FRONT ROYAL – The Town Council has appointed Matthew Tederick interim mayor.
The appointment by a 4-2 vote on Monday came after former Mayor Hollis Tharpe’s resignation became effective May 2 after he was charged on a misdemeanor count of prostitution solicitation, allegations which he denies. According to previous reports, the town had until June 15 to appoint an interim mayor or ask the circuit court to make the appointment.
Tederick, 51, will serve as interim mayor until a special election that is likely to be held in November to fill out the remainder of Tharpe’s term, which ends in 2020.
Vice Mayor William Sealock noted that the council has discussed the matter several times in closed sessions and was very deliberate to make sure everything was “above board.”
Tederick served on the Board of Supervisors from 1996-2000 and has served twice as the Warren County Republican Committee’s chairman.
Tederick said over the phone his main goal as mayor will be to run “efficient” and “effective” meetings.
He noted that he also hopes to stress initiatives promoting Front Royal’s image and positive aspects of the community while promoting a pro-business environment.
Tederick — who has worked in private equity — also said he wants to ensure the council thoroughly understands its audit and he looks forward to “digging into town finances.”
Tederick said for now he just plans “to help the council” and as of now has no intention of running for mayor during the special election.
He said he was approached by a council member last weekend to serve and although busy, Tederick said: “my sense of service just took over.”
“We need leadership right now in our community,” he said.
Tederick said officials have worked hard in the past to revitalize Warren County but it is now a “sad time” and “there needs to be significant change from the top to the bottom.
The two votes against Tederick’s appointment came from council members Eugene Tewalt and Letasha Thompson.
Tewalt made a motion for the town to ask the circuit court to appoint a mayor because the council could not agree, which failed by a 4-2 vote with Tewalt and Thompson in favor of the motion.
Thompson said she has been paying attention to the public sentiment and “everybody wants a new name” and would rather not see “business as usual.”
Tederick said he completely understands Thompson’s view but said: “she probably does not know much about my background.” He noted that he is known for “calling it as I see it” and he has “been very direct” with elected officials in promoting a conservative agenda.
Tederick said he thinks some of his “enemies” are whispering in Thompson’s ear and “she just needs to sit down with me and share concerns, hear my responses, see how I interact with the council.”
Tederick said he harbors no ill will toward Tewalt or Thompson for their dissenting votes, and he has “every anticipation of being able to work closely with them.”