Sayre looks forward to serving as supervisor

Tom Sayre

FRONT ROYAL – Local attorney and former Front Royal Town Councilman Thomas Sayre joins the Warren County Board of Supervisors this month.

Sayre won the seat in the Nov. 3 election, defeating Shenandoah Farms residents Ralph Rinaldi and Dee Schools. Sayre succeeds Richard Traczyk who decided not to run for a fourth term.

Sayre spoke Thursday about his expectations for serving as the Shenandoah District representative on the board. A.S. Rhodes and Ressie Jeffries elementary schools remain at the top of the list of facilities in need of repairs or renovations, Sayre said. It was his understanding that, in the case of Jeffries, the county needs to consider either building a new school or renovating the existing facility.

“At this point, from what I’ve heard, I’d be more in favor of renovating the existing school,” Sayre said. “That’s a cheaper option, and also I like Ressie Jeffries. It’s a fine infrastructure of a school.”

Sayre said he hasn’t visited either school in the last six months but has been inside Jeffries for events in the past. He didn’t attend the work session held on the school’s condition but said he has talked to people, including county officials, about the facility.

Sayre noted that during his campaign he heard more concerns about Rhodes from his constituents.

“When I was going door to door I did hear some issues that A.S. Rhodes has that I think need to be addressed,” Sayre said.

Parents of school children also expressed concern about bus stops in the county, Sayre added.

Constituents also had concerns about the condition of a railroad crossing on Rockland Road, Sayre said. The supervisor acknowledged that while the county doesn’t have jurisdiction over railroad crossings, the board can work with the company and try to have the crossing smoothed out. Sayre said the board could discuss the concerns with company representatives to see what remedies are available.

“I promised the citizens I’m going to work on that,” Sayre said.

Sayre represents several sanitary districts. The county is working with the Shenandoah Farms Sanitary District and the Virginia Department of Transportation to improve the neighborhood’s roads. Sayre noted the importance of the cost-sharing program in place to make this happen.

“The people in the Shenandoah Farms, they liked how the program was working,” Sayre said.

Sayre will be the first town resident on the board since Ron Llewellyn who lost election in 2007 to Glenn White. Sayre and the rest of the board will continue to work with Town Council on issues of mutual interest. Sayre had left council at the end of his term in December 2014 and did not participate in the town’s negotiations with the county for another agreement pertaining to revenue sharing from the U.S. 340-522 North Corridor. At least two council members opposed the agreement. But Sayre said he supports the agreement.

In preparation for his first term, Sayre said he’s spoken to fellow supervisors Daniel Murray Jr., Linda Glavis, Tony Carter and Archie Fox in advance of joining the board, though not necessarily in depth. Sayre said he attended a seminar in Richmond held for newly elected officials.

But Sayre’s no stranger to public service, having spent time on town council and much of the work by that body and the Board of Supervisors is the same. However, Sayre noted that rather than serving in an at-large capacity as a councilman, now he’ll represent a specific, albeit larger, area of the county that also includes part of the town. Additionally, the county has a larger government as well as a school system.

“It definitely covers a broader range of agencies and people,” Sayre said.

Sayre noted that he would try use his background in business administration and finance, his experience working with the attorney general’s office in West Virginia and the talents of his colleagues on the board to continue the county’s progress.

“I think it’s going to be easier said than done controlling the spending and balancing the budget but I’m going to do my best,” Sayre said.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com

An earlier version of this story should have stated that Supervisor Thomas Sayre said he understood that the county was considering renovating Ressie Jeffries Elementary School or building a new facility.