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Town sends out ‘Request for Proposal’ for search consultant to recruit new Town Manager

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Town Hall Front Royal, Virginia

Here is the Request for Proposal that the Town Council has released for a search consultant to recruit a new Town Manager.

PART ONE – PURPOSE
The Town of Front Royal invites the submission of sealed proposals from executive search consultants with national experience in recruiting candidates for the position of Town Manager.

The Town is looking for a search firm that is capable of showcasing the community’s unique amenities, quality of life, and professional organization to attract a seasoned manager with demonstrated experience and success in leadership and management. The desired Town Manager should be someone that works, leads, and manages in a collaborative manner and can work with
Council, staff, and stakeholders to establish a vision, identify strategic goals and execute actions in an efficient fashion. The Town needs a leader with the highest ethical standards and integrity.

This Request for Proposal (RFP) is being issued by the Town of Front Royal with the intent to enter into a Contract for Services. The awarded contract will be for a period of one (1) year,
beginning on the date of final signature. The successful proposing firm will have experience in providing such services to government entities and other organizations of similar size and
complexity in the region and have the staff capacity and expertise to do so for the Town of Front Royal.

Cooperative Contracting
This solicitation is being conducted in accordance with the provisions of Virginia Code § 2.2-4304. This clause is intended to allow the successful Contractor to offer the goods and services requested in this solicitation to other public bodies. Offering to sell goods and services to other jurisdictions is voluntary on the Contractor’s part. A public body’s participation in the contract
is also voluntary. Failure to offer the terms and conditions of the contract to other jurisdictions neither disqualifies a bidder nor adversely affect the award of the contract. The successful Contractor must deal directly with a participating public body concerning placement of orders, issuance of Purchase Orders, contractual disputes, invoices and payments. In no event shall the
Town of Front Royal, its officials or staff be responsible for any costs, damages or injury as a result of any Town contract extended to a public body by the successful Contractor. The Town
of Front Royal acts only as the “Contracting Agent” for this contract. The Town assumes no responsibility for any notification of the availability of the contract for use by other public bodies. Other public bodies desiring to use the contract shall make their own legal determination as to whether the use of the contract is consistent with their laws, regulations, and other policies.

Any participating public body has the option of executing a separate contract with the successful Contractor. Contracts entered into with a participating public body may contain general terms
and conditions unique to that public body. If, when preparing such a contract, the general terms and conditions of the participating public body are unacceptable to the successful contractor, the
Contractor may withdraw its extension of the contract to that participating public body.

An RFP is used for procurement of services in situations where price is not the sole determining factor and the award will be based on a combination of cost and technical factors (Best Value).
Through its proposal, the Offeror offers a solution to the objectives, problems, and needs specified in this RFP, and defines how it intends to meet (or exceed) the RFP requirements.

The Town of Front Royal may cancel this Request for Proposals or reject proposals at any time prior to an award and is not required to furnish a statement of the reasons why a particular proposal
was not deemed to be the most advantageous (Code of Virginia, § 2.2-4359D).

INFORMATION
The legislative and policy making body of the Town is the Mayor and the six-member Town Council whose members are elected. The Town Council appoints the Town Manager, who serves as Chief Administrative Officer. It is the Town Manager’s responsibility to hire department heads. The Town currently employs approximately 172 full-time equivalent employees.

The Town has contracted with an Interim Town Manager while the search for a permanent Town Manager is underway.

The Town of Front Royal has an estimated population of 14,666, and Warren County has an additional 23,404 residents surrounding Front Royal.

Location
Front Royal is centrally located near the intersection of Interstates 66 and 81, and 70 miles west of Washington DC. The Town is also located at the confluence of the North and South Forks of
the Shenandoah River. Front Royal is also just south of the Virginia Inland Port, a truck container to rail port network serving the deep-water ports of Virginia in Norfolk.

Education
Two top-rated universities are located in Warren County: Christendom College and George Mason University’s Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation located at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

The Warren County Public School system offers students accredited courses of study in addition to offering students programs at the Blue Ridge Technical Center, the Project Lead the Way
Study Programs in engineering and biomedical sciences, and study at the Mountain Vista Governor’s School. In addition, Front Royal is home to Randolph Macon Academy, an Air Force
affiliated co-ed day and boarding school for students in grades 6 through 12.

STATEMENT OF NEEDS
The Town needs to develop a plan for soliciting potential candidates and presenting finalists to the Town Council by:

Interviewing the Mayor, Town Council, and Department Heads to determine an overall understanding of the Town and how it functionally operates.

Questioning all Town Council Members and the Mayor to develop the general criteria and skillsets for the position of Town Manager.

Questioning all Town Council Members and the Mayor to determine a general vision they have for the future of the Town in order to ensure the finalists have the same general vision.

Designing a robust public participation process for Council approval so that residents and employees can provide their comments and thoughts about attributes they want in the Town
Manager.

Meeting with the Town Council as necessary to facilitate the development of an appropriate candidate profile and list of priorities for the new Town Manager.

Developing a position profile, and all recruiting material in conjunction with the Town Council, Interim Town Manager, and other key individuals and sources selected by the Council, that
addresses the specific leadership qualities, duties, responsibilities, operational issues, education and training, personal characteristics and traits, and other factors that are relevant to the position.

Conducting all recruiting efforts for the position including targeted mailings, selected advertising, networking, direct inquiries, and use of consultant’s knowledge of potential candidates.

Answering questions from candidates and collecting application materials.

Reviewing all application materials received, comparing them to the candidate profile and performing screening interviews as needed.

Working with the Town Council to select 4-6 finalists; prepare a summary report on all finalists; determine and prepare appropriate interview/selection process for Council, staff and the
community to conduct in-depth interviews of each finalist; and participate and manage all interviews and community sessions with the assistance of the Interim Town Manager.

Conducting detailed background investigations (including, but not limited to, social media) and verify references and credentials of finalists. Prepare a detailed report on each finalist.

Assisting the Town Council and all stakeholders in the interview and selection process.

Assisting in the negotiation of an employment agreement with the final candidate, as directed by the Town Council and coordinated with the Interim Town Manager and Town Attorney.

The consultant may continue to provide the services above until a Town Manager is appointed, or until the contract is cancelled by the Town. In addition, should the newly appointed Town
Manager be terminated for cause or resign within twenty-four (24) months, the consultant may conduct a replacement search at no charge.

Schedule:
The Town intends to award a contract before July 1, 2020. The Town is interested in an expedited yet thorough recruitment process, and in completing the search and selection process for the new Town Manager as soon as practical.

PART TWO – PROPOSAL PREPARATION & SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
Proposers are asked to respond and to tab their proposals according to the following items in the sequence presented:

Qualifications. Describe the background, public sector experience, and executive search capabilities of your firm. Please give specific information regarding your qualifications to conduct Town Manager searches for entities similar to the Town of Front Royal. Describe in what ways have members of your firm developed personal contacts with potential candidates for this position.

Scope of Services. Provide a scope of services and a proposed outline of tasks, products, and recruitment schedule. Major proposed deviations from the desired scope of services outlined in
this request for proposal should be clearly noted.

Consulting Staff. Provide the name of the individual responsible for the recruitment including subcontractors, the percentage of the time said individual will allocate to the recruitment, and the
specific experience of the individual relative to the recruitment. Describe how many successful searches the consulting staff has conducted within the last two years. Identify how many other
executive searches the responsible person currently is involved in.

References. Provide a list of a minimum of five (5) clients who can verify your firm’s ability to provide the scope of services requested, include a brief description of the work along with contract award and completion dates for each recruitment. For each reference, include the name(s), telephone number(s) and email address(es) of the client’s project manager.

Cost. Provide a cost proposal that includes a lump sum fee and estimate of detailed expenses.

