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Tederick to move from interim mayor to interim town manager



Matt Tederick upon assumption of the Front Royal Interim Mayor’s seat in late May – Royal Examiner File Photo/Roger Bianchini

Following a Tuesday evening (October 15) closed session to discuss personnel matters and the Town lawsuit against the EDA, in a surprise move a 4-1 town council majority, Tewalt dissenting and Meza absent, approved appointment of Interim Mayor Matt Tederick as Interim Town Manager to succeed Joe Waltz. Waltz’s last day is November 8. Tederick’s appointment will take effect November 9. He will have to resign as interim mayor prior to that.

Exactly when the winner of the two-man race to finish the final year of Hollis Tharpe’s resigned term will be sworn in following the November 5 Mayoral Special Election remains to be seen. The electoral result will have to be certified by a Circuit Court judge.

That mayor’s race is between Tharpe, the man Tederick succeeded upon Tharpe’s resignation effective May 2 while facing a criminal charge of solicitation of prostitution at a local massage parlor, and Eugene Tewalt, who as noted above cast the lone dissenting vote Tuesday night against Tederick’s interim town manager appointment. So Tederick is facing an undetermined tenure as interim town manager under the mayoral leadership of one of two people who do not appear to be big supporters.

To add to the soap opera flavor of the situation, Tederick was foreman of the grand jury that indicted Tharpe on the solicitation charge on April 15, four days before Tharpe announced his pending resignation to fight the legal charge and keep the Town government out of that legal crosshair. That solicitation charge was later dropped by Special Prosecutor Heather Hovermale due to the massage parlor’s proprietor’s invocation of her Fifth Amendment right not to self incriminate due to related charges against her.

The motion to appoint Tederick Interim Town Manager was made by Vice-Mayor Bill Sealock. However the vote was called by Tederick, leaving some concern that he should have recused himself from direct participation at even that level on appointment to a six-figure salaried Town job. Other legal concerns were later expressed due to a Town Charter prohibiting “council members” from appointments while serving in their elected office. Tederick was appointed interim mayor by a 4-2 council majority, Tewalt and Thompson dissenting, on May 28.

Attempts to reach Town Attorney Doug Napier for comment on the legal dynamics at play in the appointment prior to publication were unsuccessful. However the fact the appointment won’t take effect until Tederick has resigned the interim mayor’s position to assume the interim town manager’s post may accommodate any Town Charter issues.

As for his chairing the open meeting and vote following the closed session, reached Wednesday afternoon Tederick promised he would not have broken an unlikely tie vote – only five council members were present in Jacob Meza’s absence – in his favor.

“I wouldn’t have done that,” Tederick laughed over the phone.

Tederick said the idea of his again filling an interim role in a key Town position, this time a high-paying administrative staff position, was first broached to him on Saturday by a councilman he declined to identify.

Tederick also revealed that at a meeting the day following Waltz’s October 9 resignation notification, the town manager had informed him and Vice-Mayor Sealock that the in-house staffer he thought most suited to serve in an interim town manager’s role indicated he was not interested in the job.

“We went into Executive Session last night under personnel matters and the issue was broached – it was, what do we do? The same councilman threw out my name. And I said I’m not comfortable being in this room,” Tederick said of his reaction to closed session discussion of his appointment.

The interim mayor said he has expressed a belief that whoever was a candidate for the interim job should begin “shadowing Joe Waltz as soon as possible. We have a $47-million dollar corporation to run – we can’t have no CEO,” Tederick observed, adding, “I can’t imagine ever in my life being interim in either of these positions. The Town is in a challenging position. I am just trying to do my part to fill gaps and stabilize the ship.”

Asked if unlike the mayor’s position, he might seek the slightly better paying town manager’s job on a permanent basis, Tederick quickly replied, “No! No! No!”

Asked if that was three “no’s” with three exclamation points, Tederick said, “Yes, you can write it that way.” He added that he has personal business interests he wants to get back to and would make a primary priority the search for and hiring of a permanent town manager. It is a process he said from discussion with one Town staffer in a position to know, a process that could take three months on a fast track and up to six months if that fast track fails.

