– Requiring all private gun transfers to be contingent on background checks thru Federally Firearm Licensed dealers would not actually prevent criminals from acquiring lethal tools.

– Outlawing semi-automatic firearms, some with features that might intimidate persons in-experienced with weapons, would not make future gun tragedies less damaging.

– Requiring registration of certain firearms accomplishes nothing and is just a precursor to having information that could be used for eventual confiscation and is fully unacceptable.

– Criminalizing the possession of magazines holding more than 10 rounds would not meaningfully reduce the damage associated with firearm violence. Plus, the decision that a magazine with only 10 rounds is safe and permissible, where anything larger is not, is just nonsense. Such thinking is arbitrary rather than based on any facts. This conveniently ignores that it takes minimal skill for a firearm operator to change magazines of any size in mere seconds.

– Existing laws should be enforced to address individuals with firearms who demonstrate an imminent threat to themselves or others rather than designing a new Red Flag law that would clearly be challenged based on a ‘possible’ threat rather than an ‘actual’ threat.

As for the Governor’s claim of the Constitutionality of the Democrat gun control proposals, evidence exists to the contrary. The Supreme Court Heller ruling in 2010 established that bearing arms is an INDIVIDUAL right. By extension, since the whole of the populace constitutes the militia, individuals would be authorized to possess weapons of a type consistent with those normally carried by military members. While the Supreme Court has yet to formally confirm that specific concept, logic and critical thinking skills virtually guarantee that result when an appropriate case makes it way to their docket. The historical background writings of the Constitution’s Framers establish that the meaning of guaranteeing the inalienable right of the People to bear arms is to primarily protect against tyranny. The existing majority of the Supreme Court are Constitutional literalists thankfully and that is further evidence that any class of firearms in general use by the populace is legal for individuals to own and bear. The Supreme Court’s McDonald ruling has since affirmed that the Heller ruling applies to states as well as the District of Columbia thus gun rights apply in all political jurisdictions.

Relevant to the Heller ruling, Justice Scalia wrote in essence that gun rights are not absolute, consistent with other Bill of Rights amendments, and the Government has some authority. But I believe that authority is limited to areas that do not ‘infringe’ on the citizens’ rights. In my opinion that would relate only to the government dictating whether firearms must be carried either openly or concealed, limiting the carrying of firearms from places of adversarial activities such as state legislature buildings and Courthouses plus at military or nuclear facilities, or on private property. That would not include schools, recreational facilities or any other government properties. Also, it should be declared that only non-citizens and those with documented, dangerous mental impairments are prevented from access to firearms. Felons who have fully paid their debt to society or those with any convictions of domestic violence should have full firearm rights. No other Constitutional Right is contingent on specific behavior and thus all such rights should not be conditioned. You simply don’t have to earn a right by conducting yourself any specific way. Liberty can be temporarily restricted by a prison sentence as part of a penalty for violating the law but that liberty should be reinstated once the penalty has expired. That concept is becoming an accepted realization as evidenced by the current movement for ex-felons to have voting rights.

What we saw at the rally was an impromptu, small segment of Virginia’s Militia. That should have sent a clear message to the Democrat controlled legislature that the masses oppose their ‘feel good’ proposals that would diminish individual liberty, impose unnecessary bureaucratic procedures and make criminals out of law-abiding citizens. They cannot mask their real intent though which is to eliminate the citizens’ right to own and bear any firearms with the imposition of felonious penalties. Democrats should take seriously the message that the great citizens of Virginia will not comply with what they truly believe are unconstitutional laws and will not stand idly by when there are legislative attempts to limit their liberty. While we may expect that the Senators and Delegates will attempt to represent the small number of constituents who voted them into office, (as opposed to the majority of citizens that did not participate in voting), the Governor has a higher responsibility to represent ALL of Virginia’s citizens. That relates to the heretofore silent majority as well as those that participated in the last election. The pro-Second Amendment rally and the overwhelming support for protecting gun rights, as evidenced by the establishment of sanctuary areas in virtually all of Virginia’s cities and counties, should dictate that the Governor veto any contentious gun control laws that pass both bodies of the legislature.

