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Warren County Board of Supervisor member should resign

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Dear Editor, Royal Examiner,

Tom Sayre should do the honorable thing and drop out of the race for Warren County Board of Supervisor. It’s what a principled supervisor would do for being grossly derelict in the loss of at least $20 million of taxpayer’s money.

Mr. Sayre’s insistence that he did everything possible to stop the EDA scandal is laughable. Nothing could be further from the truth. After serious red flags on EDA shenanigans were raised by Bebhinn Egger before the Front Royal Town Council in 2016, and by Mark Egger before the Warren County Board of Supervisors on three occasions in 2018, Mr. Sayre did virtually nothing.

Mr. Sayre claims that he made a motion, which was voted down by the board, to have a “forensic audit” conducted of the EDA, in which specially-trained auditors look specifically for evidence of criminal activity. There is no evidence, of which we are aware, that such a motion was ever made or voted down. Regardless, a leader worthy of its name, who is convinced a forensic audit is necessary, would have immediately:

  1. Issued a press release.
  2. Called a public meeting of his constituents.
  3. Held a well-publicized press conference.

Mr. Sayre did none of these things. He may be a decent person, a good father, and a pro-life Christian, but he is an inefficient supervisor who betrayed the people who elected him. He’s the typical politician who talks a lot and works hard to get elected, then does little once in office.

Do the right thing, Mr. Sayre. Drop out of the race.

Bill Hammack
Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps (retired)

John Lundberg
Colonel, U.S. Army (retired)

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Independent Walt Mabe challenges GOP incumbent Tom Sayre to debate EDA scandal and other issues

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Dear Editor,

On Tuesday, October 8th, Board of Supervisor candidate Tom Sayre posted on his campaign’s Facebook page a work of fiction. In it, he absolves himself of all blame for the horrific scandal surrounding the Board of Supervisors and the EDA. Not only does he omit mention of a single fact, he praises himself for his “clean record”!

Although Mr. Sayre doesn’t address it, his record — or lack of one — should be the focus of this campaign. For the good of Warren County and in the the best interests of our fellow citizens, I challenge Mr. Sayre to meet me in weekly public debates between now and November 5th, with a non-partisan moderator, to address the EDA scandal and other issues. I look forward to hearing from Mr. Sayre so we can schedule the debates.

Walt Mabe, Independent candidate for the Shenandoah District seat for the Warren County Board of Supervisors
Front Royal, Virginia

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Opinion

Student Loans

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historically speaking

One of the big issues in politics right now is cost of college and student debt. Among the Democrats running for president, some are calling for free college and others are looking to pay off student loans. There is some history on this subject, but there is also some personal history. Loans are something I know too well.

When American soldiers came home from WWI, they had a difficult time rejoining their old lives. With so many men coming home at once, it was difficult finding a job as factories were cutting production after the war. Many others found their jobs filled by black Americans who moved north during the Great Migration from the south.

To help relieve some of the suffering, Congress passed the Bonus Act of 1924, giving soldiers a $1.25 bonus for every day they served. The problem was the payment was deferred to 1945. In the midst of the Great Depression, 15,000 veterans marched on Washington, demanding their bonuses, known as the Bonus Army. When Congress denied their appeal, most of the “Army” returned home, but those who remained were driven out by the U.S. Army. President Hoover claimed they had been infiltrated by communists and anarchists.

With World War II, Roosevelt wanted to do better for the current soldiers at war and the G.I. Bill was born. Among other things, the G.I. Bill paid for college for returning veterans. For the first time in our nation’s history, working class Americans could afford to attend college. By the mid-1950s into the 1960s, almost half of college students were using the G.I. Bill.

In the 1960s came the space race, and the federal government decided we were lagging behind the Russians in school and made education a priority. The National Science Foundation alone gave $500 million to pay for education, especially in STEM fields.