Tederick credited Administrative Assistant Tina Pressley in the Town Manager’s Office for that estimate, noting that Pressley has served with eight town managers here and seen the process and timeframe between each hire.

After that first priority of finding a permanent replacement for Waltz, Tederick said his second priority as town manager would be to help guide the Town into its next fiscal year budget process; followed by an already begun initiative to improve the Town’s communications network and public information dissemination to its citizens – “I think everyone recognizes the need for that,” Front Royal’s own “Interim Man” observed.

We asked Tederick about the coincidence of the vote on his appointment as interim town manager coming the same night that across town at the Warren County Government Center, County
Board of Supervisors Chairman Dan Murray was re-raising the idea of consolidation of the two governments.

The Interim Front Royal Mayor said that while he supports the idea of public consideration of consolidation of the two municipal governments into one elected countywide governmental apparatus, he has stayed on the sidelines of the debate.

During Tuesday’s Town Council meeting at the Villa Avenue Community Center Tederick had caught criticism for his attempted fast tracking of votes on a slashing of water-sewer utility tap fees.

Former Mayor Stan Brooks address the Town Council. Photo by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.


In fact Tederick caught some friendly, if pointed criticism from former Front Royal Mayor and Councilman Stan Brooks during public comments for referring to Town reserves as a “slush fund”. Brooks noted the term implied hidden money used for illegal purposes.

Tederick apologized, replying that he did not realize the criminal implication of the term.

Contacted about Tuesday’s end of meeting development regarding Tederick’s pending appointment as interim town manager, Brooks quipped, “I guess now Matt will be managing the Town’s ‘slush fund’.”

As noted in our related tap fee story, Councilman Tewalt declined to elaborate on the reason for his vote against Tederick’s second interim Town appointment.

Hollis Tharpe, Tewalt’s opponent in the upcoming mayoral special election, was also initially hesitant to go on the record when contacted about it. However, Tharpe quickly turned his focus toward the process leading up to the council vote approving the appointment.

“I don’t think any citizen knew this was coming – again in closed session council has chosen to hide from the public. They have shunned the public in making a decision without public input or involvement. Just like they did with the interim mayor’s appointment they have put their own self-serving interest over the wishes of our 14,000 citizens,” Tharpe said.

Asked about his mayoral opponent’s vote against the appointment, Tharpe replied, “Gene and I agree on quite a few things, and have over the last 14 years I think the record will show.”

We also asked Tharpe about the mention of Town-County governmental consolidation across town at Tuesday night’s Warren County Board of Supervisors meeting.

“It is good material for a conspiracy theorist – things were running along good under Hollis; then you go back to the grand jury he (Tederick) volunteered to be foreman of; then Matt is mayor; and next town manager; and suddenly there is consolidation talk again,” Tharpe replied.

But as one conspiracy theorist once lamented, “What’s the point of having a conspiracy theory if everyone is going to conspire against it?”

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Council poised for decision on CDBG pavilion project despite added costs



‘CH’ – Gallagher’s Cheri Herschman – tried to open the council’s March 30th virtual work session with an employee health insurance presentation. However, her audio hook up experienced issues, leading to her getting bumped to second on the agenda. Royal Examiner File Photos/Roger Bianchini – Royal Examiner Audio/Mike McCool

After technical difficulties with the remote hook up of Gallagher representative, Cheri Herschman knocked the employee insurance plan presentation off the top of the Monday virtual work session agenda list, the Front Royal Town Council heard from Interim Town Manager Matt Tederick on issues with the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program’s revitalization of Front Royal’s Historic Downtown Business District.

“Needless to say, we’ve had some challenges with the CDBG in general, and now with the Coronavirus hitting our community it’s been even more of a challenge,” Tederick told the council to begin the March 30th work session discussion.

Among those challenges needing to be addressed almost immediately, Tederick explained were approval of amendments to bylaws to address personnel changes in the Façade Advisory Board and acknowledgment of the decision to move to the “materials only” option on financing downtown business façade improvements due to unexpectedly high bids on work and materials through the federal-state grant process.

