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Meet the Candidates

Town Talk: A conversation with Amber Morris, candidate for Front Royal Town Council

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Meet the Candidates is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will sit down with each candidate in our local election and discuss issues that are important to all of us. In this Meet the Candidates session, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Amber Morris. Amber is running for a seat on the Front Royal Town Council.

Amber is a lifelong resident of Warren County. As a mother of three up-and-coming freedom fighters, she also is a conservative, a constitutionalist, a community activist, and a volunteer on many local boards.

For the past four years, she has served as the Warren County Republican Committee’s treasurer. During this time she worked to elect conservatives across the state as well as campaigning for President Trump.

She supports our local government in decreasing taxes, incentivizing businesses, and improving the aesthetics of Front Royal.


Find out more on her Facebook page.


Meet the Candidates is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will sit down with each candidate in our local election and discuss issues that are important to all of us. All local candidates are invited to participate in this ‘Meet the Candidate’ series.

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Meet the Candidates: A conversation with Zach Jackson, candidate for Front Royal Town Council

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Meet the Candidates is a series on the Royal Examiner where we sit down with each candidate in our local election and discuss important issues.

In this Meet the Candidates session, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Zach Jackson. Zachary (Zach) Jackson was born and raised here in the Town of Front Royal. From an early age, he understood how important a sense of community is to Front Royal.

His mother was born and raised here as well; His father was born in Fauquier County but moved here as a teenager. Both his mother and father both graduated from Warren County High School in the 1980s. Zach graduated from Skyline High School in 2012 and went on to study engineering at Penn State University. His time there made him realize how much he missed the comfort of a tight-knit community, so he transferred back to Virginia the following year.

He then attended and graduated from Bridgewater College in 2017 with a degree in Political Science, concentrating on research and policy analytics. After graduation, Zach moved back home to help build the family business that his father, James Jackson, started. While helping grow the family business, he attended graduate school to obtain a Master’s in Cyber Security from Southern New Hampshire University.


He currently works as a business coordinator in Winchester, VA. His goal is to bring the principles He has learned in policy and security to the Town Council, including integrity, transparency, and availability. However, Zach’s most important goal is to give back to the community that gave him so much.

 

 

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Meet the Candidates: A conversation with Josh Ingram, candidate for Front Royal Town Council

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Meet the Candidates is a series on the Royal Examiner where we sit down with each candidate in our local election and discuss important issues.

In this Meet the Candidates session, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Josh Ingram, a Front Royal Town Council candidate. Josh currently serves on the Town Planning Commission, which he says has given him working knowledge of how the Town functions. He is a project manager for a security integration firm in the metro area.

Josh says, “Our tax dollars need to be spent where there are needed most. A fiscally conservative approach is necessary for our Town’s growth and ability to operate efficiently.” He said, “Residents need transparency; they need to know what’s happening. I’ll work to ensure that the public is aware of meeting schedules and have an opportunity to share their concerns.”

Josh is proud to call Front Royal home and wants to keep its small-town charm while at the same time promoting economic prosperity and encouraging high-quality development.


Click here to find out more about Josh Ingram on his Facebook page.

 

 

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Meet the Candidates: A conversation with Gene Kilby, candidate for Front Royal Town Council

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Meet the Candidates is a series on the Royal Examiner where we sit down with each candidate in our local election and discuss important issues.

In this Meet the Candidates session, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Gene Kilby. Gene is running for Town Council in a Special Election (two-year term) for the seat vacated by Scott Lloyd. Also running in the Special Election is Wayne Sealock.

Gene is a longtime Front Royal resident and a Warren County High School graduate. He also has a degree in Business Administration from Howard University with a minor in civil engineering, math, and economics.

On Gene’s agenda is transparency and accountability in our local governments. He also wants to stress fiscal responsibility.


Here’s what’s on Gene’s agenda:

  • Opening a functioning youth center
  • Strengthening our mental health and drug addiction services
  • Create a plan for our homeless population
  • Advocate for affordable housing
  • Collaborate with County for economic development

In-person, early voting is now available at the Office of Election, 465 W 15th Street, Suite 800, Front Royal. The hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The Warren County Office of Elections and Voter Registration will also be open for voting on Saturday, October 29, 2022, and Saturday, November 5, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Ballot drop boxes will be available on the same dates and times and at the location listed above for in-person, early voting. Ballot drop boxes will also be available at all Precincts on Election Day.