As a realist I lack optimism that our Governor will do the right thing but will instead support more ineffective gun control that will only further divide us as Virginians. As of now the Governor’s legacy will most certainly reflect the scandal of his documented racist past behavior. On the other hand, by vetoing the ineffective, Democrat ideologically based gun control proposals it would cement him as a pro-liberty politician that represented the whole of Virginia’s citizens rather than just its liberal leaning segment. I would love to be proved wrong and would be only too pleased to advertise a public apology should one become appropriate. But I won’t hold my breath.

Gary Kushner
Front Royal

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We hurt ourselves

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The new EDA Executive Director and the new EDA Board with its expertise and all the other residents of Front Royal were victimized by what one major player did with EDA funds. Why would the town take an adversarial stance toward the new EDA which is not at fault and refuse to make payments for our new police station when we are all ‘in the same boat’? These are people who came in to help resolve the issues and advance our economic development.

If we hurt the EDA instead through non-payment for the Front Royal police station, we hurt ourselves. Common sense dictates that we do not want the EDA to collapse. We would still have to pay the bills yet lack a way to increase revenue in the town with the help of the EDA.

Worse — the proposed town budget fired the professionals who had planned events that are now being canceled one after the other, leaving us without any avenues for economic development. Yet $200,000 has been transferred to the Town Attorney account to pay lawyers to argue in favor of making it harder on the EDA to survive, that is, the town will not compromise on the interest rate to be applied to the loan for the police station.

Sitting in the wrong account, Community Development, page 47 of the proposed budget, sits a $515,000 labeled police facility. It does not mean that we pay the EDA for the station. It is sitting there awaiting transfer as needed to the Town Attorney account for payment of high legal fees. (Information gained from a credible source.) The few in governance are allowing the expense up to $700,00 in order to have a court tell us what to do when we could decide in a cooperative manner for no cost beyond staff time. We all are going to pay in one way or another. It is cheaper to cooperate and split the difference in the interest on the loan rather than do what Council least likes to do, raise taxes.

It is disheartening that the town fights against its moral obligation. It is even harder to wonder and perhaps watch tax money ‘burn’ away because of one employee with a ‘group think’, alias Town Council.

Linda Allen
Front Royal, VA

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Thank you, Doug Stanley!

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I want to share my personal sentiments about our County Administrator, Mr. Doug Stanley.

Mr. Stanley is a personal friend. We have actively participated in countless projects for our community of Front Royal and Warren County over many years, together and with other devoted citizens. We have all been devoted to the betterment of everyone, in every instance.

Mr. Stanley has represented the Motto of Rotary International, “SERVICE ABOVE SELF”. He has instilled this ethic in every effort he has taken on. His example for young and old alike is to build character, leadership and be the person for others to follow.

He is the fall guy for the mistakes of many, yet he has moved forward and stayed the course for his position and target for success in Warren County.

As County Administrator, his accomplishments are beyond compare among his peers throughout our state of Virginia. This is only possible with a working environment of continuous commitment on his part. He and his staff are all talented individuals, devoted to their positions.

In recent times he has become the recipient of criticism. This local action has harmed our community very deeply. Many of the words of criticism have come from persons who intentionally tried to destroy his stellar reputation and care little about others here. Many people have been the instigators and gone so far as to threaten and publicly attack him. Many of these are also self-centered and have not served our community beyond their own self-fulfillment needs and wants. What an eye-opener this has become in learning about people. Loss of respect is a term well due upon such behavior in today’s civil society.

No one is a perfect person for all things. I certainly am not! Most of us try to simply survive. However, for those who reach out and above their own needs and share their successes, the field is open for service to others and all mankind. It is a pleasure to offer more than required.

Warren County has been blessed with Mr. Stanley and his devotion here.

My hope is that the Board of Supervisors may use their intelligence and the same devotion to our community that Mr. Stanley has and renew his contract.

