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Posted April 25, 2012 | comments 8 Comments

Nine candidates in the race for three town council seats

By Kim Walter -- kwalter@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- Citizens will have the chance to take their pick from nine candidates, two of them incumbents, for three open town council seats on May 1.

The candidates are: Linda J. Allen, Daryl L. Funk, Ronald J. Harvey, Chris W. Holloway, Bret W. Hrbek, Carson L. Lauder, Robert M. Tennett, Eugene R. Tewalt and Manuel D. Vicente.

Lauder and Holloway are hoping to maintain their seats on council, and cite recent development and better relations between the town and county as reasons for why they should remain.

Both men agreed that bringing jobs to the town is an issue that warrants the most attention.

Holloway said he will stand firm in never voting for a tax increase if reelected, and asked citizens at a candidate forum on April 3 if they wanted to move forward or backward.

"Our current council is moving forward," he said.

Lauder described the importance of his campaign sign, which states his name and a slogan, "Working for you."

"I signed that because it's a commitment, a contract, between me and you," he said to citizens.

Tewalt and Hrbek both have past experience with town government, as Tewalt has been the mayor and Hrbek has served on council.

The remaining candidates are new to council, but all seem aware of the town's major issues; it's their means of solving those issues that vary.

Hrbek suggested that "quality, industry jobs" could be brought to the area through development of a research center, while Funk said he thinks his attorney background will help in bringing life back to the old Avtex site.

Vicente, who was born in Cuba, said his "command of English and Spanish" would be useful in communicating with current and future businesses.

Tewalt said the town needed to focus attention on small businesses as they are "the backbone of America."

Several candidates have brought up an issue dealing with the 340/522 corridor, and more specifically, a cost analysis study done by Walter Duncan that suggests town citizens pay "too much" for the water and sewer system. The study has led town official to consider an annexation of the corridor.

When asked for their position on the annexation, all candidates said they were not in favor, except for Hrbek, who boldly said "We should've done it in the 70s...the citizens are getting a raw deal out there."

Several developments are proposed or under way in Front Royal, and most candidates see room for additional expansion as long as it's done in the right way.

Allen and Harvey are both in favor of growth, but with a very specific plan. Lauder listed the Avtex site, the Happy Creek Corridor and downtown area as opportunities to "paint a picture," and Tewalt agreed that downtown buildings as well as the town's corridors needed attention.

"I'm for growth because I'm pro-life," Vicente said. However, he also expressed feelings against the town getting any bigger, and said he would rather see it "maintain a small-town charming atmosphere."

"You either grow or you die," Hrbek said.

Multiple ideas were tossed around as to how the town can continue bringing tourists to the area.

Specifically, Harvey said he wants the "eyesore of the Afton Inn" renovated and turned into a tourism center. He said he also wants Front Royal to play up its title as "the canoe capital of Virginia."

"We have more stories to tell and assets to define than the towns around us," Allen said, and Funk agreed in using the area's Civil War history as an example.

Funk also said that caring for the town's elderly citizens should be one of its top priorities, along with creating a business-friendly environment and giving the youth of Front Royal more recreational options.

Tennett encouraged citizens to come out on May 1 to vote, and Allen said she hopes residents will "question us on our knowledge of the town's issues, and compare our answers."

8 Comments | Leave a comment

    With 9 candidates running it is bound to be a good turn out. Does anyone know much more about this Tennett fellow? Is he even running a campaign? I heard him on the Candidates forum but had a hard time understanding him. Did he say he is against Taxes and that they should be abolished? How does he expect the town to provide the citizens with the services they need if you abolish taxes? Does he have a website or e-mail address or even a phone number? Or should I order a pizza and hope he delivers it?

    Im going to tell all my friends in Front Royal to vote for Mr. Tennett, because he has no ill feeling towards the city councilman and he works very hard at his TWO jobs. ( im glad he delivers pizza because it keeps me from coming to town to pick-up ours)

      So you live in the County? So if Tennett gets elected and somehow manages to convince the rest of the council that it would be a good thing to abolish all taxes in the town of Front Royal no skin off your back then. Right? So the town of Front Royal shuts down because no services can be provided because we are broke because a nice guy who was born here and works two jobs wanted to aboloish taxes and shut the town of Front Royal down.

    No, no, Spunky is really Doug Stanley. Me and the boys already figgered that out.

    We also figgered out the candadates for counsel.

    Vincente is one of those Ron Paul guys. He wants to cut taxes on everything.

    Tennet seems like a nice guy, and he growed up here.

    I dont know but I think Funk looks like Clay Athey. Are they related?

    Tewalt seems to know alot about the town I guess cuz he growed up here two.