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Meet the Candidates: A conversation with Wayne Sealock, candidate for Front Royal Town Council

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Meet the Candidates is a series on the Royal Examiner where we sit down with each candidate in our local election and discuss important issues. In this Meet the Candidates session, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Wayne Sealock.

Wayne is running for Town Council in a Special Election (two-year term) for the seat vacated by Scott Lloyd. Also running in the Special Election is Gene Kilby.

Wayne says, “I was born and raised in Front Royal. I think I can bring new ideas to the table. I want to save our taxpayers money. I served on the Board of Zoning Appeals for 17 years and as chairman for the last 15 years. I am all about hiring local people that know our town. ”

He continued, “As your councilman, I want to make our community as safe and secure as possible. A good place for our children to live, learn and grow. I want our children, young adults, middle age adults, and our seniors to feel safe so they can go out for an evening walk. I will work to get us another grocery store in town. I want to promote Front Royal to attract tourists to our town. This will increase revenue by purchasing food, gas, and hotel rooms. I will strive to equip our police department with the equipment and personnel needed to protect our citizens. Lastly, I will strive to keep our taxpayers informed where their tax dollars are being spent, with them having a say in public hearings.”


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Front Royal Town Council Candidates Forum held at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church

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The Front Royal Catholic Civic Education Group sponsored the Town Council Candidates Forum held at the St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Front Royal on September 16, 2022.

The Front Royal Catholic Civic Education Group wants the community to be able to make informed choices regarding the November election, so they asked all Front Royal Town Council candidates to this Candidates’ Forum.

Approximately 200 people filled the parish hall below the Church.  The format was typical for such events. Everyone was given time for opening and closing remarks. The moderator was Wayne White, from Lake Frederick, who asked each candidate to respond to the same questions on subjects relating to the office sought.

Candidates for the Town Council special election to fill the vacant seat of Scott Lloyd include Gene Kilby and Wayne Sealock.


Candidates Josh Ingram, Zack Jackson, Amber Poe, and Bruce Rappaport are running for the three open seats on Town Council in the November election.  Lori Cockrell is the lone candidate for Mayor.

Watch the Candidates Forum on this exclusive Royal Examiner video.


Questions were provided to the candidates as they arrived at the forum, and no questions were taken from the audience.

Questions for the candidates:

  1. Warren Public Schools. Over the past two years, parents’ concerns over COVID restrictions, school curricula, and discipline have contributed to a decline in public school attendance. In fact, public records show that 23 % of school-age children in Warren County are no longer attending public schools. Would you, as a member of the Town Council, support a town property tax credit of some form for town residents who choose to send their children to private schools or who homeschool, since their children are currently not attending public schools, which saves the taxpayers approximately $15,000 per student per year? Why or why not?
  2. Front Royal Economic Development Authority: Data Centers. The Front Royal Economic Development Authority (FREDA) has recommended bringing data centers to Front Royal. The Town Council has been asked to approve a zoning change to facilitate that proposal. Data Centers have environmental and infrastructure as well as financial issues associated with them. Do you believe that before the Council makes its zoning decision, FREDA should hold public hearings to address community concerns? What oversite mechanisms would you recommend for the Council to put in place to ensure transparency of a project of this magnitude?
  3. Economic Development of Front Royal. Many say Front Royal has untapped economic development potential. What would you do to attract more businesses to this community with better-paying jobs? Please give us some examples of those businesses that you believe would be a good fit for our community.
  4. Derelict Buildings in Front Royal. Many citizens are concerned about derelict buildings that reflect poorly on the town. Some argue that the Town has limited options to correct these problems. However, research suggests a possible approach to reducing derelict buildings would be to tax assessments that reflect the actual property market value. For example, the derelict building at Commerce Avenue and 6th Street is zoned commercial use and is in a high-traffic area. In 2021, the building was assessed and taxed at $140,000, and this year it was assessed at $147,000. However, in August of this year, the building was listed at $275,000. In other words, it was only assessed at just about half of its commercial real estate value. If derelict buildings were assessed and taxed at their true market value, owners may be less likely to leave them idle and or have them repaired. Real estate assessment is the responsibility of the Warren County government. If you are elected, what would you do to resolve the under-assessment value of derelict buildings with the County to remove or improve these facilities?
  5. Future of Main Street. We understand that people have different opinions as to making Main Street a pedestrian-only mall between Chester Avenue and Royal Avenue. Where do you stand on the idea of such a change, and why?