Approach. Provide a general description, based on experience, as to how the firm would approach the process, including methodology and estimated timelines, and how they would involve stakeholders and work together with the Town towards final appointment of the successful candidate. Identify how the firm will ensure that the Town receives prompt and timely attention throughout this process.

Sample Materials. Please provide 3-5 recent samples of recruiting specifications, community/agency profiles, recruitment brochures, invitee letters, announcements, and so forth from your firm.

Required Signature Pages. See Exhibit B.

Submission of Proposals & Questions
Sealed proposals, subject to the specifications and conditions contained hereto, will be received in the Purchasing Department until 2:00 P.M., THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2019.

Proposals are to be mailed to the Town of Front Royal, ATTN: Alisa Scott, Purchasing Manager, P.O. Box 1560, Front Royal, Virginia 22630. Proposals may also be hand delivered until the scheduled date and time shown above to the Purchasing Department, 102 E. Main Street, Front Royal.

The outermost envelope which a proposal and copies is contained therein must be clearly marked “EXECUTIVE SEARCH”. The Town of Front Royal is not responsible for delays in the delivery
of the mail by the U.S. Postal Service, private couriers, or the inter-office mail system. It is the sole responsibility of the Offeror to ensure this its proposal reaches the Town of Front Royal by
the designated date and hour.

Any proposal received after the announced time and date of the submittal deadline will not be considered.

One (1) original and nine (9) copies of your proposal must be received by the Town by December 4, 2019 Proposals shall be submitted the following address:

Town of Front Royal
Attn: Alisa Scott, Purchasing Manager
PO Box 1560
102 E. Main Street
Front Royal VA 22630

If the Town of Front Royal has closed due to inclement weather and/or emergency situations prior to or at the time set aside for receipt of proposals, the published due date will default to the
next open business day at the same time.

Deadline changes and any addenda shall be transmitted by e-mail to all registered holders of the Request for Proposal. Request for a copy of the RFP does not commit the holder to submit a
proposal.

All costs of proposal preparation and presentation shall be borne by each Offeror. The Town of Front Royal is not liable for any cost incurred by the Offeror prior to issuance of a contract.

Submittal of a proposal indicates acceptance by the proposer of the conditions contained in this request. The Town of Front Royal reserves the right to reject without prejudice any or all
responses. The Town of Front Royal reserves the right to waive formalities and negotiate with any proposer. The Town of Front Royal reserves the right to amend the specifications of this
Request for Proposals and request new and/or updated proposals at any time prior to award of contract.

The Town shall select the best proposal based upon the evaluation criteria.

Each Offeror is responsible for examining and understanding this RFP prior to submitting a proposal. Offerors assume all risk of errors contained in this procurement process and no contract
awarded will be increased to cover costs that should have been anticipated by the Offeror in examining the documents.

The Town of Front Royal reserves the right to request verification, validation or clarification of any information contained in a proposal.

Proposals shall be valid for ninety (90) days following the opening date. No proposal may be withdrawn or changed during this period.

Submitted proposals shall be available to the public for review for a period of sixty (60) days after award of contract.

All communication regarding this RFP shall be directed to the following contact:

Julie Bush – HR Director
Town of Front Royal
102 E. Main Street
P.O. Box 1560
Front Royal, VA 22630
(540) 635 – 3929
jbush@frontroyalva.com

Ms. Bush will provide all respondents with any information required to successfully prepare a response which will meet the Town’s needs.

Contact with other Town employees regarding this RFP is prohibited without prior consent.

Vendors that directly contact employees risk elimination.

Nothing herein is intended to exclude any responsible firm or in any way restrain or restrict competition. On the contrary, all responsible firms are encouraged to submit proposals.

The awarding authority for this contract is the Town of Front Royal. It is understood and agreed that the contract generated from this Proposal shall be subject to annual appropriations by the
Town of Front Royal Town Council. Should the Council fail to appropriate funds for the contract, the contract will be terminated when funds are exhausted. There shall be no penalty should the
Council fail to make annual appropriations for the contract.

The Town of Front Royal reserves the right to accept or reject any and all proposals; to waive informalities; to negotiate with the lowest qualified Offeror in order to stay within available budget
funding; and to award the project as deemed in its judgment to be in the best interest of the Town of Front Royal.

All Offerors shall abide by all applicable State and Federal laws.

The Town of Front Royal does not discriminate against small and minority businesses.

The Town of Front Royal reserves the right to accept or reject any and all proposals.

PART THREE EVALUATION AND AWARD CRITERIA
Each proposal will be independently evaluated on the criteria listed below. Points assigned to each category are listed in parentheses:

Consultant Experience/Qualifications (20 points). Experience in providing services similar to those requested and having obtained favorable outcomes (“Favorable outcomes” should be
measured in terms of number of Town Managers placed, length of service of Town Managers placed and level of satisfaction with those Town Managers).

Cost (10 points). Total estimated fees and expenses for the services broken down by task. While cost will be a consideration in the award of the contract, the contract will not necessarily be
awarded to the firm submitting the lowest cost proposal. The Town’s intent is to award the contract to the firm whose proposal is deemed to offer the best overall value and fit to the needs
of the organization.

Dependability (20 points). Ability and commitment to complete the work within the required time frame and proposed cost as evidenced by documentation provided through references.

Sample Materials (10 points). Quality and quantity of recruiting specifications, community/agency profiles, recruitment brochures, invitee letters and announcements provided.

References (20 points). Quality and quantity of client references provided. Evaluation of past recruitments as stated by references in the proposal and of relevance of past experience as
reported in this submission.

Quality of Response (20 points). The overall quality of the response, conformance to format, approach, and its responsiveness to this request for proposal.

PART FOUR GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS ETHICS IN PUBLIC CONTRACTING
By submitting their proposal, all Offerors certify that their proposal is made without collusion or fraud and that they have not offered or received any kickbacks or inducements from any other
Offeror, supplier, manufacturer or sub-contractor in connection with their proposal, and that they have not conferred with any public employee having official responsibility for this procurement
transaction, any payment, loan, subscription, advance, deposit of money, services or anything more than nominal value, present or promised, unless consideration of substantially equal or greater
value was exchanged.

LICENSES AND PERMITS
The Offeror agrees that it has procured all licenses, permits, or other like permission required by law to conduct or engage in the activity requested within this RFP; that it will procure all additional licenses, permits, or like permission required by law during the term of the Contract; and that it will keep such licenses, permits, and permissions in full force and effect during the term of the Contract.

INEPENDENT CONTRACTOR
The Offeror understands and agrees that the relationship of the Offeror to the Town arising out of the Contract shall be that of Independent Contractor. It is understood that the Offeror, or its staff
and employees, are not employees of the Town and are, therefore, not entitled to any benefits. The Offeror shall be responsible for reporting and accounting for all State, Federal, Social Security,
and local taxes where applicable.

PAYMENT
To the Independent Contractor:

a. The Town shall promptly pay for the completed services or delivered goods described in the RFP by the required date. The required payment date shall be either: (1) the date on which payment is due under the terms of the contract, or (2) if a date is not established by the contract, not more than forty-five (45) days after goods or services are received or not more than forty-five (45) days after an invoice is rendered, whichever is later. Separate payment dates may be specified for contracts under which goods or services are provided in a series of partial executions or deliveries to the extent that the contract provides for separate payment for partial execution or delivery. Within twenty (20) days after the receipt of an invoice for goods or services, the Town shall notify the supplier of any defect or impropriety that would prevent payment by the required payment date. If the Town fails to make payment by the required payment date, the Town shall pay any finance charges assess by the supplier that shall not exceed one percent (1%) per month. Where payment is made by mail, the date of the postmark shall be deemed to be the date the payment is
made.

b. Individual Independent Contractors shall provide their Social Security numbers, and proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations shall provide the Town of Front Royal with a Federal Employer Identification number, prior to receiving any payment from the Town.

c. Invoices for items ordered, delivered and accepted shall be submitted by the Independent Contractor directly to this payment address:

Town of Front Royal
Purchasing Department
P.O. Box 1560
Front Royal, VA 22630

All invoices shall show the applicable Purchase Order number.

d. The Independent Contractor shall monthly furnish an invoice to the Town for services rendered that month. All goods or services provided under this contract or Purchase Order, that are to be paid for with public funds, shall be billed by the Independent Contractor at the contract price, regardless of which Town department is being billed.

e. Unreasonable Charges. Under certain emergency procurements and for most time and material purchases, final job costs cannot be accurately determined at the time orders are placed. In such cases, Independent Contractors should put on notice that final payment in full is contingent on a determination of reasonableness with respect to all invoiced charges.

