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Town Talk: A conversation with Michael Graham, Former Front Royal Town Manager

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In this Town Talk, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Michael Graham, former Front Royal Town Manager. With the Town Council still searching for a new Town Manager, the Royal Examiner reached out to Michael to give us how the process he went through when he was selected as the Town Manager.

Michael also describes the duties and responsibilities the Town Manager has and the type of person that should be considered.

“I have great respect for city/town managers and County administrators who have longevity in these particular jobs. It takes a lot of skills. I have quite great admiration for the public service people that serve our community.  And if you ask me if would do it over again, I would,” said Graham.

“What I learned during that process was there’s a couple of things that are happening. Number one, the revenue system in our community is antiquated because the way we drive our community is through economic growth. If you do not have economic growth, then you are really in bad shape because you can’t generate enough revenues through increasing residential taxes to cover the operational cost and provide the capital improvements on the infrastructure that you need. If you do not have economic growth, then your community is going to face some real challenges.”

The Royal Examiner has asked Graham to interview the candidates for Mayor and Town Council in the upcoming election. We will invite all the candidates and hopefully, they will accept our invitation. Michael will have a conversation with each candidate, and we think that with his experience as a Town Manager, he will be able to bring out the strengths of each candidate and give the voters information to make a wise choice at the ballot box.

Graham said, “I’ll be fair and balanced. We will send out about 20 issues that we have identified over the last two, three years that we have to face as a community. My plan is to have the candidates pick out five issues facing our community in the 1st interview with the hope that they return for a second interview later in October to address 5 new issues not covered in the 1st interview. It is not my intent for anybody to look bad but to allow the candidates to share their possible solutions to the problems facing our community. No national issues, topics will be based on local issues only”

Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com

Here is the preliminary list of topics, real issues facing the Town of Front Royal:

  • Should the existing Council hire a new Town Manager before the election?
  • Is a Water strategy for future residential and industrial support important?
  • How would you solve the Town police department building payment situation?
  • Would you continue the lawsuit with the EDA?
  • Do you agree with the current Town Manager and Council in their handling of the Advance spending of the care money from the Federal Government and not willing to provide justified spending to County first round?
  • How would you handle the impact to the public of the no-show resume of qualifications for hiring temp town manager along with salary justification?
  • Recently there was a personal attack by the staff of citizen input in public. How would you handle this situation?
  • Do support the firing of staff and dept elimination by an interim Town Manager?
  • What are your plans to grow tourism?
  • What are your plans to attract new businesses to our community?
  • Do you have a plan to turn the rental property situation into first-time homeowners?
  • What is the role of our enterprise departments (i.e. Electric, water/sewer/trash) as relates to capital spending on infrastructure vs general funds?
  • The enterprise fund reserves and the general fund have been dramatically reduced over the last several years. What are your thoughts on the enterprise zones, and should the Town rely on the venue to balance the town general fund?
  • What are the critical components in attracting business to the community and new families?
  • How are you going to build a relationship with the county?
  • Are you satisfied with the interim Town Manager performance?
  • Do you support a town EDA?
  • What is your vision of what our community will look like in the next 10 years?

Do you have a topic to add? Send to news@RoyalExaminer.com

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Community Events

Town Talk: A conversation with Jerry Sarchet, WCHS Football Coach – golf tournament scheduled September 25, 2020

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In this Town Talk, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Jerry Sarchet, the new WCHS Football Coach. When the school shut down last March, all sports programs also ended, along with the fund-raising by the Warren Wildcat Athletic Association. The WWAA provides support to the WC football program and is sponsoring a golf tournament on September 25, 2020, at the Bowling Green Golf Course.

This event is an 18 hole scramble with a shotgun start including a box lunch and two drink tickets. There will be the longest drive contest and a chance to win a new car (valued up to $20,000) on a par 3 hole. There will be a pay to play 50/50 putting contest. There also will be a silent auction. There is still room for players and sponsors.

Contact Kevin Glascock (540) 660-1190 or the coach: jsarchet@wcps.k12.va.us

Click here to download the brochure.

Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com

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Town Talk: A conversation with Tim Grant, WCPS Director of Technology, explains security issues

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In this Town Talk, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Tim Grant, Director of Technology for Warren County Public Schools. In our first talk, Tim explained the technology that is used this school year. Now that a few days of school have passed, Tim brings us up-to-date on the security issues that have occurred this week and what was done to correct them.

Tim says the Help Desk telephone has been busy this week, but if you haven’t received a callback, please call again.

Here’s the Technology Help Desk information: Telephone support call 540-636-8509 Option 1. Additional tutorials and help files can be found here.

Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com

Town Talk: A conversation with Tim Grant, Warren County Public Schools

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Town Talk

Town Talk: “Calling My People” to prayer

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In this Town Talk, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Lucy Beaty, Butch Hammond, Marc Roberson, and Steve Guizar about the Community Prayer event that is happening Saturday, September 12, 2020, at the VFW Pavilion from 9 am to Noon.

The community is invited to join local pastors in a time of prayer. No preaching, no offerings, and no politics at this event, just prayer, and a few songs. Prayer will be focused on repentance, the gospel, forgiveness, unity, our schools, first responders, our government, family, wisdom, healing, strength, joy, and the body of Christ.

Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com

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Town Talk

Town Talk: A conversation with Tim Grant, Warren County Public Schools

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In this Town Talk, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Tim Grant, Director of Technology for Warren County Public Schools. Tim brings us an update regarding the technology that will be used this school year. Tim says, “Our staff is here to help anyone that needs assistance please don’t hesitate to call us.”

Here’s the Technology Help Desk information: Telephone support call 540-636-8509 Option 1. Additional tutorials and help files can be found here.

Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com

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Town Talk: A conversation with Teresa Henry & Cynthia Smithlin – Downtown Market

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In this Town Talk, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Teresa Henry of Strokes of Creativity & Cynthia Smithlin of Bright New Image Vinyls & Antiques both located in the Downtown Market on Main Street in Front Royal. Teresa and Cynthia have worked alongside others on Main Street to put together the Main Street Art Walk now scheduled for Sunday,  August 30th, from 12 pm – 5 pm (watch the event link for updates), and have invited artists back on Saturday, September 5th from 3 pm – 7 pm. This special event is an effort to bring more activity to Main Street and to highlight our local talent.

Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com

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Town Talk: A conversation with Gerry Maiatico, Warren County Fire Marshall

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In this Town Talk, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Gerry Maiatico, Warren County Fire Marshall. Gerry brings us up-to-date with the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) that the Board of Supervisors approved to accept at their last meeting. This grant provided $725,454 to purchase equipment for our firefighters.

The primary goal of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and non-affiliated emergency medical service organizations.

Since 2001, AFG has helped firefighters and other first responders obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training and other resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.

Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to news@RoyalExaminer.com

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Front Royal
63°
Mostly Cloudy
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Feels like: 63°F
Wind: 4mph N
Humidity: 95%
Pressure: 29.96"Hg
UV index: 1
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