Questions for the Front Royal Mayoral Candidate.

Along with the five questions above, two additional questions were asked of the mayor candidate.

  1. As a member of the Front Royal Town Council for two years and now as a candidate for Mayor, looking back, is there anything that you would have done differently during your tenure on the Council? If so, please provide some specifics on the issues and how a different position would have benefitted the Town.
  2. In the Front Royal Town Code, the Mayor has responsibility for the operation and conduct of the Front Royal Police. As Mayor, would you be in favor of a Citizen Advisory Council to assist the police with police/citizen conflicts? Please explain why or why not you would consider a group like that to assist in resolving such issues.

 

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Local Republican James Bergida enters race for Virginia Senate District 1

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Grassroots community leader and college professor James Bergida today announced his candidacy for the newly drawn Virginia Senate District 1. A campaign launch event will be announced soon.

James Bergida

“As a lifelong Virginian, a guy from a family of overcomers, a man of faith, and an educator, I passionately hold that now is the time to invest in our beautiful Valley and Commonwealth’s future.

I believe that Virginia and our Shenandoah Valley can continue to be the land of opportunity, a place where all our residents don’t just get by but thrive. I have what it takes to stand firm for the freedoms and conservative values that Virginians know and love. I look forward to representing the constituents of Senate District 1 and working with members in both the Virginia Senate and the House of Delegates to expand opportunities for all Virginians and protect our God-given rights. Let’s work together to achieve the future that Virginian families deserve.”


Bergida interned at the U.S. Department of Justice, worked in real estate and agriculture, and currently serves as the Chairman of the Northern Valley Young Republicans. In 2021, he led a grassroots team of staff and volunteers to flip the City of Chesapeake for Glenn Youngkin.

Having attended Shenandoah University and graduated from Christendom College, Bergida received his master’s and doctorate from the University of Oxford. He currently teaches Political Science and Economics at Christendom College.

To learn more about James Bergida and the campaign for Virginia Senate, please visit jamesbergida.com

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

Studio Verde

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Vetbuilder.com

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warren County DSS Job Development

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Dec
4
Sun
3:00 pm “Can’t Feel At Home” @ Court Square Theater
“Can’t Feel At Home” @ Court Square Theater
Dec 4 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
"Can't Feel At Home" @ Court Square Theater
“Can’t Feel At Home” an original play by Dr John T Glick. The story of families displaced from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the 1930’s to allow for the construction of Shenandoah National Park and[...]
4:00 pm Christmas Tree Sales @ Royal Plaza Shopping Center
Christmas Tree Sales @ Royal Plaza Shopping Center
Dec 4 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Christmas Tree Sales @ Royal Plaza Shopping Center
Kickoff for tree sales — Boy Scout Troop 52 is ready to help you find that perfect tree. We are located at the Royal Plaza in front of Rural King. We will be selling trees[...]
Dec
7
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 7 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Dec
10
Sat
10:00 am 10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 10 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
10th Virginia Infantry Encampment @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area Journey back in time and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of a Civil War Encampment during the holidays. Interact with the 10th VA Infantry, also known as the Valley Guards,[...]
4:00 pm Paint Night @ Living Water Christian Church
Paint Night @ Living Water Christian Church
Dec 10 @ 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Paint Night @ Living Water Christian Church
The Living Water Christian Church is hosting a paint night on December 10, 2022, from 4pm-6:30pm. The cost is $40.00 per painting with award winning artist Kelly Walker. This is open to the public but[...]
Dec
14
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 14 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Dec
21
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 21 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]