Council members plan for election

By Kim Walter — kwalter@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL — The three Town Council members whose terms end early this summer intend to run for re-election in May.

Councilmen Chris W. Holloway, Thomas E. Conkey and Carson C. Lauder stated their intent to run at a council meeting in November.

Now that election season is fast approaching, Lauder plans to start collecting signatures in the near future, and has a few major issues that he would like to continue working on if re-elected.

His top priority for the town is the hiring of a marketing coordinator who would work with the Economic Development Authority.

Lauder said that as an incentive for hard work, he wants the town to offer the individual a salary and possibly some kind of commission.

“We want them to bring in the needed businesses and make this great community an exceptional community,” he said.

Lauder is also excited to continue work on developing the old Avtex site and the Happy Creek corridor.

“It could be the emerging community in Front Royal,” he said.

Lauder added that he feels fortunate to have a chance at re-election, and hopes to put his “creative energy” to good use.

“I’m ready to run,” Lauder said.

Conkey also hopes to revitalize the downtown area from a business perspective, if re-elected in May.

One issue that he calls the “next hot button,” is bringing “living wage jobs” to the town. He said that too many Front Royal residents have to commute to work every day.

“We want the industrial, commercial and business type of growth that will bring real jobs, so we can have people stay and work here,” Conkey said.

Another challenge the councilman sees in the future is trying to find the right developers for the Avtex site.

Doing that will help with the controlled growth he’d like to see in the area, he said.

“Controlled growth doesn’t mean no growth, just the right kind,” he said.

Conkey also hopes to help the town receive a greater benefit from the water corridor.

“The town taxpayers have paid to run water out of the corridor, they’ve paid for the waste water treatment plant,” he said. “We get some benefit, but not all that we should.”

Phone calls were not returned by Holloway, but both Conkey and Lauder believe he is still intending to run in the upcoming election.

Each councilman and any potential challengers must collect 125 signatures from registered voters who live in Front Royal to be included on the May 1 ballot.