Charges which appear to be unreasonable will be researched and challenged, and that portion of the invoice held in abeyance until a settlement can be reached. Upon determining that invoiced charges are not reasonable, the Town shall promptly notify the Independent Contractor, in writing, as to those charges which it considers unreasonable and the basis for the determination. A Independent Contractor may not institute legal action unless a settlement cannot be reached within thirty (30) days of notification. The provisions of this section do not relieve an agency of its prompt payment obligations with respect to those charges which are not in dispute. (Code of Virginia § 2.2-4363).

To Subcontractors:
a. An Independent Contractor awarded a contract under this solicitation is hereby obligated:

(1) To pay the subcontractor(s) within seven (7) days of the Independent Contractor’s receipt of payment from the Town for the proportionate share of the payment received for work performed by the subcontractor(s) under the contract; or (2) To notify the agency and the subcontractor(s), in writing, of the Independent Contractor’s intention to withhold payment and the reason.

b. The Independent Contractor is obligated to pay the subcontractor(s) interest at the rate of one percent (1%) per month (unless otherwise provided under the terms of the contract) on all amounts owed by the Independent Contractor that remain unpaid seven (7) days following receipt of payment from the Town, except for amounts withheld as stated in (2) above. The date of mailing of any payment by U.S. Mail is deemed to be payment to the addressee. These provisions apply to each sub-tier contractor performing under the primary contract. An Independent Contractor’s obligation to pay an interest charge to a subcontractor cannot be construed to be an obligation of the Town of Front Royal.

REPORTS
The Independent Contractor shall complete, maintain, and submit to the Town all records and reports and lists of services rendered when such services are rendered.

SERVICES RENDERED
The Independent Contractor shall perform all services to be rendered pursuant to the Contract at the location specified above. The Independent Contractor agrees to maintain all facilities and
equipment used by Independent Contractor under the Contract in clean, sanitary, and safe condition and free from defects of every kind.

TAXES
The Independent Contractor shall pall all County, Town, State and Federal taxes required by law and resulting from the work or traceable thereto, under whatever name levied. Said taxes shall
not be in addition to the Contract price between the Town of Front Royal and the Independent Contractor, as the taxes shall be solely an obligation of the Independent Contractor and not the
Town, and the Town shall be held harmless for same by the Independent Contractor. The Town of Front Royal is exempt from State Sales Tax and Federal Excise Tax. A Tax Exemption
Certificate indicating the Town’s exempt status will be furnished by the Town of Front Royal upon request.

BUSINESS LICENSE REQUIREMENT
If a business is in the Town of Front Royal, it is unlawful to conduct or engage in that business without obtaining a business license.

COMPLIANCE WITH FEDERAL IMMIGRATION
The Independent Contractor does not and shall not during the performance of the Contract for goods and services in the Commonwealth, knowingly employ an unauthorized alien as defined in
the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

COMPLIANCE WITH STATE LAW
The Independent Contractor shall comply with section 2.2-4311.2 of the Code of Virginia pertaining to foreign and domestic businesses authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth.

TERMINATION FOR CAUSE
The Contract may be terminated by the Town upon fifteen (15) days written notice to the Independent Contractor to the address first named above in the event of substantial failure or default of the Independent Contractor to perform in accordance with the terms hereof through no fault of the Town’s.

TERMINATION FOR CONVENIENCE
The obligation to provide further services under the Contract may be terminated by the Town for its convenience and not for cause upon fifteen (15) days written notice. The Independent Contractor shall be compensated for work performed through the date of termination and for termination expenses, including any expenses directly attributable to termination and for which
the Independent Contractor is not otherwise compensated. Termination expenses shall not, however, include loss profits on services not performed as a result of such termination for
convenience.

NOTICE
Any notice which is required to be given, or which may be given under the Contract, shall be sent to those mailing addresses noted in the first paragraph of the Contract.

NON-ASSIGNABILITY
The Independent Contractor understands that the Contract is a contract with the professional services of the Independent Contractor and that it is made by the Town in reliance on the Independent Contractor’s personal skills and knowledge in the activity to be conducted and as represented by the Independent Contractor. Accordingly, the Contract is non-assignable by the
Independent Contractor without the express written advance permission of the Town.

INSURANCE
The Independent Contractor shall procure and maintain the general liability insurances shown below, with the Town named as Additional Insured, for protection from claims arising out of
performance of services caused by negligent, reckless, or willful error, omission or act for which the Independent Contractor is legally liable. The Independent Contractorshall deliver to the Town,
upon execution of the Contract, certificates of such insurance. Insurance shall provide for coverage effective through the date of the end of the Project.

Comprehensive General Liability Insurance, naming the Town as Additional Insured
Automobile Liability, naming the Town as Additional Insured
Worker’s Compensation

AMOUNT OF INSURANCE REQUIRED
Comprehensive General Liability Insurance – $1,000,000 Minimum per Incident
Automobile Liability Insurance – $1,000,000 bodily injury and $1,000,000 property damage
Worker’s Compensation – As required by the Commonwealth of Virginia

INDEMNIFICATION
The Contractor shall indemnify, keep and hold harmless the Town of Front Royal and its members of Council, officers, directors, agents, employees and volunteers against any and all claims of
injuries, death, damage to property, theft, patent claims, suits, liabilities, judgements, costs and expenses (including reasonable attorney fees) which may otherwise accrue against the Town in
consequence of the granting of a contract which may otherwise result therefrom, if it shall be determined that the act was caused through negligence or error, or omission of the contractor or
his or her employees, or that of the subcontractor or his or her employees, if any; and the contractor shall, at his or her own expense, appear, defend and pay all charges of attorneys and all costs and other expenses arising therefrom or incurred in connection therewith; and if any judgement shall be rendered against the Town in any such action, the contractor shall, at his or her own expense, satisfy and discharge the same. The contractor expressly understands and agrees that any performance bond or insurance protection required by this contract, or otherwise provided by the contractor shall in no way limit the responsibility to indemnify, keep and save harmless and defend the Town as herein provided. The provisions of this section shall survive the completions,
terminations or expiration of the contract.

ENTIRE CONTRACT
The Contract constitutes the entire agreement between the parties pertaining to the subject matter of the Contract and supersedes all prior or contemporaneous agreements and understandings of the parties in connection with the subject matter. No modification of the Contract shall be effective unless made in writing and signed by both parties.

STANDARD OF CARE
The Independent Contractor shall perform the services as described by the Contract expeditiously and diligently and in accordance with the standard of care and skill ordinarily exercised under similar conditions by reputable members of its profession or trade practicing in the same or similar locality within the Commonwealth of Virginia existing as of the date such services are provided and in accordance with all applicable laws, codes, and regulations in effect as of the date such services are provided

ENFORCEMENT
The Contract shall be governed by the laws of the State of Virginia. Any action maintained by either party for the enforcement or interpretation of the terms of the Contract shall be filed in the
courts of Warren County, Virginia.

