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Sep 9, 2012

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Colonial Beach, VA

Eleanor Park being sold down the river

Marketing is to communicate the value of a product with the intent of selling it. It is understandable that there are those within the town that would like to retain Eleanor Park. Others would like to see it developed to increase the tax base. The question of seeking an appraisal carried 4 to 3. Upon receiving the appraisal the question of marketing the property for the appraised value, once again, came before the council and the motion carried. Currently, there is not a pending offer on the table, but when and if one is received, the citizens of Colonial Beach will be able to voice their collective voices on the question during a public hearing. The assertion that the property become income producing by making it a park is a departure from economic reality. Parks do not produce income they drain it. The Planning Commission recommended the best use for Eleanor Park is passive recreation. Which means, no development. No park, restaurant, tennis court/children’s park, paid parking, park benches or gazebos, just trees and flowers, without the benefit of human support. In short, let it return to its natural state. The good news here, plenty of room for a dog to run, but not a dog run. What we have here is a disagreement with what is the “highest and best use”. Others, would argue value, all are fair concerns. Inflammatory and caustic statements concerning the motives of those on the council that voted for this small step does not enhance your position but harden those of us that do not agree with the opinion that letting that property sit for another decade is good for the Beach.  (Dec 1, 2014 | post #5)

Colonial Beach, VA

Valda Foulds

Three candidates running for election/reelectio n embraced the argument of transparence and the citizens of Colonial Beach spoke after careful consideration. Therefore, it is doubtful it will be a subject discussed tonight, but there is always Citizens Input.  (Nov 13, 2014 | post #7)

Colonial Beach, VA

Bill Flammer Jr as a Write-In

As long as Bill is a registered voter in Westmorland County, he can participate in the elective process, to include serving on the town council. However, a voter should take into consideration the candidate’s ownership status. It is one thing to propose a number of changes and own real property in the town and quite the other to give voice to changes that may or may not be good for the town’s future and if it does not work out so well, just leave. That is a very difficult thing to do if you are a stakeholder. It would appear, Mr. Bill, does not have any skin in the game.  (Sep 22, 2014 | post #34)

Colonial Beach, VA

Trinity Builders

The Insurance Company and the School Board agreed to settle the claim at 1.8  (Sep 14, 2014 | post #31)

Colonial Beach, VA

Beachgate motel

It is apparent the owner of the Beach Gate Motel is doing as little as possible in order to not run afoul of our building and compliance regulations. Move a roll off in, next month- remove it. Have an electrician work a day or install painted plywood. One can only assume that all of this theater is to game the system and allow the defense, if reproached, of-see I am working on it. The question is why? Currently, the property has a negative value. I.E. the cost to correct is greater that the value of the land and its improvements. Best guess the owner is waiting for the State to offer some sort of grant (VHDA does do that kind of funding). Or he is simply waiting for the town to get sick of it and buy him out (we do have a history of such behavior). How to change the dynamic? Got to change the business model. Currently, the owner is just not bleeding enough and the property as it sits, is a write off. The town only has two very blunt instruments. Increase code compliance or raise taxes otherwise, The Beach Gate Motel will be with us a very long time.  (Sep 6, 2014 | post #21)

Colonial Beach, VA

Colonial Beach "Volunteer" Rescue Squad needs help

Very strange. Got to be more to the story than this. Why would the town council call for an emergency meeting for a dispute between the Building Inspector and the CBRS?  (Aug 23, 2014 | post #3)

Colonial Beach, VA

Will Eleanor Park Be Sold?

Ms. Goforth has not complained, at least publicly, about the value placed on Eleanor Park by the appraiser, nor has she voiced disapproval of the comps. What Ms. Goforth has said; she does not believe it is in the best interest of the town to sell Eleanor Park. Therefore, no price would be high enough and I would suggest that is two different arguments. While I do not agree with her position, I do respect it. I believe we simply cannot afford another park on the point. Letting it sit vacant for a decade, as what our Planning Commission recommended (not ordered) is not what I would consider as the highest and best use for that property at this time. What is missing from the conversation is we must find a way to begin to address our balance sheet problem. What I heard during that very long town council meeting was a lot of our citizens want more services. Improved roads, correction of our poorly design of our ditch system that is causing flooding, better litter control, stricter code enforcement, more qualified employees at not only at Public Works, but every leadership position within our town, more pay for our police so we do not have to offer a vehicle as a offset for low pay, faster replacement of town vehicle, better vehicle identification, faster police response, a better method of getting public notices out and the need to increase staff due to the demands placed on our current work force. All this this will take more resources, none of which we have!  (Aug 17, 2014 | post #6)

Colonial Beach, VA

All town property up for sale

Perhaps, I missed something, it happens when you get older. During the July town council work secession, our former Mayor, Mr. Bone offered a resolution to consider placing Eleanor Park on the agenda for the August Town Council meeting. That motion was seconded and carried by a four to three vote. While, it does not mean it did not happen, but I do not remember Robin Grove coming up for consideration. The last time our “true waterfront” property came under consideration was two months ago. At the close of the June or perhaps the May town council meeting. A motion to go into executive session was made to discuss the sale of Robin Grove and that motion was defeated.  (Aug 12, 2014 | post #8)

Colonial Beach, VA

Bill Flammer Jr as a Write-In

Senior Moment! The events concerning the “evaluation of the top levels of the Colonial Beach governmental team” took place in 2013 not 2012. All of the events concerning this issue was well documented by both minutes and our town fine reporters. Personally I do not have a problem with the evaluation itself. See it as something that was needed and we did have a candidate that ran (Ms. Goforth) on that issue and was duly elected. It is completely understandable that those on the search committee would want to fine a consultant they felt would be at an arms distance from the town manager. She was the target of the probe. Again, during the presentation, I remember one of the two ladies on the council asking if a copy of the report would be made available and Mr. White replied a copy of the presentation would be. If Bill has a copy that is welcome news to me, because the lack thereof has been an issue for the last two years.  (Aug 8, 2014 | post #23)