Remember the open door created for anyone who makes charges against others. Their own track records may come to light for all to see and maybe very humiliating. Be prepared to accept such burdens if they exist.

Consider the sources of criticism for Mr. Stanley, the same people who can “simply move away if they don’t get rid of him”. Our community deserves better than this. Our elected officials need to perform their jobs and do what is prudent, proper for the best interest of ALL.

Thank you, Doug Stanley!

Respectfully Yours,
George McIntyre
Linden, VA

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Historical Impeachments

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historically speaking

Watching the Senate hearings over the past weeks I am happy to see historical arguments being made by both sides. As I have said, the Constitution is purposely vague, and it is no different when it comes to impeachment. There are three sections in the Constitution that discuss impeachment, but even with those sections there are still many questions. As with most Constitutional issues, the rest has been filled in with laws, the courts, and especially precedent. Several times both sides have referenced both the Andrew Johnson and William Clinton impeachment trials. In this vein, I think it is worth examining the lesser known of the two, the Johnson case, to see what we can learn from history and if there are similarities between the two.

There is a great deal of detail to explain Johnson’s election as V.P. Suffice to say, the Republicans in 1864 were concerned about Lincoln’s chances in the upcoming election. That may sound crazy, but he was not yet the super popular president that he would become. Johnson was a pro-war Democrat and Lincoln hoped that by bringing him on the ticket he could attract other pro-war Democrats. What made Johnson an even more interesting choice was that he was a pro-slave, state’s rights Democrat from Tennessee. Johnson was brought in for votes only. Once in office, Lincoln did not use him and he by no means was meant to ever be president.

The issue with Johnson’s impeachment revolves around Reconstruction. Even before the end of the War, Lincoln was already discussing his plans for how to treat the South. He basically wanted to make it easy for the southern states to return, including keeping their existing governments. His biggest opposition to Reconstruction was the radical wing of his own party. The so-called Radical Republicans wanted to punish the South and make it difficult for their return. They wanted to remove all past leaders and guarantee certain rights for the new freedman population

The Radicals were originally excited about Johnson as president. He said and did all the right things. However, when Congress left for recess, he put in his own plans for Reconstruction that were just as lenient as Lincoln’s, maybe even more so. When Congress returned, they attempted to retake the power. They tried to pass laws to help the ex-slaves but were blocked by Johnson’s vetoes. The Radicals did have enough support to overturn Johnson’s veto on the Fourteenth Amendment, which gave freedmen citizenship, but they faced an uphill battle. It was at this point they began looking for reasons to impeach the president. They tried twice unsuccessfully before they found a reason that stuck.

In 1867 Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act, which basically said that the president could not fire any member of his own cabinet without congressional approval. This was done for two reasons. First, Congress was afraid that Johnson would start replacing Lincoln’s Republican Cabinet with a Democratic one. Secondly, they hoped this would trip up Johnson and give them a reason to impeach. The plan worked. Johnson, who had been fighting with his Secretary of War Edwin Stanton over keeping troops in the South, finally grew frustrated and fired him. Johnson did not think the Tenure of Office Act would hold up in court. He was right. But before the courts examined the case, the House acted first and charged Johnson with eleven counts of impeachment.

The eleven articles are incredibly repetitive. They all boil down to Johnson having broken his oath of office by firing Stanton and by hiring Lorenzo Thomas without consent of Congress. They basically said it in different ways, like he violated Stanton’s rights in one and conspired with Thomas against Stanton in another. In Article 10 Congress went as far as including that he criticized congress “with a loud voice, certain intemperate, inflammatory, and scandalous harangues.”

The trial lasted for three months. The defense argued that Johnson had done nothing wrong. They claimed he was challenging an unconstitutional law and basically his act did not meet the demands of a High Crime. What seemed like a slam dunk win at first fell apart by the end. From the beginning of the trial, Johnson worked with moderate Republicans to save his position by promising not to interfere any more with Reconstruction. Also, the managers had a week case. It became apparent the entire reason for the law was to remove the President. His only real crime was disagreeing with Congress.