“Several members got off the board; we have to add new members to the board,” Tederick said of the necessity of bylaw updates regarding program staffing.

As the agenda packet noted, those several “members who got off the board” included two, former Town Planning and Zoning Director Jeremy Camp and Tourism and Community Development Director Felicia Hart, whom Tederick terminated as part of his January 27 municipal downsizing initiative tied to his FY-2021 budget proposal. Also on the list was former Town Manager Joe Waltz, whom many observers of Town Hall believe resigned several months earlier to avoid being asked to implement then-Interim Mayor Tederick’s staff and departmental cutback plan.

The bylaw amendment would acknowledge Tederick’s replacement of Waltz as the program’s Grant Administrator, Director of Finance B. J. Wilson’s stepping into Hart’s role as “Assistant Project Manager” and the addition of Interim Planning-Zoning Director Chris Brock as “Project Manager”.

To build or not to build
Also on the table for movement toward quick council action, as in its first meeting of April, was a decision on whether or not to proceed with construction of the new Village Commons-Gazebo area Pavilion building aspect of the CDBG plan. Staff noted in the agenda packet that project estimates have added $143,349 to the $140,000 the Town has available for that major new downtown revitalization construction project now estimated at a total cost of $283,349.

The Front Royal Visitors Center has been a popular stopping point for community tourism information. After Town ‘Tourism’ promotion was suggested for outsourcing and removal from the Town budget, is council eyeballing a ‘Tourism’ promotional facility upgrade?

Staff’s recommendation should the council decide to proceed with this new construction aspect of the CDBG program, which was to request a CDBG budget amendment that would allow a 50/50 Town-CDBG Program split of the additional costs.

“We just need to get some guidance from council whether to continue down the path of staff trying to find the $75,000 dollars – in the packet we have various line items that I’ve been able to identify in the current budget in order to fund the $75,000 dollars. So, I just need to know … if that’s what you want to do,” Tederick told the council.

The line items Tederick identified to raise the Town’s half of the needed additional revenue should the State Grant administrators agree to the budget amendment for the project, came from departmental budgets whose staffs were impacted by Tederick’s late January terminations. They include a total of $39,079 from the Community Development Department; $25,000 from former Council Clerk Jennifer Berry’s budget; and $10,921 from the remaining staff salary allotment for the Horticulture Department.

First, Councilman Jacob Meza questioned whether the Town could commit the money to this project while so many revenues and timeframe on business closing variables from the COVID-19 pandemic emergency response remain unknown.

Revitalize what – targeted for federal funding through state agencies for a façade facelift, downtown businesses are currently facing an undetermined shut down as part of attempts to stem the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic spread statewide and locally.

“We’re still kind of structuring our budget for next year. But I still think there might be decisions to be made on the dollars that’ll be spent out of our budget considering the financial impact that we’re going to sustain with the all the preparation and the work keeping the COVID-19 down,” Meza said, adding, “All I’m saying is I think I’m okay with tonight deciding that we’re going to put the $75,000 in the budget with the line items that you’ve put in our packet that went out. But I’m still not a hundred percent sure that some things will be financially feasible depending on the financial impact of the COVID – does that make sense?”

While replying that he understood Meza’s concerns, Tederick noted that the line item funds he had identified were out of the existing budget, not next year’s where the Town will see the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and response on Town revenue streams and expenditures. The interim town manager pointed out staff needed a direction from council in the short term on whether they wanted to pursue a major aspect of the CDBG project in this budget year, or leave it to an uncertain budget-year future.

“So, you’re saying take it out of this year’s budget, but I thought we originally talked about having to set aside additional funds because the cost overage was unexpected, and you’re saying not take it out of the next year’s budget,” Meza replied.

Tederick reiterated that the additional $75,000 he had identified to try and move the pavilion project forward with a requested CDBG budget amendment was, indeed, out of the Town’s current FY-2020 budget.

