Front Royal leaders kick off new year

FRONT ROYAL – Town Council began the new year this week by dealing with a bit of last year.

Council on Monday approved the minutes of its Dec. 8 regular meeting but not before entertaining a request by a former member to change the record of the final session of 2014.

At the December meeting, outgoing Councilman Thomas H. Sayre and Vice Mayor N. Shae Parker read parting statements into the record. Parker, whose statement came in the form of a poem titled “‘Twas the Last Month On Council,” skipped over a few lines that refer to Sayre’s bid for the Warren County Board of Supervisors. Parker submitted the entire poem into the meeting record. Parker did not win his re-election bid in November and Sayre chose not to seek another term.

On Tuesday, Councilman Eugene Tewalt said Sayre had asked him to request that council approve the minutes minus the several lines Parker had skipped during his recitation of the poem. Those lines, Tewalt said, were not read into the minutes. Councilman Hollis Tharpe seconded Tewalt’s motion.

Parker omitted these lines:
And then, in a twinkling, I heard hearty news
With Mr. Sayre for supervisor, how could the town lose
As I imagined in my head, and was turning around,
I couldn’t stop laughing as I rolled on the ground

Councilman Bret Hrbek pointed out that when a member submits a statement in writing at a meeting, the clerk enters the entire document into the record. Clerk Jennifer Berry confirmed that she enters statements as written. Hrbek noted that minutes are not an exact transcript of what happens or is said in the meeting.

Councilman Daryl Funk said members needed to know exactly what lines they were considering to delete.

Tewalt withdrew his motion. Council then voted to approve the minutes of the meeting as presented and Parker’s poem.

Also at the meeting, council:

  • Heard a report from Martha Shickle, executive director of the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission;
  • Was presented a photograph of the town taken by Jacob Schwartz;
  • Approved a memorandum of understanding for utility service between the town and Warren Memorial Hospital. The hospital sought assurance from Front Royal that the town will provide water and sewer service within one year of approving a site plan for a new hospital in the area of the future Leach Run Parkway;
  • Adopted a resolution outlining the town’s legislative agenda for the 2015 session of the General Assembly;
  • Elected Councilman Hollis Tharpe to serve as vice mayor for a two-year term;
  • Appointed Councilman John Connolly to serve as council’s alternate representative on the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission;
  • Named Councilwoman Bébhinn Egger to the Library Board and Tewalt and Hrbek to the Audit/Finance Committee
  • Appointed Sarah Wills to the Urban Forest Advisory Commission;
  • Met in closed session to discuss the investment and expenditure of public funds and to consult with legal council.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or

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