Darr will not seek another term as mayor

FRONT ROYAL – Mayor Timothy Darr doesn’t plan to run for re-election in November.

Darr announced his intentions at Town Council’s meeting Monday. Darr said he wanted to make his plans known to be fair to any other individuals considering a run for mayor. The mayor said he and his wife, Tammy, talked about his plans and he decided not to seek another term.

Darr said he looks forward to enjoying some time off.

“Of course we’re going to finish up this year hopefully as good as we have in the last several years,” Darr said. “I just wanted to make that clear so that everybody understands the only issue is I just need – I’m just tired. No other way to describe it.”

Darr was first elected mayor in May 2010 and he took office that July. Darr served on council from 2004 to 2008, the last two years as vice mayor. Prior to his time on council, Darr served for five years on the Warren County School Board. Darr works for the U.S. Department of Defense as a supervisor physical security specialist for the Pentagon Force Protection Agency.

Councilman Bret Hrbek announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election for another term.

Also at the meeting, council heard from a few residents about the removal of the security cameras from the gazebo area in light of a recent incident downtown. Keith Menefee runs Downhome Comfort Bakery on Main Street. Menefee expressed concerns about the cameras removed by the town from the gazebo and cited the recent incident in the area. Had the cameras remained in use at the time, police could view the footage to potentially identify the suspect, Menefee said.

Shenandoah District Supervisor Thomas Sayre also spoke about the cameras. Sayre, a former councilman with his law office in town, said the incident could foreshadow events to come. Sayre said his children sit at the gazebo and could be abducted. Sayre asked council to reinstall the cameras.

Chris German said security cameras help solve, but not prevent crimes. German said if the town installs cameras downtown, it might as well put them at playgrounds and schools where child molesters might target. German provided research he collected on security cameras and crime. Rather than put cameras downtown, German said the town could put police officers in the area.

Egger responded to some of the comments made about the cameras. The devices weren’t up for long and didn’t change the amount of crime occurring in the area, Egger said. Council was never asked to install the cameras and the town doesn’t have such devices in other places, Egger said. The incident cited by other speakers could have happened anywhere, she added. Egger said she doesn’t feel that the role of government is to keep people safe.

Councilman Eugene Tewalt cited the incident last week and asked that council put the matter of the cameras on a future work session for discussion.

Darr said he takes a different view than Egger on the role of local government.

Also at the meeting, council voted 6-0 on second reading to leave the rates on taxes for real estate and personal property unchanged. Property owners in town can still expect to pay more to Warren County whose Board of Supervisors voted last week to increase the rate from 59.5 cents to 62 cents per $100 of assessed value. The rate increase was necessary to balance a $101.7 million budget for fiscal 2017. Town Council is still deliberating on Front Royal’s budget.

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