PART FIVE ATTACHMENTS
Any resulting contract will be based on the Town of Front Royal sample contract – Attachment A.

All proposals are to include the Town’s required signature pages – Attachment B.

THIS IS A SAMPLE AGREEMENT THAT WILL BE ENTERED INTO BETWEEN THE TOWN AND THE INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR. THE AGREEMENT IS PART OF THIS SOLICITATION.

THIS AGREEMENT IS SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY THE TOWN ATTORNEY.

ATTACHMENT A SAMPLE CONTRACT FOR SERVICES
THIS CONTRACT FOR SERVICES is made and entered into this ______ day of __________________, 20_____, by and between THE TOWN OF FRONT ROYAL, VIRGINIA, a Municipal Corporation, whose address is 102 East Main Street, Front Royal, Virginia 22630 (hereinafter referred to as the “Town”), and INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR., a STATE Corporation, whose street address is INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR ADDRESS, and whose mailing address is SAME (hereinafter called the “Contractor”).

W I T N E S S E T H:
That for and in consideration of the mutual promises contained herein, the Town agrees to purchase, and the Contractor agrees provide the following described services:

EXECUTIVE SEARCH SERVICES
1. Place of Service Performance/Delivery:
FRONT ROYAL, VA 22630

2. Time of Service Delivery: Normal working business hours for this project will be 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday, unless otherwise approved by the Town of Front Royal. Work will not be permitted on any Town of Front Royal holidays, which include New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve Day, and Christmas Day.

3. Term of Contract: This Contract shall be in effect beginning with the date of the final signature on the contract and continuing (if not otherwise terminated pursuant to the terms of this agreement) until final approval by the Town of the service performed.

4. Payment: a. The Town shall promptly pay the sum of SUM for the completed services or delivered goods described in Attachment A “Proposal Response” by the required date. The required payment date shall be either: (1) the date on which payment is due under the terms of the contract, or (2) if a date is not established by the contract, not more than forty-five (45) days after goods or services are received or not more than forty-five (45) days after an invoice is rendered, whichever is later. Separate payment dates may be specified for contracts under which goods or services are provided in a series of partial executions or deliveries to the extent that the contract provides for separate payment for partial execution or delivery. Within twenty (20) days after the receipt of
an invoice for goods or services, the Town shall notify the supplier of any defect or impropriety that would prevent payment by the required payment date. If the Town fails to make payment by the required payment date, the Town shall pay any finance charges assess by the supplier that shall not exceed one percent (1%) per month. Where payment is made by mail, the date of the postmark shall be deemed to be the date the payment is made.

b. Individual Contractors shall provide their Social Security numbers, and proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations shall provide the Town of Front Royal with a Federal Employer Identification number, prior to receiving any payment from the City.

c. Invoices for items ordered, delivered and accepted shall be submitted by the Contractor directly to this payment address:

Town of Front Royal
Accounts Payable
P.O. Box 1560
Front Royal, VA 22630

All invoices shall show the applicable Purchase Order number.

d. The Contractor shall monthly furnish an invoice to the Town for services rendered that month. All goods or services provided under this contract or Purchase Order, that are to be paid for with public funds, shall be billed by the Contractor at the contract price, regardless of which Town department is being billed.

e. Unreasonable Charges. Under certain emergency procurements and for mote time and material purchases, final job costs cannot be accurately determined at the time orders are placed. In such cases, Contractors should put on notice that final payment in full is contingent on a determination of reasonableness with respect to all invoiced charges. Charges which appear to be unreasonable will be researched and challenged, and that portion of the invoice held in abeyance until a settlement can be reached.

Upon determining that invoiced charges are not reasonable, The Town shall promptly notify the Contractor, in writing, as to those charges which it considers unreasonable and the basis for the determination. A Contractor may not institute legal action unless a settlement cannot be reached within thirty (30) days of notification. The provisions of this section do not relieve an agency of its prompt payment obligations with respect to those charges which are not in dispute. (Code of Virginia § 2.2-4363).

To Subcontractors:
a. A Contractor awarded a contract under this solicitation is hereby obligated:
(1) To pay the subcontractor(s) within seven (7) days of the Contractor’s receipt of payment from the Town for the proportionate share of the payment received for work performed by the subcontractor(s) under the contract; or (2) To notify the agency and the subcontractor(s), in writing, of the Contractor’s intention to withhold payment and the reason.

b. The Contractor is obligated to pay the subcontractor(s) interest at the rate of one percent (1%) per month (unless otherwise provided under the terms of the contract) on all amounts owed by the Contractor that remain unpaid seven (7) days following receipt of payment from the Town, except for amounts withheld as stated in (2) above. The date of mailing of any payment by U.S. Mail is deemed to be payment to the addressee. These provisions apply to each sub-tier contractor performing under the primary contract. A Contractor’s obligation to pay an interest charge to a subcontractor cannot be construed to be an obligation of the Town of Front Royal.

5. Reports: The Contractor shall complete, maintain, and submit to the Town all records and reports and lists of services rendered when such services are rendered.

6. Services Rendered: The Contractor shall perform all services to be rendered pursuant to this Contract at the location specified above. The Contractor agrees to maintain all facilities and equipment used by the Contractor under this Contract in clean, sanitary, and safe condition and free from defects of every kind.

7. Licenses and Permits: The Contractor agrees that it has procured all licenses, permits, or other like permission required by law to conduct or engage in the activity provided for in this Contract; that it will procure all additional licenses, permits, or like permission required by law during the term of this Contract; and that it will keep such licenses, permits, and permissions in full force and effect during the term of this Contract.

8. Independent Contractor: The Contractor understands and agrees that the relationship of the Contractor to the Town arising out of this Contract shall be that of independent contractor. It is understood that the Contractor, or its staff and employees, are not employees of the Town and are, therefore, not entitled to any benefits provided employees of the Town. The Contractor shall be responsible for reporting and accounting for all State, Federal, Social Security, and local taxes where applicable.

9. Non-Discrimination: During the performance of this agreement the Contractor agrees as follows:
a. The Contractor will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, religion, color, sex, natural origin, age, disability, status as a service disabled veteran or any other basis prohibited by state law relating to discrimination in employment, except where there is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary for the normal operation of the Contractor. The Contractor agrees to post in conspicuous places, available to employees and applicants for employment, notices setting forth the provisions of this non-discrimination clause.

b. The Contractor, in all solicitations or advertisements for employees placed by or on behalf of the Contractor, will state that the Contractor is an equal opportunity employer. The Town of Front Royal does not discriminate against faith-based organizations.

c. Notices, advertisements and solicitations placed in accordance with federal law, rule or regulation shall be deemed sufficient for the purpose of meeting the requirements of this section.

d. The Contractor will include the provisions of the foregoing paragraphs a, b and c in every subcontract or purchase order of over $10,000.00 so that the provisions will be binding upon each sub-contractor or vendor.

10. Compliance with Federal Immigration Law: The Contractor does not, and shall not during the performance of the Contract for goods and services in the Commonwealth, knowingly employ an unauthorized alien as defined in the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

11. Compliance with State Law: The Contractor shall comply with section 2.2-311.2 of the Code of Virginia pertaining to foreign and domestic businesses authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth.

12. Drug-Free Workplace: For the purpose of this section, “drug-free workplace” means a site for the performance of work done in connection with this contract awarded to the Contractor in accordance with this procurement transaction.

During the performance of this contract, the Contractor agrees to:
a. Provide a drug-free workplace for the Contractor’s employees b. Post in conspicuous places, available to employees and applicants for employment, a statement notifying employees that the unlawful manufacture, sale, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance or marijuana is prohibited in the Contractor’s workplace and specifying the actions that will be taken against employees for violations of such prohibition c. State in all solicitations or advertisements for employees placed by or on behalf of the Contractor that the Contractor maintains a drug-free workplace d. Include the provisions of the foregoing paragraphs a, b and c in every subcontract or purchase order of over $10,000, so that the provisions will be binding upon each subcontractor or vendor.