Today higher education is still as important, but also incredibly expensive. It seems as if universities are raising costs each year. There are many reasons for this that I do not have time to explore. Some are positive, some are not. Uncle Sam can still foot the bill with the G.I. paying for college if you are willing to serve in the military. But for many low-and middle-class citizens, the cost of college is becoming not worth the return.

One of the problems I see today is the need to attend large state universities. I understand the appeal. I earned my Master’s and Ph.D. from such schools and I loved the atmosphere of these schools, especially during football season. Yet when I hear complaints about the cost of schools, I question why students are not looking at other options. This is going to seem like an advertisement for my school, but it just happens to be a good example. I know not having a football team in Oklahoma seems like heresy, but I teach at a small public liberal arts university that is much cheaper and has a smaller student body and class sizes. Also, all our classes are taught by professors, not grad students, and we focus on undergraduate research. Yet the large universities are full and turning away students while we have room for more.

When it comes to government interference with college, I am of two minds. Free college does not seem fiscally possible for the government.  As for loans, when the borrowers took them, they knew they had to pay them back, just like any other transaction. Yet now that I have a senior in high school, I am starting to see the college experience in a different light from my almost twenty of years of being a professor.

A little personal history. I have a son starting his senior year and, like many of you, is starting the process of applying to colleges. What a pain! My son has autism. He is intelligent and high functioning, but his special needs limit our college options. We need a college near family that also has the program he wants. Though he has three sets of grandparents who each live by small colleges that would work, only the one in southern Utah has the program.

I have three children. I work at an amazing but small university while my wife is a public-school teacher, so basically, I have always told my children they needed to earn scholarships to pay for college. I am lucky to have great kids who take their schooling seriously. My senior has done everything that could be expected of him, even with difficulties. He has a 4.2 GPA, is a standout on the academic team, takes A.P. and college classes, and is even an Eagle Scout. I felt we were covered for a smaller regional school like the one in Utah. Yet what I found out is that scholarships are rewarded based solely on his GPA (they only accept up to 4.0) and the dreaded ACT. Again, my son put in due diligence on this test. He took a prep class, had some private tutoring, and did all the online practicing, yet all three times he took the test he did not score high enough. His individual subject scores went up and down, but when he went up in one area, he went down in another. If they took the top scores from each subject (which they don’t), he would receive a full scholarship, but as it stands right now he only qualifies for in-state tuition. He has done everything in his power, everything that can be expected of him. But because of one test, academic scholarships are off the table.

This is not meant to be a sob story; my life is no different than most out there who work hard and try to do what’s best for our kids. What it does tell me is that some change is needed. Not sure what those are, but we have to stop weighing down our kids with a financial burden of debt just as they are preparing to start their lives. I am not saying government should take care of everything. There is something to the idea of college students earning their own way and taking matters more seriously if they have a stake. Yet I have also experienced too many good students fall behind or drop out because they were simply working so hard to pay for school that they could not keep up with their academic load. Historically speaking, there are times the government has stepped in to assist or regulate. Maybe now is another time, like the 1940s and 1960s, we can reemphasize the need for education and make some changes.


Dr. James Finck is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and Chair of the Oklahoma Civil War Symposium. Follow Historically Speaking at www.Historicallyspeaking.blog or Facebook at @jamesWfinck.

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Sally Long supports Thomas Sayre for Warren County Board of Supervisors

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I wanted to share my experiences concerning a candidate running for re-election in Warren County, Mr. Thomas Sayre. I currently serve as a volunteer Board Member of Shenandoah River Estates in Front Royal, Virginia.

When my daughter and her husband were serving overseas and the government shut down their pay, I reached out to many local politicians.  Mr. Sayre was the only one that responded. When my elderly neighbors were losing their home in foreclosure, both him and his wife stopped by their home to give them spiritual and other support. When another neighbor was having problems with zoning, Mr. Sayre showed up to listen and help. He has a rare trait – he actually steps in to help where and when you need it.