Noting that due to project changes some funds committed to the façade aspect of the downtown revitalization project might end up coming available to other CDBG projects like the pavilion, Vice-Mayor Bill Sealock suggested council seize the moment if funding was now available, rather than wait facing an uncertain budgetary future.

I’ve got an idea for a downtown façade improvement – a movie marquee with films and playing times listed for a non-pandemic-stricken citizenry.

“So, I’m thinking looking forward instead of looking backward with this epidemic or pandemic, that we need to think about going forward in a positive manner,” Sealock told his colleagues.
Tederick then told council he did not feel there was great time pressure, and that the matter could be forwarded to another work session “to give you time to process … and have another round of discussion on whether to move forward or not”.

However, Finance Director B. J. Wilson noted that the building contractor on the project had been holding the price now on the table for some time. He pointed out that work session discussion of the matter had been on council’s schedule several weeks earlier; and that it was currently an unknown how much longer the price estimate at the root of the March 30 discussion might hold in what has been a builder’s market.

After the mayor polled a somewhat nervous council, a majority consensus was established to move the matter forward for a decision at the council’s next meeting.

Hear, if not see, council and staff’s discussion in the linked Royal Examiner audio recording:

Town will waive card-payment fees thru June, undecided on long-term options

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Warren County Parks and Recreation facilities closed




From the Warren County Office of Emergency Management:

Warren County is taking additional precautionary measures to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the community. Among these is restricting the use of Warren County’s parks to trails and outdoor spaces only. The Front Royal Golf Club is also open to the general public.

During the use of these areas, individuals must, at all times, maintain social distancing as described in the Governor’s Executive Order 55 (Temporary Stay At Home Order Due To Novel Coronavirus – COVID-19).

Effective immediately, all Warren County parks restrooms, playgrounds, and picnic shelters will be closed to the general public. The Warren County Parks and Recreation community center, indoor and outdoor recreation facilities remain closed. Registration for classes and events is temporarily disabled on our website. Events and organized activities are canceled; this includes use by sports leagues. Equipment rental is not available at this time. The Warren County Parks and Recreation Department offices remain open (but closed to the public) to field your related questions via phone at 540-635-7750 or 540-635-1021 or via email at

This is a rapidly changing situation, and the most current information is available on the following websites: or Please consult for the latest number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia.

Additionally, you can find local information on the Warren County COVID-19 website:, the County of Warren, VA Facebook page, or the Town of Front Royal COVID-19 website:

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Local Government

What are you looking for in the next Town Manager for Front Royal?



Baker Tilly, a leading local government executive search and advisory firm, is managing the search process for the next Town Manager for Front Royal, Virginia. The position is critical to the functioning of Town operations and the successful candidate will be responsible, under the guidance of the Mayor and the direction of Town Council, to manage Town operations as they collectively endeavor to enhance the quality of life for current and future residents of the Town. The application portal for those interested in applying can be found here, where a brochure is posted describing the organization, the position responsibilities and the leadership opportunities presented by the post. The brochure also describes the desired capabilities, qualifications and experience sought by Town Council for the job.

Additionally, the Town seeks any input that community stakeholders wish to contribute on the experience, management and leadership qualities they would like to see in the Front Royal’s next Town Manager, along with any other issues they may feel are relevant to the selection process. A survey to gather this input has been established online. Citizens and other stakeholders are encouraged by Council to respond to the survey by April 17th, 2020. Results will be tabulated and returned to the Town in order that it be available for candidate screening and selection. When published and returned to the Town, the survey report will be made available by the Town.

The link to the survey will be posted on the Town’s web page. The Mayor and Council encourage as many as possible to respond so that their perspectives may be registered.

For more information, please contact:

Steve Miner
Managing Director

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Town will waive card-payment fees thru June, undecided on long-term options



Above, welcome to virtual meeting world, March 30, 2020; below, Town IT and Communications Director Todd Jones (TJ) hooked council and staff in for about a half-hour, pre-7 p.m. meeting. – Don’t forget there are people signed in, listening who you can’t see, boys, Jones reminded some chatty councilmen. – Royal Examiner Photos/Roger Bianchini – Royal Examiner Audio/Mike McCool

Life in municipal government COVID-19 pandemic virtual world continued Monday evening, March 30, as the Front Royal Town Council “gathered” by remote computer hook up for work session discussion of several matters.