13. Termination for Cause: This Contract may be terminated by the Town upon fifteen (15) days written notice to the Contractor to the address first named above in the event of substantial failure or default of the Contractor to perform in accordance with the terms hereof through no fault of the Town’s.

14. Termination for Convenience: The obligation to provide further services under this Contract may be terminated by the Town for its convenience and not for cause upon fifteen (15) days written notice. The Contractor shall be compensated for work performed through the date of termination and for termination expenses, including any expenses directly attributable to termination and for which the Contractor is not otherwise compensated. Termination expenses shall not, however, include loss profits on services not performed as a result of such termination for convenience.

15. Notice: Any notice which is required to be given, or which may be given under this Contract, shall be sent to those mailing addresses noted in the first paragraph of this Contract.

16. Non-Assignability: Independent contractor understands that this Contract is a contract with the professional services of the Contractor and that it is made by the Town in reliance on the Contractor’s personal skills and knowledge in the activity to be conducted and as represented by the Contractor. Accordingly, this Contract is non-assignable by the Contractor without the express written advance permission of the Town.

17. Insurance: The Contractor shall procure and maintain the general liability insurances shown below, with the Town names as Additional Insured, for protection from claims arising out of performance of services caused by negligent, reckless, or willful error, omission or act for which the Contractor is legally liable. The Contractor shall deliver to the Town, upon execution of this Agreement, certificates of such insurance. Insurance shall provide for coverage effective through the date of the end of the Project.

Comprehensive General Liability Insurance, naming the Town as Additional Insured
Automobile Liability, naming the Town as Additional Insured
Worker’s Compensation

18. Amount of Insurance Required:
Comprehensive General Liability Insurance – $1,000,000 Minimum per Incident
Automobile Liability Insurance – $1,000,000 bodily injury and $1,000,000 property damage
Worker’s Compensation – As required by the Commonwealth of Virginia

19. Indemnification: The Independent contractor shall indemnify, keep and hold harmless the Town of Front Royal and its members of Council, officers, directors, employees and volunteers against any and all third party claims of injuries, death, damage to property, theft, patent claims, suits, liabilities, judgements, costs and expenses (including reasonable attorney fees) which may otherwise accrue against the Town in consequence of the granting of a Contract which may otherwise result therefrom, to the extent it shall be determined that the claim was caused through
negligence or error, or omission of the Independent contractor or his or her employees, or that of the Subcontractor or his or her employees, if any; and the Independent contractor shall, to the extent of its obligation above, pay all reasonable charges of attorneys and all costs and other expenses arising therefrom or incurred in connection therewith; and if any judgement shall be rendered against the Town in any such action, the Service Provide shall, to the same extent, at its own expense, satisfy and discharge the same. The Independent contractor expressly understands and agrees that any performance bond or insurance protection required by this Contract, or otherwise provided by the Independent contractor shall in no way limit the responsibility to
indemnify, keep and save harmless and defend the Town as herein provided. The provisions of this section shall survive the completions, terminations or expiration of the Contract.

20. Entire Contract: This Contract constitutes the entire agreement between the parties pertaining to the subject matter of this Contract and supersedes all prior or contemporaneous agreements and understandings of the parties in connection with the subject matter. No modification of this Contract shall be effective unless made in writing and signed by both parties.

21. Force Majeure: The Contractor shall not be held responsible for failure to perform the duties and responsibilities imposed by this Contract if such failure is due to fires, riots, rebellions, natural disasters, wars, or an act of God beyond control of the Contractor, and outside and beyond the scope of the Contractor’s then current, by industry standards, disaster plan that make performance impossible or illegal, unless otherwise specified in the Contract.

22. Antitrust: By entering into this Contract, the Contractor conveys, sells, assigns and transfers to the Town of Front Royal all rights, title, and interest in and to all causes of action the Contractor may now have or hereafter acquire under the antitrust laws of the United States or the Commonwealth of Virginia, relating to the goods or services purchased or acquired by the Town of Front Royal under this Contract.

23. Additional Terms and Conditions: The following attachments are made a part of this Contract and are incorporated herein:
(1) Attachment “A” – PROPOSAL RESPONSE
(2) Attachment “B” – PROPOSAL PRICING SCHEDULE

24. Standard of Care: The Contractor shall perform the services herein described expeditiously and diligently and in accordance with the standard of care and skill ordinarily exercised under similar conditions by reputable members of its profession or trade practicing in the same or similar locality within the Commonwealth of Virginia existing as of the date such services are provided and in accordance with all applicable laws, codes, and regulations in effect as of the date such services are provided.

25. Enforcement: This Contract shall in all aspects be governed by the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Any action maintained by either party for the enforcement or interpretation of the terms of this Contract shall be filed in the courts of Warren County, Virginia. The Contractor shall comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned parties hereto have made and executed this Contract as the
day and year first above written.

(SEAL) TOWN OF FRONT ROYAL, VIRGINIA
Attest: ________________________________ BY: _________________________________

Printed Name: _________________________ Type Name: ________________________
Title: _________________________________ Title: _______________________________
Date: _______________________________

(SEAL) INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR:
Attest: _________________________________ ____________________________________
Printed Name: __________________________ BY: ________________________________
Title: __________________________________ Printed Name: ______________________
Title: ______________________________
Date: ______________________________

APPROVED AS TO FORM:
_________________________________________
Douglas W. Napier, Town Attorney
DATE: __________________________________

ATTACHMENT B REQUIRED SIGNATURE PAGES
PLEASE NOTE: STATE CORPORATION COMMISSION (SCC) REGISTRATION
REQUIREMENTS effective July 1, 2010 require that your proposal include the identification number issued by the State Corporation Commission as proof of registration or justification for non-registration, per the requirements in Sections 6.31 and 9.21. Please complete this Proof of Authority to Transact Business in Virginia form and submit it with your proposal. Failure to provide this information or providing inaccurate or purged information shall result in your proposal being rejected.

State Corporation Commission Form
Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) Registration Information Pursuant to VPPA §2.2-4311.2, the bidder must include the following information: o is a corporation or other business entity with the following SCC identification number:

-ORo is not a corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership, registered limited liability partnership, or business trust -ORo is an out-of-state business entity that does not regularly and continuously maintain as part of its ordinary and customary business any employees, agents, offices, facilities, or inventories in Virginia (not counting any employees or agents in Virginia who merely solicit orders that require acceptance outside Virginia before they become contracts, and not counting any incidental presence of the bidder in Virginia that is needed in order to assemble, maintain, and repair goods in accordance with the contracts by which such goods were sold and shipped into Virginia from bidder’s out-of-state location)

-ORo is an out-of-state business entity that is including with this proposal an opinion of legal counsel which accurately and completely discloses the undersigned bidder’s current contacts with Virginia and describes why those contacts do not constitute the transaction of business in Virginia within the meaning of § 13.1-757 or other similar provisions in Titles 13.1 or 50 of the Code of Virginia.

Attach opinion of legal counsel to this form.
o NOTE: Check this circle if you have not completed any of the foregoing options but currently have pending before the SCC and application for authority to transact business in the Commonwealth of Virginia and wish to be considered for a waiver to allow you to submit the SCC identification number after the due date for proposals. (The Town of Front Royal reserves the right to determine in its sole discretion whether to allow such waiver).

