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Posted January 15, 2013 | Leave a comment
Error seen in Front Royal charter change
By Alex Bridges
FRONT ROYAL - A clerical error could have moved Front Royal elections from May to June instead of November as Town Council wants.
Del. Michael J. Webert, R-Warrenton, sponsored House Bill 2051 that seeks numerous changes to Front Royal's Town Charter. Changes include switching the town elections from May to November of the even-numbered years.
Town leaders and officials worked for months on the proposed changes, which require approval by the General Assembly to go into effect.
Mayor Timothy Darr and other council members on Monday expressed concern and disappointment that the legislation filed with the General Assembly includes an error that calls for town elections to move from May to June.
"We've been working on this ... since Thursday and Friday pretty diligently with the town attorney and hopefully we can at least have Del. Webert, [Del. C. Todd] Gilbert and Del. [Beverly] Sherwood or someone please get with us as soon as possible, let us know what's going on," Darr said. "At this point I don't want to go into any details other than the fact that I hope it was just an error made that can be corrected and we can move forward with our charter changes because over the last six months this council and the previous council worked very hard and diligently on our charter changes."
Webert's legislative aide, Joel Hensley, stated in an email Tuesday that the paragraphs indicating a change in the election schedule have been put back into the bill currently in the General Assembly. The language likely won't appear in the bill as listed on the legislative website until next week, Hensley stated.
But the simple typographical error sparked disappointment in some council members.
Darr added, "at the end of the day we sent it forward as a collective body and I hope that it continues on through Richmond in that same fashion."
Town Attorney Douglas W. Napier told council the bill's language changed at some point while in the hands of the General Assembly. Webert filed the legislation Jan. 9. Napier said he has since asked Webert to restore the bill to the original language approved by council. According to Napier, Webert said the changes might not appear in the filed bill right away.
Vice Mayor N. Shae Parker expressed concern that the deadline for legislators to file bills passed last Friday. Council Bret Hrbek said he hoped the wording error was an accidental typographical mistake.
Also at the meeting:
Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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