Near the meeting’s end, Interim Town Manager and Town Director of pandemic Emergency Management Matt Tederick noted a third confirmed case of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease-2019) in Warren County. He also was joined by the mayor and council in thanking staff for helping the town government traverse the unfamiliar territory of continuing to provide services under state-recommended restrictions on public interactions. Those restrictions have led to the locking of municipal building doors to the public, funneling most citizen-government interactions to online, phone or drive-thru options.

Consequently, one of the four topics of conversation Monday was a lifting of the 2.35% fee on payment of Town utility or other fees by credit or debit card. After a somewhat laborious discussion of contractor “technical interface” issues not allowing direct withdrawals from customer bank accounts, which would bypass the need for the plastic money fee on utility account payments, the council agreed to waive the fee for the three-month balance of this fiscal year.

Since the issue is tied to an upswing in credit or debit card payments tied to the restrictions on public interactions and municipal building closures due to the COVID-19 emergency response, Town Attorney Doug Napier told the mayor and council that they simply had to authorize Tederick to move forward on waiving the card-payment fees as part of his duties as the Town’s COVID-19 Director of Emergency Management.

The meeting gets underway with agenda cover sheet displayed at left; box at right displays who is talking by initials, in this case, Interim Town Manager/Director of Emergency Services Matt Tederick (MT).

Staff is estimating a $60,000 revenue shortfall over the three-month period, twice the current average of $10,000 monthly in plastic transaction fees. The staff summary noted that the shortfall could possibly be offset by a “reduction of expenditures identified by staff and/or usage of the reserve fund balance.”

It was noted that one of the Town Finance Department’s drive-thru windows remains open for business at the rear of Town Hall, as an option on cash or check payments. And Councilwoman Lori Cockrell wondered if many citizens were aware of the option to set up automatic payments from their bank accounts.

Prior to the consensus to allow Tederick as director of emergency management to move forward with the fee waiver, Councilwoman Thompson worried over the suggestion that Town utility fees be raised in the coming fiscal year as another means of offsetting the revenue shortfall. That led to a discussion in which Town Finance Director B. J. Wilson expressed the opinion that the lost fees, as an “operating expense” of the Town, could not be covered by the use of fund balance reserves.

“We can’t go into reserves to cover an operating expense. So, we’d have to either reduce our expenses or raise our revenues to cover this. But we cannot dip into the reserves,” Wilson told the council.

“That doesn’t make any sense, credit card fees is an operating expense, isn’t it?” Councilman Jacob Meza offered in response.

“Yes, it’s an operating expense, so we have to cover it with our revenues,” Wilson repeated.

Queried further, Wilson explained that in the short term if the funds were not available from the utility departments’ revenues, reserves might have to be used to temporarily plug the gap.

“Well, let there be a shortfall, and cover it with the reserves,” Meza suggested, drawing some laughter from council.

However, the finance director observed such a path could lead the Town into eventual trouble with state financial authorities.

“Obviously that would have to be an option for our current year if it comes down to it. But moving forward … our (utility) revenues are supposed to cover our (utility) operating expenses. And if we continually have a shortfall it could get us into a little trouble with the APA,” Wilson told the council’s cut, spend and reduce majority.

Queried later, Wilson explained “APA” stands for Auditor of Public Accounts, a State financial department that tracks municipal budgetary submissions for irregularities.

Bill Sealock – we promise he’s there – asks council to move past a discussion of long-term causes and solutions on costs and how the Town’s utility departments interface online with customers, to the business at hand – authorization for the Town Director of Emergency Services to waive credit-debit card fees for the next three months during the pandemic emergency response.