I certify the accuracy of this information.
Signed: Title: Date:

REQUIRED SIGNATURE PAGES NON-COLLUSION AFFIDAVIT
The undersigned bidder or agent, being duly sworn on oath, says that he/she has not, nor has any other member, representative, or agent of the firm, company, corporation or partnership
represented by him, entered in to any combination, collusion or agreement with any person relative to the price to be bid by anyone at such letting nor to prevent any person from bidding
nor to include anyone to refrain from bidding, and that this bid is made without reference to any other bid and without any agreement, understanding or combination with any other person in
reference to such bidding. He/She further says that no person or persons, firms, or corporation has, have or will receive directly or indirectly, any rebate, fee gift, commission or thing of value
on account of such sale.

OATH AND AFFIRMATION
I HEREBY AFFIRM UNDER THE PENALITIES FOR PERJURY THAT THE FACTS AND INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE FOREGOING BID ARE TRUE AND CORRECT.
Dated this day of , 2019
(Name of Organization)
(Title of Person Signing)
(Signature)

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT STATE OF COUNTY OF
Before me, a Notary Public, personally appeared the above named and swore that the statements contained in the foregoing document are true and correct.
Subscribed and sworn to me this day of , 2019
Notary Public Signature
My Commission Expires: (SEAL)

REQUIRED SIGNATURE PAGES
CONFLICT OF INTEREST: The undersigned certifies and warrants that to the best of its knowledge and belief and except as otherwise disclosed, it does not have any organizational conflict of interest, which is defined as a situation in which the nature or work under the contract and the offeror’s organizational, financial, contractual or other interest are such that award of the contract may result in the offeror receiving an unfair competitive advantage, or the offeror’s objectivity in performing the contract work may be impaired. The offeror agrees that if after being awarded it discovers an organizational conflict of interest with respect to the being awarded, it shall make an immediate and full disclosure in writing to the Town of Front Royal which shall include a description of the action which the offeror has taken or intends to take to eliminate or neutralize the conflict.

INDICATE THE NAME AND CONTACT INFORMATION OF THE PERSON WHO CAN RESPOND AUTHORITATIVELY TO ANY QUESTIONS REGARDING THIS PROPOSAL (I.E. PROJECT MANAGER).

Dated this day of , 2019
(Name of Organization)
(Title of Person Signing)
(Signature)
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT STATE OF COUNTY OF
Before me, a Notary Public, personally appeared the above named and swore that the statements contained in the foregoing document are true and correct.
Subscribed and sworn to me this day of , 2019
Notary Public Signature
My Commission Expires: (SEAL)

REQUIRED SIGNATURE PAGES
In compliance with this Request for Proposals and to all the conditions imposed herein, the undersigned offers and agrees to furnish the services in accordance with the proposal response.

LEGAL NAME & ADDRESS OF FIRM:
By:
Company’s Legal Name Authorized Representative – Signature in Ink
Printed Name:
Title:
Date:
Phone:
Email:
Fax:

In compliance with this RFP, and subject to all the conditions thereof, the signatory offers, if this bid is accepted within thirty (30) calendar days from the date of the opening, to furnish any or all of the items and/or services upon which prices are quoted, at the price set opposite each item, to be delivered at the time and place specified herein. The above signature certifies the bidder has read, understands, and agrees to all terms, conditions, and requirements of this bid, and is authorized to contract on behalf of firm named above.

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Local Government

Town/County Liaison Committee Meeting – January 23, 2020

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Town/County Liaison Committee Meeting held on January 23, 2020. Photo and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

The Town and County held their liaison committee meeting on January 23, 2020 at Town Hall. Mayor Eugene Tewalt chaired the meeting.  County Supervisor Chairman Walt Mabe, Supervisor Tony Carter and County Administrator Doug Stanley represented the County. Mayor Tewalt, Councilman Chris Holloway, Town Manager Matt Tederick and Town Attorney Doug Napier represented the Town.

The agenda included the following items:

1 – Review Liaison Committee Mission Statement and Policies

2 – Development Review Committee

3 – Boundary adjustment request from Chris Ramsey

4 – Blighted and Derelict Structure Program

5 – Building inspector software

6 – Data Center

7 – Warren County In-Town Projects

8 – Working together regarding the EDA civil suit

9 – Resolution to General Assembly to allow Town to establish its own EDA separate from existing EDA

10 – Update on Happy Creek Road Project

11 – Discussion on Vehicle Decals

Watch the discussion on this exclusive Royal Examiner video:

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EDA in Focus

Town given okay to amend its civil suit against EDA, with some explanation

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Following a conference call with involved attorneys at their respective offices at 8:45 a.m., Friday morning, January 24, Judge Bruce D. Albertson granted the Town of Front Royal leave to amend its current $15 million civil filing against the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority. The Town has 30 days to file an amended suit and the EDA will have the option of filing a demur to dismiss the amended suit as not factually supported legally.

The Town initially filed its suit seeking the return of $3 million of its assets believed to have been misappropriated as part of the EDA financial scandal, on June 21, 2019. That filing was described by Town Attorney Doug Napier at the time as largely precautionary to prevent any statute of limitations deadlines from being passed on yet-to-be-determined fraudulent EDA transactions utilizing Town assets.

Just over three weeks later on July 12, the suit was amended to $15 million, as previously reported, still without any elaboration on the sources of that number.

The Warren County Courthouse, a familiar sight for EDA-involved principals – Royal Examiner File Photos

Of the January 24 judicial okay to again amend its suit, Town Attorney Napier said any coming amendment would “have to be legally cognizable” – or accompanied by legally supportable documentation. Napier said the Town had a scheduled meeting with its contracted auditor, Mitchell and Company, next week. That meeting may shed light on which direction, and how far in either, the Town’s amended civil suit against the EDA will next go.

The EDA’s civil litigation against what has grown to a total of 14 human and business entity defendants currently stands at $21.3 million. And despite his being dropped from the list of EDA civil case defendants in the wake of his death last spring from a possibly self-inflicted gunshot wound, electronic computer and phone records of former Sheriff Daniel McEathron have recently been subpoenaed from his estate in the EDA civil suit.

The initial amendment to the original Town claim against the EDA coincided with the Town’s pulling back from participation in the “EDA Reform Committee” and three-way EDA-Town-County joint meeting efforts geared toward fixing what had gone wrong to allow the alleged misappropriations and embezzlements circling the former EDA executive director, Jennifer McDonald, to happen over a number of years.

At the helm of the EDA for a decade prior to her December 20, 2018 resignation, McDonald has been the central figure in both the civil and criminal cases brought as a result of the Cherry Bekaert investigation of EDA finances begun in September 2018. She currently faces 34 financial felony charges brought by the special grand jury empaneled to investigate potential criminality tied to EDA finances in recent years.

But she promised us – Jennifer McDonald at a May 2017 Town work session, as Town Manager Joe Waltz and Interim Police Chief Bruce Hite listen

Stated justification for one publicly voiced Town financial dispute with the EDA, the 4% bond interest rate the Town has been asked to cover on construction of the new Front Royal Police Department headquarters, has pointed heavily at “promises” made by McDonald. Those promises revolved around anticipation the FRPD project would qualify for the New Market Tax Credit Program offered municipalities for economic growth capital improvement projects.

However, as a non-job creating project the FRPD construction did not qualify for what would have been a 1.5% interest rate over the 30-year life of the bond issue with funding through the NMTC Program. As that dispute festers on the edge of Town-EDA litigation, the Town has refused to pay what appears to be an undisputed $8.4-million in principal payments bill the EDA has submitted to the Town on the FRPD project.

Written references in a Memorandum of Agreement and Resolutions of support of the NMTC funding cite “anticipation” of the program’s funding and support of that funding being pursued.

Despite late 2017, early 2018 recommendations of then Town Manager Joe Waltz, Finance Director B. J. Wilson and People Inc. NMTC Program Administrator Bryan Phipps that a guaranteed bank-offered 2.65%, 30-year interest rate would be preferable to competing with multiple municipalities for limited NMTC funds, a council majority chose to hold out for the NMTC financing the FRPD project ultimately did not qualify for.