In the end, seven Republicans voted to acquit. For some congressmen they were more concerned with the man who would replace Johnson, whom they saw as even more difficult. For others, when it really came down to it, they did not want to remove the President based on a power struggle. It would create a dangerous precedent that they did not want and could hurt the balance of power. When they received their assurances from Johnson, the Republicans were more than happy to leave him in office until the next year when they could replace him through voting. One senator said after, “I cannot agree to destroy the harmonious working of the Constitution for the sake of getting rid of an Unacceptable President.”

What is interesting about today’s impeachment is many will see similarities with Johnson’s trial and many will not. Supporters of Trump will see two presidents who disagreed with a hostile Congress which simply wanted the president removed for political reasons. Others will disagree with any similarities. More like the Nixon scandal, they see a president who clearly overstepped his authority and then tried to cover it up. The problem is this split happens to be along party lines, which is very much like the Johnson impeachment. With Johnson, Republicans had to cross the party line to clear him, whereas with Trump they had to cross party lines to convict. But either way the vast majority of the Senate in all three presidential impeachments trials voted along party lines instead of voting their consciences. So, what we can learn from studying Johnson is that in the end what we see is that impeachments are political above everything else.

For my Texas readers, if any of you are interested I will be speaking at the Weatherford College Interdisciplinary Academic Conference on Feb 27 at 5 PM. The conference is free and open to the public. For more information, you can call 817-598-6326. If you attend, make sure you come by and say hello.


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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Jesus in Valentine’s Day

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Dear Editor,

Valentine’s Day is now upon us, and of course, the central theme is Love. It is the showing of one’s love for someone and being desirous of and asking for another to return such love in a way to say “I love you too”. A proposal, if you will. In this regard, (which involves a suitor) the dictionary defines such as; a man who courts a woman; a wooer. It further defines a wooer as: to seek the love or affection of, especially to marry; to court.

In this respect, allow me to present to you my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. For the greatest act and show of love the world has ever known, let me direct your attention to the figure there on Calvary’s brow: I can only humbly say, behold Him there! For I am not worthy so much as to even approach Him. As you gaze upon him you will see that he is hanging from a cross by nails driven into his hands and feet. He is covered and “bathed” in his own blood, for as the Scriptures say, “…his visage was so marred more than any man”. The result of a savage, brutal, and one might venture to say, demonic beating.

He wasn’t there merely by chance, but because mankind was under the curse of God’s law which says; ” the soul that sinneth shall die.” His agony was so great, that he cried out; “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” And thus, being made to be sin for us, He took our sin upon Himself! And now hear the prophecies as detailed in Psalms 22, “…I am a worm and no man …despised of the people …I am poured out like water …and all my bones are out of joint …my heart is like wax …my tongue cleaves to my jaw …am brought down to the dust of death.”

His being there was the fulfillment of his intent and determination to die in our place! This was the price that God himself set for our redemption: God himself had to die; God himself had to shed his very own blood! By saying, “If I be lifted up I will draw all men to me,” He is doing exactly that on the cross. He is drawing us, asking us, “to come unto me.” Yes, and by asking the Father to, “forgive them for they know not what they do”, He is throwing the door wide open for us while tugging at our hearts. And, one could almost hear him say “Be Mine”.

Be mine and your sin will be forgiven and no longer under the curse; I am reminded of the prophet who said, “though your sins be as scarlet ye shall be white as snow. Be mine for I am going to prepare a dwelling place for you. Be mine and you will never die, for my special gift to you is eternal life; and you will never thirst or hunger, for I will give you both the bread of life and the water of life.”

But what could be the proper response to such a suitor and his appeal or proposal? To learn of the best, and indeed, the only accepted response (a simple I will) we need only to look again at Calvary’s brow and hear the thief on a cross next to our Saviour when he says; “Master, remember me when you cometh into your kingdom.”