As the discussion progressed, Vice-Mayor Bill Sealock observed that in the short term the Town could cover the cost of the card fee waiver, but that long-term revenue/expenditure issues in the face of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic response would have to be dealt with in the coming FY-2021 budget starting July 1.

“We can absorb $60k in our reserve. Of course, I also want to talk about saving any dollars in the 2019-2020 (budget) then move on to our new budget, because we’re going to see some significant shortfalls. So, I’m wondering why we’re spending so much time on this thing that you can’t resolve tonight. And why we’re not moving on … I hear everybody say they’re for it for the 90 days. So, we’re not going to resolve anything else about whether it comes out of reserves or we’re rescheduling some work,” Sealock told his colleagues.

“We can discuss this all night and we’re still not going to get anywhere,” Mayor Gene Tewalt concurred, moving council toward its instruction to Tederick to enact the card payment fee waiver as part of his role as director of emergency management for the Town.

In lieu of videotaping a black computer screen with informational boxes popping up here and there, Royal Examiner audio-taped the work session for the later perusal of citizens not linked in to listen live.

Above, the cover page of the Gallagher company’s health insurance proposal the Town plans to adopt, discussion indicated not in the coming fiscal year, but July 1, 2021, at outset of FY-2022; below, an informational page summary of coming changes for the Town and its employees – not sure if Gallagher is recommending calling in the police for implementation.

In this linked audio recording, hear the above discussion, as well as council and staff’s visiting of how the pandemic response may impact the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding and plans for downtown façade and other improvements; a planned switch of the Town’s employees’ insurance package that would raise the deductible option from $250 to $500, but will not be enacted until FY-2022 after the changes have been fully explained to staff; and evolving budget variables in the current pandemic “non-essential” business closures environment as council moves forward with its locked-in half-cent real estate tax decrease in place for FY-2021.

Here’s the audio from the March 30 Work Session:

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‘Don’t get excited’ – but don’t be complacent: Town, County join forces with citizens to stave off COVID-19 threat



The COVID-19 Emergency Management team has first of weekly community briefings. Royal Examiner Photos/Roger Bianchini – Royal Examiner Video/Mark Williams – Royal Examiner Audio/Mike McCool


At 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon County and Town representatives on the COVID-19 Coronavirus Emergency Management team held a status-report briefing on what they are doing and are preparing to do as the nation, state and community move into the third month of the worldwide pandemic’s arrival on U.S. shores.

And on the heels of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) in Warren County, that message was stay calm, use common sense in maintaining recommended social distancing and cleanliness, reference reliable municipal and other governmental and health agency websites for updated information, while taking social media pronouncements with a cautionary grain of salt – but if you develop respiratory, cold or flu symptoms during the pandemic emergency reach out to your primary care physician or the public health establishment for assistance.

Another important message was that despite social distancing restrictions on direct public access to the Front Royal Town Hall and Warren County Government Center, your town and county government services are there for you by alternate means, including phone and online contacts.

“Don’t get that excited – make sure you follow the rules that are sent over by the governor; make sure you follow those set forth by the County, as well as the Town of Front Royal … the only way we can stop the spread of this virus is to stay away from one another, stay away from places where you come into contact with people. And hopefully, by doing these things that we’ve been asked to do, we can cut down on the cases here in Front Royal and Warren County,” Mayor Eugene Tewalt said in opening the briefing.

Mayor Eugene Tewalt left and County Board Chair Walt Mabe opened the first of weekly COVID-19 Emergency Management public briefings.


Picking up on the theme of the importance of public cooperation in Warren County and Front Royal’s collective response, County Board Chairman Walter Mabe added, “I can only tell you that our county can only be as prepared as its citizenry is prepared. We are going through a crisis that probably nobody in this county has been through before. There are things happening every day and the situation is evolving every day. And being able to make it better, we have to listen to the folks that are trying to give you the information that is going to make it better for you.”

It was noted that even for those younger, healthier and less susceptible to serious symptoms from COVID-19, stopping the spread locally, as well as statewide or nationally, can be crucial to the more vulnerable citizens age and health-wise, including those you or someone you know, loves.