But 1.5% will save us millions over 30 years … if we get it – that is still a fuzzy picture

However, some Town officials have pointed to verbal promises made by McDonald that the funding was in place, as a basis for the Town claim it should not pay more than 1.5% interest rate tied to those promises.

A “legally cognizable” argument on one Town claim against the EDA?

Time will tell.

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Local Government

Front Royal defines its digital truth

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The American court system has struggled with solutions for the unprecedented increase in crimes involving digital fakes or forgeries. This national struggle hit the Town of Front Royal, Virginia when a $650,000 forensic audit was conducted of the Front Royal-Warren County Economic Development Authority (EDA). What this audit uncovered was astounding. Over the course of the last ten years, it is alleged that the EDA’s Executive Director, Jennifer McDonald, and possibly others, embezzled millions of dollars. McDonald is currently charged with 28 felony indictments stemming from alleged fraudulent activity; additionally, in an effort to recover money stolen, the EDA has slapped a $21.3 million civil lawsuit on McDonald and others in hopes of recovering some of the alleged embezzled and misappropriated money.

Committed to never letting something like this happen again, the Town of Front Royal is again on the front lines of this nationwide battle against digital fraud, this time as one of the first localities in America to start independently archiving its “Digital Truth” while taking proactive steps to eliminate future embezzlement schemes by utilizing cutting-edge technology.

“When the bills [for the forensic analysis] started rolling in, I think all of our jaws just about hit the floor,” recalls Doug Napier, Front Royal’s Town Attorney. “This wasn’t some outside rouge hacker attacking our community through the Internet, this was a trusted neighbor, a fiduciary, who had authorized access to digital files and contracts. We have seen first-hand the extraordinary cost of what embezzlement, through digital fraud, can cost. So far between the EDA, the Town and the County we have exceeded over $1.2 million just in accounting and legal fees and legal discovery through the court system hasn’t even started yet.”

Like tens of thousands of other local governments across the United States, Front Royal is transforming from an all paper world to one where vital records like contracts, official meeting minutes, public notices, or development agreements are now a mixture of hard copies, scans, and digitally generated and electronically stored files. As these documents move between the various entities and systems throughout local government, local officials must protect both confidentiality and originality at the same time. To do this, Front Royal turned to Trokt from Des Moines, Iowa, to run a pilot project on a unique blockchain-based application for local governments.

“Towns like Front Royal need a cost effective way to ensure that any file, whether it be a PDF, scan, video, image, or Word document, can be instantly validated as real no matter who shares it, where they store it, or what it is renamed,” says Trokt Managing Director Chris Draper.

“Using the same cryptographic technology as the National Security Agency (NSA), we capture what can be likened to a digital thumbprint or the file’s DNA, and permanently store that thumbprint in a distributed neo-public network. At any time in the future that file or any copy of that file can be instantly validated as an original. If the original were altered in any way, even as small a change as moving a decimal point, it could be instantly proven as a forgery.” Draper adds, “Instead of paying hefty fees and the complexities associated with digital forensics when a file is questioned, our technology provides validation accepted in any court for as little as fifty cents.”

Trokt has quietly spent much of the last decade becoming widely trusted within the LegalTech community for its nimble, user-friendly approach to protecting legally sensitive files as they are developed, shared and negotiated between multiple parties, locations, and organizations.

Looking to the future, Front Royal’s Director of Information Technology, Todd Jones, sees a freedom in Trokt’s platform that fits into his vision of an ongoing digital transformation strategy for the Town.

“We see value in piloting this technology based on the very human-centered and simple design philosophy, while incorporating the power of blockchain’s distributed ledger technology”, says Jones. “Of course, not everyone in today’s workforce was born a digital native. We decided to pilot this technology based on its ease of integration and flexibility to adapt to our current and future workflow processes. Based upon what has happened in our community with the EDA scandal, we have to get this right and never allow document fraud again.”

About Trokt:

Trokt (www.trokt.com) provides digital collaboration and enterprise blockchain solutions to define Truth within Digital Transformation. The Trokt neo-public blockchain network is a unique, patent-pending architecture catering to the confidentiality and privacy needs of the LegalTech sector. Trokt is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa.

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Local Government

Citizen militia debate rejoined at Tuesday County Board meeting

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During the second Public Comments portion of the meeting, the debate over the advisability of Warren County passing resolutions authorizing enactment of an armed citizen militia was revisited. The first four of six speakers divided evenly on the topic.

College student Sarah Downs and Paul Gabbert came down against, with Dusty Lipinski and Craig Anderson calling for County action authorizing what they feel is a citizen right inherent in both the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions.

Downs, a student of political ideology at Shenandoah University, first thanked Chairman Walter Mabe for his caution in approaching a previous request the board authorize a citizen militia in Warren County. She then expressed fear of what she called a historical tendency for such militias “to assimilate and acclimate to a certain political ideology that usually identifies with an extreme” philosophy, be it of the left or right politically.

Sarah Downs expressed fear of what she called a historical tendency for such militias “to assimilate and acclimate to a certain political ideology that usually identifies with an extreme” philosophy, be it of the left or right politically. Photos and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

She called for a trust in law enforcement “to do their job in protecting all rights within our county”, adding a call that “all gun holders are protected through the support of local law enforcement providing educational and training classes”, as well as “the enforcement of laws that protect all citizens, especially those most vulnerable to violence of any type, like children, women and those who fall into a minority group”.

Following Downs to the podium, Lipinski attempted to distance current militias from the “previous image” of extremism that Downs referenced. He said such local protections are needed because “the government in Richmond is going to pass laws anyway” that 2nd Amendment advocates see as unconstitutional infringements on their right to own firearms without legal restrictions of any kind.

Local enabling of citizen militias would offer citizens “further protections against any further unconstitutional laws” passed in Richmond Lipinski told the board.

Dusty Lipinski

Second Amendment advocates in Virginia have upped their alarm over what they believe are unconstitutional gun control bills on the table in the state general assembly since Democrats last year took their first majority in both houses since 1996. In fact, Tuesday was the final day of a five-day State of Emergency declared by Democratic Governor Ralph Northam in reaction to law enforcement intelligence and FBI arrests of seven members of a radical, racist, anti-government neo-Nazi group known as The Base last week.

At least some of those Base members arrested were believed to be planning to attend an annual gun rights rally on Monday, January 20, at the State Capitol in an effort to turn the demonstration into a violent, politically destabilizing one.

Next up was Gabbert, who told County officials, “I’m not looking to take guns away from people,” but adding, “We don’t need a militia – ever.”

He said he worried that militia members called to duty by local laws would be legally immune to prosecution if they killed someone during that deployment.

Gabbert also disputed a speaker from an earlier board meeting who called gun ownership “a God given right”.

“No, the only God given right is you obey the 10 Commandments and you get to heaven. The rest are government given rights,” Gabbert observed.

Paul Gabbert

Noting that he had lost a brother to a shot from a .22 caliber gun, Gabbert also questioned a previous meeting 2nd Amendment advocate’s contention that modern, semi-automatic assault weapons were “no different than a .22”

Final guns debate speaker Anderson said he had been at the Richmond gun rally the previous day and assured the Warren supervisors that the armed demonstrators who did show up across the street from the State Capitol grounds were “loved” by the on-duty police, one of with whom Anderson said he joked, “When are we going to tar and feather that …” – a possible reference to Democratic Governor Northam.

“What better way to honor Martin Luther King,” Anderson asked, than to have a pro-gun rights rally on his birthday. His point seeming to be that King wasn’t allowed to possess a gun or have a conceal-carry permit during his lifetime, and if he had one, perhaps he wouldn’t have been killed at long range by James Earl Ray utilizing a sniper’s rifle.

