By Alex Bridges
FRONT ROYAL -- Town elections appear heading to November.
But Town Council on Monday decided to postpone any action on the proposed changes to Front Royal's charter. Council held a public hearing on the proposed changes to the charter, one of which seeks to move elections from May to November in the even-numbered years.
Council members then voted unanimously to postpone any action on the proposed charter changes to their Nov. 13 meeting. Members did so out of courtesy to Councilman Eugene R. Tewalt, who could not attend the meeting. Tewalt had advised council of his pending absence at a previous meeting.
Town Council has sought to move elections to November in an effort to increase voter participation. The town also could save money by coinciding its elections with those held in November at the county, state and national levels, officials have said. Members' concerns fell on whether to hold the elections on the even or odd-numbered years.
Councilman Bret W. Hrbek noted after the meeting that members face an early December deadline to approve and forward the proposed changes to the town's legislators in time for filing with the next General Assembly session.
Before members voted, Councilman Thomas H. Sayre tried to amend the motion to postpone action, seeking to change the language of the elections from even to odd-numbered years. Mayor Timothy W. Darr advised Sayre the amendment as proposed did not fit the postponement motion. Town Attorney Douglas Napier concurred with Darr.
Council also held a hearing on a proposed change to the town ordinance pertaining to yard sales. No one spoke at the hearing. Council voted 5-1 on the first reading in favor of the proposal which regulates yard sales on individual parcels.
However, Councilman Daryl L. Funk explained he voted against the changes because he felt the town was imposing more governmental regulations on residents, particularly renters.
"We are increasingly a community of renters and I believe that often that segment doesn't feel that it's taken care of," Funk said. "This regulation will be disproportionately impact them greater than everyone else."
Hrbek expressed unease with the proposal but acknowledged a need for equity in the town's restrictions.
Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or firstname.lastname@example.org