STRASBURG COUNCIL2

Dan Pesta, a representative from the Strasburg American Legion Post 77, speaks at a Wednesday night Town Council meeting after accepting a proclamation from Mayor Richard Orndorff Jr. celebrating the 100th anniversary of both the American Legion and its Strasburg post.

STRASBURG — At a Town Council meeting this week, Mayor Richard Orndorff Jr. recognized the Strasburg American Legion Post 77 with a salute celebrating the 100th anniversary of both the American Legion and the local chapter.

Post 77 was chartered on Oct. 2, 1919, he said. The national organization celebrated its anniversary in March.

“I think that it is fitting this evening to recognize and pay tribute to an organization that has been around and contributed so much to our community and to the nation,” Orndorff said Wednesday.

Dan Pesta accepted the honor, speaking about the organization.

“On behalf of the veterans of Post 77, I thank you very much,” he said.

People often remember the American Legion for the flags, awards and school scholarships that it gives to the community, but Pesta said he’s most proud of the “invisible things” that no one sees the organization do.

“We have helped countless veterans with both financial and emotional support,” he said. “We provide for the veteran a place where they can go and talk about their experiences and have practically everyone around them understand exactly what they’re talking about. I don’t know of any other place where a veteran can actually do that.”

Beginning the meeting, the council unanimously approved allowing Councilwoman Taralyn Nicholson to attend by phone from Charlottesville.

Each council member has the option of doing this twice a year with a council vote, said town attorney Nathan Miller.

During a public comment session, resident Luke Pfister spoke about his concerns over the Summit Crossing Preliminary Development Plan, which council later in the meeting voted down, 3 to 5. Jocelyn Vena, Emily Reynolds and Vice Mayor Scott Terndrup voted for the measure.

Council approved the town’s participation in the 18-month Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission’s Public Transit Demonstration Grant Program after Orndorff broke a 4-4 tie vote. Council members Vena, John Massoud, Kim Bishop and Ken Cherrix voted against the measure.

They also approved $1,500 in match funding for a final year of the Staufferstadt Arts Mural Program through the Creative Community Partnership grant in a 5 to 3 vote, with Bishop, Cherrix and Massoud voting in opposition.

Also at the meeting, Director of Finance Angela Fletcher said second-half tax bills will be mailed out in coming weeks with a deadline of Dec. 5.

Town staff participated in a recent workforce retention and attraction focus group, said Economic Development and Marketing Manager Michelle Bixler. It was a regional effort conducted by economic development organizations in Winchester and the counties of Shenandoah, Clarke, Frederick, Page and Warren.

“[They’ll] create a marketing strategy that the whole valley will be able to use in recruiting and retaining talent, which is an issue throughout the entire region,” she said.

The recent Rev Up training for business owners had 11 participants, Bixler said. The winner of a grant contest will be announced early next week.

Terndrup requested that council members place a discussion item on the next work session agenda regarding public events sponsored by the town that relate to civic patriotism, responsibility and appreciation for American values.

The next work session will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 23.

A public information session on the Electoral College will take place at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28.

"It’s very interactive,” Terndrup said. “It’s kind of a nice lead-in to our duties on Election Day.”

“[It’s] kind of American history in an hour and a half.”

Other upcoming meetings include:

  • The Ordinance Committee, which meets at 5:45 Oct. 22 to discuss recommendations by a consultant on the sign ordinance.
  • The Planning Commission, which meets at 7 p.m. Oct. 22, and will hold a public hearing on the O’Reilly Auto Parts Store plan of development.
  • The town’s event Pints for Paws will take place Oct. 27.
  • The Annual Grilled Cheese and Soup Festival will be on Nov. 2. So far, 400 of 1,000 tickets have been sold.

Contact Josette Keelor at jkeelor@nvdaily.com