Anderson predicted that Democratic leadership and their soft stance on illegal aliens would mark an end to Constitutional law and freely elected presidents within the U.S. He also broached the possibility that the Shenandoah Valley and other parts of the state might be able to leave a Democratically-controlled Virginia to become part of West Virginia in order to avoid what he called “intolerable restrictions on the 2nd Amendment – I won’t mention all the other Amendments that are going to be violated … and this isn’t all just some pipe dream,” he told the Warren supervisors.

Craig Anderson

Anderson also expressed disappointment in a recent conversation with Warren County Sheriff Mark Butler, whom Anderson said, told him law enforcement was the American militia in the modern world.

Of the potential of red flag laws being passed by the state legislature and enforced locally, Anderson added, “Those red flag laws should terrorize everybody – you can be prosecuted if anybody doesn’t like you; your weapons are seized and you have to prove you are innocent.”

And so the debate rages over conflicting political and philosophical perceptions of gun rights versus the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were you to be on the wrong side of the next mass shooting in Virginia or the nation.

See the above speakers’ full remarks, as well as additional public comments speakers Greg Harold and Harold Baggarly, between whom there was some confusion when Chairman Mabe called Harold’s name to speak, in the linked Royal Examiner video:


To avoid confusion, above Greg Harold; below Harold Baggarly


Commentary: Can’t we do better than this? – State of Emergency as armed protesters head for Richmond

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Supervisors delay vote on VDOT-aided road improvement projects

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Citing budgetary concerns in the coming fiscal year and a desire not to raise taxes to meet budgetary commitments, a majority of the Warren County Board of Supervisors urged delay of a vote approving a VDOT-requested Resolution committing the County’s contribution to preliminary engineering, right of way acquisition and construction costs on seven projects through the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Revenue Sharing Program.

While the vote was unanimous to table the matter to the February 4 meeting, it appeared that non-first term members Archie Fox and Tony Carter concurred only because it did not appear a two-week delay approving the Resolution would jeopardize VDOT’s matching contribution on road improvement projects on the table for several years.

The fact the County’s share of the dollar-for-dollar state match totaled $753,312.50 was too much for the three newly-seated supervisors without further information on, not only road improvement expenses, but other anticipated funding needs in the coming budget cycle. It appeared the three newly-elected supervisors were firmly committed to avoiding any tax increase to balance the coming FY 2021 budget.

The staff summary of the agenda item noted that the County already has $411,220 set aside in “special projects” for the revenue sharing program; and anticipated having another $100,000 in carryover from the current budget for the program which often spans several budget cycles.

Deputy County Administrator Bob Childress, himself a former VDOT employee, explains the year-to-year logistics of the state-local revenue sharing program on road improvements approved by previous boards. Photo and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

“To complete payment of the remaining share of the projects would require less than $250,000 moving forward,” staff wrote in the agenda summary of committing County revenue to what would be a total revenue input of $1.5 million toward VDOT eligible projects in the county.

However, without departmental, outside agency and other FY 2021 budget aspects yet on the table, Supervisors Mabe, Cullers and Oates were reluctant to forward commitment of all or part of the three quarters of a million-dollar-plus county half of that money to road infrastructure improvements.

Impacted projects include the Cauthorn Mill Road Rural Rustic Project; Old Oak Lane, Phase IV Rural Addition Project (Shenandoah Farms Sanitary District); Youngs Drive, Phase II (Shenandoah Farms); Rockland Road grade-separated (railroad) crossing; Grove Farm Road – Rural Addition Priority # 6 (Fairfield Acres Subdivision); Blue Valley Road, Phase I, Rural Addition Priority # 7 (Linden Heights Sanitary District); and Old Oak Lane, Phase V – Rural Addition Priority # 8 (Shenandoah Farms).

Cullers said she was willing to move forward with approval of the Rockland Road project, noting that $710,000 in BUILD Grant/SmartScale funding appeared to have been secured – “I haven’t totally lost my mind up here,” Cullers observed of not looking a gift horse in the mouth.

During the discussion it was explained that in Sanitary District projects, VDOT paid 50%, the County 25%, and the Sanitary District taxpayers 25%.

See the discussion in this exclusive Royal Examiner video:

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Local Government

Supervisors deny EDA request for dismissed charges legal fees – for now

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On Tuesday, January 21, the Warren County Board of Supervisors denied the current EDA Board of Director’s request that four past and three current members be compensated for their legal fees related to three misdemeanor criminal indictments brought by the Special Grand Jury empaneled to explore potential criminality tied to the EDA financial scandal and consequent civil litigation.

EDA Board Chairman Ed Daley responded to questions about the EDA legal fee request and general financial situation prior to Tuesday’s vote. Photos and video by Mark Williams, Royal Examiner.

The charges for unintentional misfeasance and nonfeasance in the conduct of their public offices were brought against the entire previous board of supervisors, County Administrator Doug Stanley and former County and EDA Attorney Dan Whitten, as well as the seven past and current EDA board members. After the charges were dismissed against all defendants as not crimes by statute or even English Common Law upon which Virginia law is based, the previous County board voted to reimburse its members and staff’s legal expenses, with only ousted Shenandoah District Supervisor Tom Sayre dissenting.

North River Supervisor Delores Oates, who made the motion not to approve the request, qualified it with the disclaimer “not at this time with the information we have at this time”. Oates said she did not feel comfortable committing county taxpayer funds to the EDA legal expenses without more information.

EDA Board of Directors leave Tuesday night’s meeting after the vote not to cover seven past and current members legal fees related to dismissed misdemeanor charges.

Oates, along with Board Chairman Walter Mabe and Vice-Chair Cheryl Cullers, the latter who seconded the motion not to approve the legal restitution for now, have been frequent attendees at EDA Board of Directors meeting in recent months. All have expressed a desire to work with the existing board to try and right the EDA’s financial ship from past mistakes or allegedly criminal activities orchestrated by former EDA executive director, Jennifer McDonald. McDonald currently faces 34 felony criminal indictments by the EDA Special Grand Jury related to the EDA financial investigative audit and civil litigation.

“It would be ludicrous for us to turn our backs on our EDA,” Board Chairman Mabe recently stated, in stark contrast to the Front Royal Town Council’s increasingly hostile and litigious stance against the Town-County EDA. Discussion of the Town and County roles in support, or a lack thereof, of the current EDA should make for interesting agenda item discussion at Thursday’s scheduled Town-County Liaison Meeting.

Happy Creek Supervisor Tony Carter argued for the reimbursement, at least partially, noting that the EDA board had agreed to pay the requested total of $36,827.17 back when it was financially able – “though that might not be for a while,” Carter observed.

Tony Carter suggested a middle ground, partial coverage of EDA legal fees with the promise that money will eventually be paid back when the EDA again becomes solvent, perhaps when the Town pays its $8-million plus bill on the FRPD headquarters construction project financed by the EDA.

Carter suggested perhaps capping the EDA board compensation at $4,000 per member since questions have been raised about the disparity in some legal fees, compared to others. Former EDA Board Chairman Greg Drescher’s legal bill was $10,000, twice that of the next highest amount of $5,000 submitted by long-time former EDA Board Treasurer William “Billy” Biggs. Other EDA legal fee totals ranged from $4809.17 (Patteson) to $3,000 (Drummond).

Carter suggested postponing a vote, rather than denying the request due to the timeframe around reintroducing failed motions – one year. However, Acting County Attorney Jason Ham verified that a supervisor voting with the majority denying a motion, or in this case approving a motion to deny the request, could reintroduce the defeated initiative at any time.

Consequently, Carter voted with Oates, Cullers and Mabe to deny the request, leaving only Archie Fox voting against the denial.

Watch the discussion on this exclusive Royal Examiner video:

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10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
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