Please take the time to vote for Mr. Thomas Sayre. He is a kind and caring public servant who will continue to help our residents and this county during these difficult times. Thank you!

Sally Long
Front Royal, Virginia

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Larry Andes supports Thomas Sayre for Warren County Board of Supervisors

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Dear Editor,

The controversy swirling around Warren County regarding the upcoming election of members of the Warren County Board of Supervisors causes me to be compelled to speak up. The EDA scandal of millions of dollars missing is a terrible thing!

Tom Sayre serves as the Supervisor in the Shenandoah District where my wife and I live. I met Tom when he came to our home, when running for the first time to become Supervisor. I asked him during that first conversation if he were elected, would he continue to have integrity and fidelity to what he said in private conversation with what he would say in public. His response was that he would be consistent!

Several times I have reached out to Mr. Sayre and have found him to be responsive, respectful, a good listener and comprehensive reader who has been willing to follow through. He returns phone calls, reads communications sent to the Board of Supervisors, boldly speaks up and carefully confronts issues. He has been honest with me, and I believe he has fairly represented us.

I have lived in Warren County for 33 years. Too often an elected official will say one thing in private conversation and then waffle in public as they sit in silence when injustices are glaringly obvious. Political pressure and social relationships appear to inhibit some people from doing the right thing.

I am of the strong opinion, from my exchanges with and observations of Tom Sayre, that he did not knowingly ignore, benefit from nor approve of financial misconduct. I can understand how a person in leadership may not know how to respond, and may be troubled about an issue, but not be able to put their finger on a problem that is simmering under the surface. Acting in ignorance is sharply different from knowingly and willingly doing the wrong thing.

I believe that casting my vote for Tom Sayre is the right thing, at the right time, for this election!

Respectfully,

Larry Andes
Front Royal, Virginia

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Tina Anderson supports Angie Moore in race for Clerk of the Court

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Dear Editor,

I would like to recommend Angie Moore for Clerk of the Court of Warren County. Angie has been a friend and co-worker for over 25 years. We have worked together under two different employers and I have high respect for her and her work ethics. She is the most dedicated, faithful, honest and hard working individual I know. Angie has always taken advantage to increase her knowledge in any way that she can, so she can be the best servant to the county.

Angie has been working in the court system for 11 years and I can truly say that she is very passionate about taking on the role of Clerk of the Court of Warren County. While working at the Warren County Clerk’s office she has learned all the different areas of the Clerk’s Office. She has a good understanding of the fact that friendly relations should be maintained with the public. Angie is aware that one of the main jobs is keeping all court records organized and recordings up to date. These things are very crucial along with all the other duties of the Clerk of Court Office. I know she will be dedicated to increase efficiency and encourage her employees to put forth their best effort in the office.

Please go out and vote on November 5th and remember “You Deserve Moore” for your Clerk of Court of Warren County. Vote for Angie Moore!

Tina Anderson
Front Royal, Virginia

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Royal Examiner: An important part of the community

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Here are some of the main benefits that Royal Examiner provides:

We report the news that affects you most.
You can turn to any national news source to find out what’s going on in the world, but you’ll only read about the events that directly affect your community and your daily life in the Royal Examiner.

We encourage community involvement.
The Royal Examiner reports on municipal affairs, projects that are in development and the undertakings of the area’s elected representatives. Whether you agree with what’s going on or not, you’ll be aware of what’s happening and may be motivated to get involved. At the very least, you’ll know who to vote for in the next municipal election.

We keep you entertained.
The Royal Examiner is a source of interesting and timely stories. We can also point you towards cultural activities and fun events occurring in our community.

We’re an outlet for local businesses.
The Royal Examiner provides businesses in the area with affordable and effective advertising solutions. The Royal Examiner is a great resource for local merchants hoping to reach customers living in the county.

The Royal Examiner is an integral part of our community. Fortunately, with your continued support, we’ll continue to be there for you and your community for years to come.

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