In saying “Be Mine”, “come unto me”, and “Whosoever believeth in me shall never die”, isn’t he asking us to consider and look expectantly upon the eternal, heavenly scene. We have the ‘picture’ of a people for whom a pure, white, shining garment has been prepared. And as we stand so arrayed before the very throne of God our hearts are suddenly filled with an overwhelming measure of love, and our eyes are filled with great tears of joy; for we are now aware that He is present! The Lamb of God Himself has stepped forth from the midst of the throne. And, performing the acts and duty as our Groom, places a wedding ring on our fingers; and then presents us to all the holy, righteous hosts of Heaven as his greatly beloved, glorious, precious Bride! The Church! And all the host of Heaven bow down; reverently, lovingly, and adoringly as kings cast their crowns down before Him!

And so, indeed, as the Lord said on the cross, “It Is Finished!” Thus, the message of God written indelibly throughout space and time by his own blood is there for all to see: I love you! Love has conquered!

Rev. Jess Shifflett
Front Royal, VA

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OPINION: A new low in Front Royal politics

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Wow – hard to explain the new low in Front Royal politics. One only need review the video of Monday night’s Town Council Working Session to witness true unprofessionalism at its best (or worse depending on how you look at it). The Town of Front Royal deserves so much more, and the Town Council should hang their collective heads in shame.

I should be disappointed in myself for not believing this group of elected thugs, and a hand-picked failure of a Town Manager, could take us even deeper into governmental despair. Shame on me for having faith.

Let’s look at this. It included an extremely large, standing room only crowd of concerned citizens of Front Royal, a surprisingly still ill-prepared Interim Town Manager who demonstrated without any doubt that he knows little about leadership or how to manage staff, and a truly unprofessional Town Council.

One could see on Mr. Tederick’s face from the onset of the meeting that he was extremely nervous and likely had not slept for a couple nights. Tough to sleep soundly when you know the gallows await and you know your story can not stand up to any real questioning.

As I said in my most recent article, the Town Council had found their stooge in Mr. Tederick; but while letting him do their dirty work and now rush through its rationale, the impulse not to lose center stage in front of so large an audience was too great to resist.

Mr. Meza should be nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of a man interested in what was best for the citizens of Front Royal and his self-imposed look of regal importance of learning at the feet of his mentor Mr. Tederick.

Jacob Meza, left, at Monday’s heavily attended Front Royal Town Council Work Session discussion of an apparently council-endorsed budget plan eliminating some crucial Town staff and departmental functions to reduce town government operational costs. Letasha Thompson listens at right. Royal Examiner Photos by Roger Bianchini

Give a supporting Oscar to Mr. Holloway for his portrayal of an insane middle-aged man. Remember the movie “The Shining” starring Jack Nicholson and the famous phrase – “Here’s Johnny” – or in this case “Here’s Crazy Chris”? Rather than act like a mature adult, Mr. Holloway decided to reduce council’s debate with its mayor to the level of a developing school-yard brawl. – “That’s a downright lie” may not be the proper response to the mayor’s assertion he had only heard of the budget/staff termination plan the previous week. Of course, little Jacob Meza had set the table for Crazy Chris with his accusation that Mayor Tewalt was “playing to the large crowd” by expressing opposition to their and Mr. Tederick’s preferred course of outsourcing now-cut staff functions, apparently that outsourcing largely taking place around July 1 when the new fiscal year begins.

How do these men find new ways to show how unimpressive they really are? Well, that could apply to most of the Council. Are you listening Ms. Thompson, Ms. Cockrell, Mr. Sealock and Mr. Gillespie?

First let’s cover the citizens of Front Royal. It was evident from the start these individuals wanted to voice their concerns while at the same time listen to the “potential” words of wisdom from the Interim Town Manager and Town Council who had created this situation. I will have to admit, within reason, they were well behaved.

