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Funk, Hrbek and Tewalt win Front Royal council seats

By Kim Walter - kwalter@nvdaily.com

Front Royal's town council will see three fresh faces starting July 1.

Bret W. Hrbek won with 515 votes, Eugene R. Tewalt followed with 514 votes, and Daryl Lee Funk took the last seat with 509 votes, according to unofficial results on the Virginia State Board of Elections website.

The numbers posted Tuesday night, with all six precincts reporting, showed each winning candidate receiving between 14.7 percent and 15 percent of the total votes.

Hrbek and Tewalt aren't new to the town's government. Hrbek served as vice mayor during Tewalt's tenure as mayor from 2008 to 2010. Hrbek works at Edward Jones in Front Royal, and Tewalt worked for the town for about 30 years.

Funk is a lawyer at Pond, Athey, Athey & Pond in Front Royal.

Hrbek said it was a "great day."

"It's an honor to receive the support from our community," he said after the results were posted. "I look forward to working and moving the town forward for the next four years."

Hrbek said he believes the three men will work well together on council, as they "have a lot of common ties."

"I think we'll bring some cohesiveness to the council," Tewalt said. He hopes to continue working on issues he was previously concerned with, like tourism, water and sewer issues in the U.S. 522 corridor and relationships with Warren County.

As for the final results, Tewalt said he was surprised.

"I thought one of the incumbents would've definitely won," he said. "I guess the voters tell the story."

-- All election results are unofficial until certified by the Virginia State Board of Elections. More information is available at http://www.sbe.virginia.gov/cms/


Remember gentlemen you are here to serve the Town of Front Royal. Yes, we all live in Warren County, but you represent the town's best interests. I hope that Mr. Hrbek and Tewalt will do their best to remember that. As this was not the case in the past, as they proved that with their decisions for the 522 corridor. I am also concerned that Mr. Funk will support the direction Mr. Athey and Tedrick supported in the past for the 522 corridor. These actions cost the residents of the Town of Front Royal,approximately 1 million dollars a year. Let's hope for brighter days. Only time will tell by their actions.

Justice is best served cold. Two out of three isn’t bad, as one of my choices, Linda Allen was not elected. Daryl Funk will be a great asset to the council with his legal mind and intellectual prowess. It’s hard to feel sorry for the incumbents that lost as they deserved to be shown the door, unlike when they fired Mike Graham as part of a lynching mob that struck in the middle of the night. The rest of that group will be dealt with at the next election. The citizens of Front Royal have spoken loudly, if not all together as a huge group, based on voter turnout. It’s sad that so many people in our town don’t care enough to come out and vote. Is the high rental rate a potential factor? Mayor Darr, also deserved his re-election as he was never proven or even alleged to be associated with the councilman that have made controversial decisions of the past (except on the May vs November election date change). His challenger never distinguished himself to the voters as able and deserving to replace the incumbent Mayor. I predict Mr. Darr’s next term will be easier and less stressful. I believe Mr. Burke’s title as Town Manager should be one of the first considerations for the new town council if the Town of Front Royal is going to successfully move forward. After all, one of the primary reasons he was given the job was due to the backroom deals that were allegedly brokered between the same individuals that wrongly and secretively dismissed Mike Graham. Mr. Burke is stuck in the past, happy with the present, and unwilling or unable to visualize a future that involves positive change for the Town. He has grabbed the checkbook and signed a blank check for unavailable funds allocated to upgrading the wastewater treatment plant with the Rolls Royce version that provides features and benefits that the taxpayer cannot afford at a cost of $50 million or potentially higher. New state regulations requiring the reduction of Nitrogen and Phosphorous in wastewaters do not mandate the purchase of a gold plated treatment plant. These decisions are being made with no oversight or adequate input from a professional engineering firm. Mr. Burke has been unwilling to entertain affordable and environmentally beneficial alternatives. He is unwilling to pursue revolutionary changes to waste disposal that would save the town millions of dollars and provide a steady stream of revenue from the sale of byproducts produced from the town’s biosolids; even though state and federal grants may be available which would fund the research, and the Department of Environmental Quality would welcome the success of this first in the U.S. vermistabilization process that is being implemented in many countries throughout the World. Rejecting this opportunity will mean significant future increases in water and sewer rates. Mr. Burke did not adequately protect the town’s taxpayers when the Dominion Power deal was brokered by warning the town council that costs to install the new water line could reach $8-$10 million dollars which well exceeds the $3.5 million dollar figure that Dominion Power will be accountable for. Again, no qualified engineering firm was consulted to get estimates of the potential costs. Mr. Burke, in my opinion, is not qualified to lead this Town into a future that will require deft management of existing revenues while making investments into future endeavors that will reduce present expenditures and provide additional cash flow in the future. We had an individual that was capable of doing this, but carelessly and without justification disposed of him, just as we now dispose our waste in a landfill instead of using it as a potential revenue source. His initial appointment by individuals with suspect motives at best should be reason enough to re-evaluate his ability to perform the duties and responsibilities as a town manager.

I would like to see the totals for all of the candidates and the percentage of the electorate that actually voted.

Hrbek and Tewalt got lucky. Had there been a better slate of candidates, it would not have been in with the old and in with the old...


I hope that Mr. Funk's influence in Front Royal increases exponentially. That way, some time in the future, the town's name can be changed. To Funkytown.

There are 8,608 registered voters in Front Royal. 1335 people cast a vote in the election. That's a voter turnout of 15.50 percent.


That number is the saddest part, and a good reason to put the election back in November. I brought my teenagers with me trying to peak their interest with attempting to make going in the government center exciting (evil Mom).

Explaining that whether your choice wins or loses, that vote is your voice. Its your voice in the issues at hand and the issues to come, and what effects you. Can't fix anything without the right people.

Very, very sad the amount of voters that turned out. Maybe we need to become proactive in getting additional residents registered as voters and getting residents out to vote.

Anxiously awaiting a Ratigan concession speech. It really wan't even close with that race. I give the guy props for sticking his neck out and becoming a constant target. If he hadn't run against Darr, then it would have been far less interesting on here. For that I thank him. However, I think the "Renter's Right's" platform really didn't resonate well with the voting public. That just isn't a relevant topic when people have the right to vote with their feet and to whom they pay their rent.

Sorry, Jerry, but I disagree with you about Steve Burke. We need a manager not a self-promoter seeking the limelight. From my observations, Steve has an even disposition and is a good career civil servant. Sure there are concerns, such as we have with the code enforcement officer. But Steve is approachable and listens. I do not believe he has a hidden agenda. All in all, he seems to be content to let the elected officials be the politicians. Change takes time and competence. Steve seems patient and capable.

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