Mabe also noted that contrary to public statements from some optimists, “There is no currently approved vaccine, there’s no magic pill to make this thing go away – it’s all going to be up to the citizenry.”

County Commonwealth’s Attorney John Bell, right (without sunglasses), stops following the briefing’s adjournment to peruse one citizen, Gary Kushner’s, opinion – time will tell, nationally, statewide and locally.

In addition to the mayor and board of supervisors chairman, included in the COVID-19 Emergency Management briefing on the first of weekly Thursday briefings for the duration of the threat from the newest Coronavirus first identified in the Hunan Province of China three months ago, were County Emergency Services Chief Richard Mabie, County COVID-19 Emergency Manager Rick Farrall, Sheriff Mark Butler, Town Police Chief Kahle Magalis, County Administrator Doug Stanley, Interim Town Manager Matt Tederick and County Commonwealth Attorney John Bell.

The latter addressed legal aspects of enforcement of directives from the state government as to public behavior: Education; formal warnings on public behavioral directives; issuing of misdemeanor citations that could carry up to $2500 fines and a year in jail in worst-case scenarios; before arrests are contemplated for refusal to follow legally binding governmental directives, is the planned order of law enforcement response, Bell said. He added that an overstepping of police or governmental authority was not the goal, rather public safety and common-sense compliance to safeguard this community’s population, especially its most vulnerable citizens was.

A special nod was given by several present as to the degree of cooperation that has developed between the County and Town sides of the joint emergency declarations, particularly in the emergency services and law enforcement sectors.

Above, as County COVID-19 Emergency Manager Rick Farrall listens, County Administrator Doug Stanley tells citizens that community leadership is prepared to minimize the challenge presented by the COVID-19 pandemic; below, Sheriff Butler and Chief Magalis illustrate the level of County-Town cooperation in place to deal with the Coronavirus threat.


“Yes, the Coronavirus pandemic is unusual – it’s unusual in the duration that we’re potentially facing. But I want the public to know that your community leadership is prepared to meet this head on,” County Administrator Stanley said, referencing annual emergency training sessions involving multiple agencies. “We will be ready for what we can do to arrest the impact on our community.”
Stanley continued to note the role that non-profit and other organizations aimed at public sector assistance can play.

County Board Chair Mabe pointed to the county public school system’s free lunch distribution program that has continued beyond the school closings. Starting out at feeding 61 students out of meals prepared at E/ Wilson Morrison at the outset of the pandemic emergency management school closings, Mabe noted that number had steadily climbed to 125, 250 and over 350.

However, that is just the start, Mabe noted, as the public-school administration is prepared to utilize it school bus system to distribute a thousand and eventually 2500 or more free lunches out to its K-12 student base.

“We have a lot of experience in this room,” Mayor Tewalt observed later, adding, “as mayor I want to encourage the public in Front Royal, especially our citizens, to listen to what’s been said here this evening. It’s important that you pay attention to these things. And if you pay attention to these things it may not be near as bad as we may think it’s going to get.”

Watch the entire COVID-19 Emergency Management briefing in this exclusive Royal Examiner video:

Front Royal joins County in declaring COVID-19 Emergency

County declares ‘Local Emergency’ as State ramps up pandemic response

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Mayor gives emergency response update



Town of Front Royal Mayor Eugene Tewalt stopped by Royal Examiner’s studio and provided us with an update report on the emergency response process underway.

Watch this exclusive Royal Examiner video and get the latest update information:

The Mayor also shared this release with us:

As a community, we have entered uncharted territory that is changing rapidly due to the COVID-19 virus. Both the Town and County governments have been meeting daily to discuss the myriad issues pertaining to the COVID-19 virus and our community. Yesterday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued an executive order that goes into effect at midnight tonight that closes or modifies the operation of businesses not considered “essential”. This order seeks to contain, control, and prevent infections and unnecessary risks to our citizens.