Only during the above-referenced school-yard brawl with their mayor and the section when Mr. Tederick started to show his apparent lack of understanding of tourism and his explanation of why he let people go prior to his recommendations being approved and implemented – allegedly due to compassion – did the audience let out a few catcalls, etc. Overall, they appeared to, perhaps surprisingly, hold themselves in check.

As a crowd reaching about 50 gathers, council and staff chat prior to meeting/work session’s convening.

They were without a doubt more adult than several members of the Town Council who should apologize to the citizens for their bad behavior. Only once did the Mayor have to remind the onlookers that they need to respect those at the table. Too bad, he did not remind the Council members that they also need to show respect to all those at the table.

Mr. Tederick’s words on “Compassion” for those he had removed, followed by noting that if Council disagreed with his recommendations those same individuals could reapply for their jobs, rang so hollow. What 5th grade class on leadership did Mr. Tederick learn this skill from? Never in my career have I heard such bad judgement on hiring or firing. If this was supported by any decent attorney, I would have to say they never managed a staff as well.

I had to think, not long, on why someone in the position of Mr. Tederick could think this made any sense. It then dawned on me. It is apparent, he has never really managed a large, multi-departmental staff, and the rest of his career has been on managing financial portfolios and not leading people. Rather simple, he does not think as a leader or a manager. He only thinks of money. The same can be said for Chris “You’re the liar” Holloway and Jacob “The Lessor” Meza.

Reapply for their jobs? The only reapplying for jobs will be with these same Council members asking town citizens to re-elect them in coming elections, the first less nine months away.
I also started to think about what real revenue comes into this County and Front Royal. A fact that Mr. Tederick did not really cover. We could assume, tourism is a major factor. So, I decided to do my research. It did not take long to find the following website: Vatc.org and click on top right research tab.

Unlike every other chart Matt displayed, this is the only one that shows growth every year. Amazing that the only thing that shows steady growth is the one he condemns and suggests it be giving to a privately held company that perhaps magically showed up in his office the day after he announced the removal of the Tourism Director. Something like the Attorney Bro’s we now have working in Town Hall and their relationship with his 1839 Capitol adventure.

Also, his statement of doing a one-year contract makes absolutely no sense. One with any management background would realize that this position requires stability in dealing with the various organizations that comprise the tourism landscape. But Mr. Tederick, this DOES NOT grant you permission to now issue a five-year contract to any friends who have appeared like a gift from heaven at your doorstep.

Chris Holloway, left, and Matt Tederick take break with colleagues prior to closed session being convened at end of Monday’s quickly adjourned special meeting and budget work session.

One last comment before I put away my keyboard for the night. I am not certain what was said behind closed doors by the Mayor regarding tourism and what actions should be taken. However, one with any decorum – for Mr. Holloway that means: behavior in keeping with good taste and propriety – if so compelled, would have called Mr. Tewalt a liar behind closed doors and not in front of the citizens they represent.

Never lower yourself to prove a point.

Poor play of the week goes to Mr. Holloway, with an assist to Mr. Meza. I would not be surprise if he has won that award before on several occasions. I would expect, but we will not get, a public apology from him for his unprofessionalism. Apparently building housing units does not require such skills.

I can only hope this council, at least the other four members, hear the citizens of this town.

Simon Mays
Front Royal

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OPINION: Matt ‘The Hack’ Tederick and the rest of the Town Circus Act

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I know, it has been several weeks since my last article. I was hoping that providing Front Royal senior staff (notice I did not say leadership) time to get their act together would suffice.

Sadly, I was mistaken. Matt “The Hack” Tederick and the rest of the circus act, “The Town Clowns” (sorry I meant Council) continue to display such poor judgement it can only be assumed they do not have the capacity to modify their behavior and act like people who work FOR the people of Front Royal, and not just in their own self-interest or because they are just ill prepared for this job.

It was well understood by all, to include the previous Interim Mayor (Tederick) and the Town Council, that Joe Waltz left because he could no longer fend off their absurd demands — although they praised him in front of folks when he left which was sad to watch. Joe was a decent man that refused to do things he did not believe in or take actions he could not honestly defend.