Colonial Beach, VA

Bill Flammer Jr as a Write-In

Norberg, January 2012 our new current council, pre-Curtin/Bone - Brubaker/Ham rotation, conducted their first council meeting, as is the normal procedure after an election. (For those that are interested in the facts, check the minutes for the January meeting and the work session that followed two weeks later or google Colonial Beach Consultants and Colonial Beach FIOA). During that meeting nothing was discussed or raised concerning fulfilling Ms. Goforth’s campaign promise of conducting an evaluation of the Town Manager. Two weeks later, during the January work session, Jim Chiarello announced that three members of the council had formed a search committee, in which he had spearheaded, to find a consultant to evaluate the “top tier of the Colonial Beach governmental management team.” And that consultant, Whitestone Partner would be making a presentation before the Council in February. The next day, first business, I was in Town Hall, doing my Bad Penney thing, (nothing gets me more jacked up more than thinking elected officials having secret meeting), complaining of not following proper procedures in acquiring contractors (I was wrong) and violating the Virginia Freedom of information Act, by having three members meeting without proper notification (was told I was wrong and just decided to drop it. But it did lead to a very long presentation during the February Town Council meeting on the FOIA by the town attorney). Because the amount of money $17,000 did not exceed, if I remember correctly $35,000, the search committee did not have to advertise for bids. The town manager, upon of learning of the effort, made a recommendation to the group that they consider a consultant recommended by the VML, which they rejected. Additionally, the Town Attorney met with our newly founded group, after they announced their selection, and advised them that they must consider three companies. Which they quickly found a third and just as quickly rejected in order to comply with the town attorney’s recommendation. Because of the procedures followed, our search committee was acting as self-appointed purchasing agent for the town and the normal contract reviews where not conducted. The town manager was just presented with the results of the vote on the resolution that Whitestone Partners would conduct the evaluation. In defense of our search committee, during the presentation of the results of the conclusions (yes, I was one of three citizen types in the room and the rest was either associated with the council, town government or reporters). I clearly remember Whitestone Partners stating that a copy of their presentation would be made available. This did not happen. In my humble opinion, if your complain is about the absents of a written report, your criticism, while valid, are misdirected and should directed to those that sponsored the resolution.  (Aug 7, 2014 | post #16)

Colonial Beach, VA

Bill Flammer Jr as a Write-In

Yes, Currently Mr. Chiarello and Ms. Brubaker are reviewing our list of surplus properties to deem which properties would be viewed as non-controversial and therefore acceptable to be consider for release and placed on the market for sale.  (Aug 5, 2014 | post #8)

Colonial Beach, VA

Bill Flammer Jr as a Write-In

First of all, Mr. Flammer, thank you for your decision to run, and being thoughtful enough to produce what no other candidate so far has: A position paper with an itemized list of priorities or, if you like, campaign promises. That being said, we will just have to agree to disagree on your positions concerning most of our department head in our town government. It would appear, you are calling for a purge of all department heads, except Finance and Planning. None of which I agree with. However, instead of focusing on what we disagree on, perhaps a discussing on some of the points you have raised which we could find common ground. I believe, we have a very serious and growing balance sheet problem and we need candidates that will be able to work together with the other members on the Council to resolve what is quickly becoming a crisis. What are the lessons learned over the last three budget cycles: Each year the debate on the budget has grown more acrimonious. The 2014-15 budget did not provide sufficient funding for a growing number of spending priorities, which will only increase the cost to correct next year. Our Governor, as recently as yesterday, has warned that funding from the State will be reduced next year, to the tune of 1.5 billion and counting. Our current budget (2014-15), we have committed to spend 1/3 of our reserves in order to avoid a larger tax increase and to just keep the wheels on. If we continue down this path-we will be insolvent in four years. We are in agreement of we need, as the more moderate Concerned Citizens called for: A study to determine the cost/benefit of maintaining the schools and the police department. Homes and businesses create the tax base, but homes increase demands on services at a higher rate than what a growing business base would. Lastly, thank you for at least offering to look at the other side of the ledger. I believe, we must find an agreement on a vehicle to start to dispose of our surplus properties. However, I would like to point out, based on my perception of the debate on this subject over the last three years; it is not the Town Manager that is stopping the sale of boardwalk properties, but it is the three members on the council that has consistently voted or voice opposition towards any movement in that direction. It takes 6 ayes to move any consideration on our boardwalk properties and that is just not going to happen with its current makeup.  (Aug 5, 2014 | post #5)

Colonial Beach, VA

Town Council July 23 Meeting

Oh good-a message from Oz. So nice of you to share so of your thoughts with us. Since you may have missed it, let me bring you up to speed on what is happening on the ground here. In mid-May, Mr. Seeber presented to the 2014-2015 budget working group a request for urgently needed funding to repair our failing water supply system, to the tune of 300K. Due to the specificity of the request, one can only assume, it came from our Public Works Director. That request was blown off by our town council. Three weeks later we have a water emergency and people here cannot link these two events together. Mr. Curtin, has been arguing for as long as I can remember, we are fast approaching a lipping point and the best I can get from you is a riddle from your perch 477 miles away. Anyway, thanks for the input. It is always welcome. Criticism or support, it’s all good and adds to the rich tapestry of the debate.  (Jul 31, 2014 | post #14)

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