The Front Royal Police Department, Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Town of Front Royal and County of Warren governments, Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Warren County Fire & Rescue, Emergency Management, and Valley Health have been working tirelessly to keep our citizens as safe as possible. Our community must adhere to the restrictions put in place to help with this process. The Governor’s emergency powers are derived from VA code 44-146.15. The Governor’s Executive Order Number Fifty-Three (Executive Order #53) describes in detail businesses considered essential, non-essential, or otherwise exempt to closing with restrictions. Gatherings of more than ten people are prohibited rather than simply discouraged. The Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Warren County Sheriff’s Office, and Front Royal Police Department have coordinated on this issue. We intend to enforce this order through warnings, education, and collaboration with our business partners to comply; however, non-compliance could result in a summons for a Class 1 misdemeanor.

We are calling on all of our friends and neighbors in the Town of Front Royal and Warren County to do their part in this fight. Ask yourself if you have an absolute need to run that errand or leave your safe space or if you want to leave because you are tired of being cooped up. Each time you encounter someone, you run the risk of becoming infected.

In the best interest of our community, we urge you to adhere to Governor Ralph Northam’s most recent executive order. We are collaborating with our local businesses and civic groups to help those that are at high risk or may not have the resources to get essential products or services. We are streamlining this coordinated effort to keep unnecessary risk to a minimum.

We thank you as a community for doing your part to protect our local medical staff, first responders, grocery and pharmacy personnel, and keeping other essential employees healthy and safe to ensure our community service providers remain fully staffed.

Related Story:

Statement from Mayor Tewalt

A letter to the citizens of Warren County and the Town of Front Royal

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Upcoming Events

10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 1 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 19: Our stories, songs, and craft this week will be about friends! Come to story time and see your friends,[...]
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 2 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, March 18 and Thursday, March 19: Our stories, songs, and craft this week will be about friends! Come to story time and see your friends,[...]
12:00 pm LFCC work from home training @ ONLINE
LFCC work from home training @ ONLINE
Apr 2 @ 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
LFCC work from home training @ ONLINE
LFCC Workforce Solutions recognizes the challenges companies are facing as most workers are forced to temporarily work from home. That’s why it has developed this FREE live webinar “5 Ways to Support Employees During this[...]
6:00 pm FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
Apr 2 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly Modern Millie @ Front Royal Christian School
3 exciting shows: APRIL 2 – 6pm, April 3 – 7pm, April 4 – 6pm. Bring the family! Filled with fun flappers and a villainess that audiences will love to hate, Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.[...]
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Apr 3 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
6:00 pm FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
Apr 3 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly Modern Millie @ Front Royal Christian School
3 exciting shows: APRIL 2 – 6pm, April 3 – 7pm, April 4 – 6pm. Bring the family! Filled with fun flappers and a villainess that audiences will love to hate, Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.[...]
8:00 am Troop 53 Annual Mulch Sale @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire and Rescue
Troop 53 Annual Mulch Sale @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire and Rescue
Apr 4 @ 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
Troop 53 Annual Mulch Sale @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire and Rescue
Spring is approaching, and Troop 53 is preparing for their annual mulch fundraiser. The funds raised will help support troop activities and send our Boy Scouts to summer camp, where they learn valuable skills in[...]
6:00 pm FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly ... @ Front Royal Christian School
Apr 4 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
FRCS Spring Musical: Thoroughly Modern Millie @ Front Royal Christian School
3 exciting shows: APRIL 2 – 6pm, April 3 – 7pm, April 4 – 6pm. Bring the family! Filled with fun flappers and a villainess that audiences will love to hate, Thoroughly Modern Millie JR.[...]
10:00 am Focus on Health Employment & Edu... @ LFCC | Science and Health Professions Building
Focus on Health Employment & Edu... @ LFCC | Science and Health Professions Building
Apr 7 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Focus on Health Employment & Education Fair @ LFCC | Science and Health Professions Building
Two sessions: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Different vendors at each session. Held in the Science and Health Professions Building at LFCC’s Middletown Campus. Contact Taylor Luther for more[...]
4:30 pm Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Apr 7 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! Tuesday, March 17 –  Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! This[...]