In addition, it was also well understood as soon as Matt Tederick took over as Acting Town Manager that specific heads would roll. Remember the Town Council selected an individual that admitted to the Royal Examiner that he had no experience for the job – it shows every day. Many knew who was at the top of his hit list and saw that played out this past week.

It was like a circus car, one clown out the door and many more to follow – and I am talking about Matt and the Council who blindly follow him, not the people who lost their jobs who were just good honest hardworking folks per Matt Tederick’s statement to the Royal Examiner on 29 Jan 2020.

Who is driving this car?!? Public Domain Photo

Now we see Mr. Tederick in front of the citizens attempting to respond but extremely ill prepared. Where are his henchmen that successfully supported him, allowed him or just forced him to take these actions? It appears they (the Council) have gone underground. Why not let Matt fend for himself as he was willing to be their hatchet man – they found their fool so let him take the heat. It would be nicer if they never reappeared. Don’t just fool yourself into thinking this was all Matt’s work alone.

Let’s now look at the situation we find ourselves in: Four positions empty, no budget plan yet presented to the people and our elected officials continuing to prey on the fine citizens of Front Royal.

It was evident that Mr. Tederick is ill prepared to provide any adequate response. If no real plan has been approved or even well thought out, just say that. He admitted in one session late last week that he did not know where tourism responsibilities would ultimately land. One should quickly ask why remove staff members that have performed well for the citizens when no plan is in place to take those responsibilities over. This was well documented in yesterday’s (Feb 2, 2020) Royal Examiner’s article entitled “Many Questions, few clear answers on Town reorganization plan.”

The citizens should be upset and rightfully demand a response that provides real answers and not just political jargon. These officials work for us and not themselves – or IS it the other way around? It is real simple to understand: if you take action, be able to answer the simple question, “Why?”

If not, please exit stage left – I will open the door.

Matt Tederick on the job as interim mayor last June, his first council appointment which led to his second appointment as interim town manager in the wake of the October resignation of Joe Waltz, which became effective Nov. 8; and now there is this … Royal Examiner File Photo

If the article in the Royal Examiner of Jan 31, 2020 entitled “Letter to Major and Town Council” by several local business leaders is half-true, and there is no reason to believe it is not all true, concerning Felicia Hart’s accomplishments then she likely has brought more business to the area and made more coherent decisions than the council combined – and add in their Interim Town Manager Matt Tederick for good measure – as those business people apparently know Hart and her work well, I will take their word over Matt and the Town Council’s as to her value.

We may want to consider removing the members of the Town Council and put Ms. Hart back in her previous position or just let her take over Town Council responsibilities. I am sure that it could be said for Jeremy Camp as well. We could possibly save money if that is what Matt is concerned about. Most of these Council members come ill prepared to even discuss the simplest of town activities or able to think on their feet, so why not switch up?

It is possible that Mr. Tederick just misspoke about not knowing how things would fall out, remember when he misspoke and said, “slush fund” – Oops. Or other such business examples which I touched on previously.

Again, Jacob “The Lessor” Meza continues to amaze us all by defending Mr. Tederick and whining about how town people question him and the members of the council.

Jacob Meza proclaimed he and his council colleagues were ‘not crooks’ following public criticism of council actions last fall – but who said they were?

Jacob, it’s easy to remedy – leave the council or accept criticism like any adult in an elected position. As I have said before in my articles, it comes with the territory. If I were you, I would give it up – as you don’t have it in you to lead. I call him “Jacob the Lessor” because every time he speaks, less meaning words flow from his lips. But he can ramble on … and on … and on …

Sorry, just practicing my impression of Mr. Meza.

Not sure what the citizens of this town can do to stop this madness. Can the citizens of Front Royal start a petition to replace existing Town Council members – something for our Town Attorney to answer. It appears the Town Manager and elected officials are just not willing to listen to the people who elected them. I believe elections are this fall – Remember that, citizens.

Simon Mays
Front Royal, Virginia

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