    Hrbeck is too smart for me.

    Ms. Allen reminds me of my third grade skool teecher. Maybe she could keep the other guys in line.

    I gotta vote for Holloway cuz hes my cuzin.

    Lauder really makes good cole slaw and he growed up here to.

    Harvey seems like a nice guy and hes gonna buy the afton inn for a dollar. I cant figur out why no one ever thout of doing that before.

    I cant figgur out how many I can vote for, so I gess Ill vote for all of em.

    Since I have decided today to officially post, I might as well make it worthwhile to those who think of me as their enemy. Let me put Tim Ratigan and Bret Hrbek at ease. I will not be mailing letters about them; much to their disappointment I’m sure. However, based upon the hard work of many volunteers I have amassed an email database so I don’t need to snail mail any longer, I will most likely be emailing folks later this weekend regarding the upcoming town election. As I have already shared with friends, I truly don’t see a need to get more of the facts out regarding Hrbek or Ratigan because I think they are going to lose; could be wrong but that’s my opinion. Many have asked me why I have an ax to grind with Hrbek. I summed it up in my previous letter (and thank you to all who called or emailed me your appreciation for the letter) that I mailed town voters two years ago. However, the best example I can give is that I take it personally when a politician pretends to be one thing to get elected then votes or believes a different way. Like Hrbek, he pretends to be a right-wing ultra conservative—leaning libertarian I believe I heard him say once; yet his voting record and public statements contradict his alleged “staunch conservatism”. A true conservative would not push for and vote to increase real estate taxes like Bret Hrbek did on June 11, 2007. A true conservative would not lobby and advocate a 57% Real Estate tax increase AND a 6% Personal Property tax increase like Bret Hrbek did on March 28, 2011. A true conservative would not fight to stop businesses from locating in the county, which would have brought jobs and increased tax revenue like Bret Hrbek did. There’s plenty more, but I’ll stop for now. Let’s compare Bret Hrbek with Tom Conkey. Tom Conkey in my opinion is an ultra liberal and pushes an ultra liberal agenda. Though I firmly disagree with his desire to increase the size of government or tax increases, etc., at least he’s real and rather transparent about his beliefs. So I truly do appreciate that about him. I wish he had decided to seek re-election…was looking forward to that race. Poor Tim Ratigan, well he just doesn’t know any better and he just doesn’t really know what he is. My wife has asked me to leave Tim alone, so I will. Gene Tewalt, once again being real here, I think he’ll make a great councilman. Unfortunately, his tenure as mayor did not go well because of Hrbek and Graham. Tom Robinette didn’t do him any favors either, but I truly do like Gene. He in my opinion is a solid fiscal conservative and I think he’ll get elected to town council. As for the rest of the pack, I have my preferences, but I’m not certain they’d really want my endorsement. Lastly, I would like to publicly commend all the candidates (conservatives and liberals alike)…thank you for sticking your neck out and putting yourself up for public scrutiny. It’s not easy, it’s not fun, but I would like to thank you for running.

    It's sad that Matt T thinks that everyone out there is anxiously awaiting his opinions, when in reality most realize he is a wanna be politician whose only hope for attention comes from these senseless rants about the failings of others. Truth is, Matt will take every opportunity to criticize those that threaten him and his political agenda, but will not acknowledge the fact that his previous history of predicting future events has been unreliable. I never trust a politician that says "never" when it comes to raising taxes. They only find alternative ways to raise revenues without calling them tax increases. With all these "labels" he is placing on people, you would think that we were having National elections instead of local elections. Oh, by the way, I was so disappointed that I didn't get the e-mail you were going to send out. I can only guess you're waiting till Tuesday morning sometime. Here's something that can keep you busy for awhile-----try to come up with some reasons why Holloway and Lauder have any experience at all that would lead you to believe they should make decisions about the future of Front Royal? I do think they both are qualified as spokespersons for the "Family and Friends" cellphone network.

    Always on the lookout for something interesting to talk about, while browsing the website of The Warren County Report, I came across a picture posted on page 19 of the early June 2007 issue (Volume 2, Issue 11).

    Right there smack dab at the top of the page in all their radiant glory, Cheshire Cat grins firmly in place, hats in hand, no hair in anybody's eyes, (see, I told you I would be reporting on head hair), muffin tops cascading over belt buckles, were 3 of our wonderful local citizens locked into a warm fuzzy mutual embrace of frenzied backslapping ecstasy -- (left to right) Joe Swiger, Clay Athey, and Matt Tederick. Probably no significance who was standing on the far, far right, huh?

    Shucks, here I go again, feeling naughty and a little mean spirited.....

    .... guess who was wearing the black hat? And what kind of pen is in that pocket?

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