- Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 January 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 19 January 2011 00:00
- Hits: 1135
Includes addition of a prohibition against ‘negative statements’
Kenneth Blevins, Sr. will officially take command of the police department on Jan. 21, 2011. Resolution 4-11, Contract for Chief of Police, was voted on and approved at town council’s Jan. 13 meeting. Blevins’ initial annual salary will be $60,000.
Although Blevins’ employment agreement is almost identical to an employment agreement signed by Interim Police Chief “Butch” Wells, one notable difference is under Section 2. Termination. Paragraph D states that upon termination by town council and a payment of two month’s salary, the police chief “agrees to refrain from any type of negative statements made in public, to any member of the media, or on the Internet pertaining to the Town Manager, the Mayor and Town Council, as well as any other officer, agent or employee of the Town of Colonial Beach.”
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 December 2010 15:41
- Published on Wednesday, 15 December 2010 15:41
- Hits: 1328
Mayor Rummage hospitalized
An ordinance granting council the legal right to provide annual bonuses to town employees was unanimously approved at the Dec. 8 meeting. However, in response to a question by Westmoreland County Supervisor Larry Roberson if school employees were included in the proposed bonuses, town attorney Andrea Erard said any bonuses to school employees “would have to be done by the School Board.”
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 December 2010 15:38
- Published on Wednesday, 15 December 2010 15:38
- Hits: 900
Interim Police Chief “Butch” Wells presented his recommendations to town council behind closed doors at council’s Dec. 8 meeting. After the closed session “for the hiring of a police chief,” which lasted 25 minutes, Vice Mayor Burkett Lyburn immediately re-opened and adjourned the regular council meeting without making any public announcements.
- Last Updated on Friday, 10 December 2010 17:28
- Published on Friday, 10 December 2010 17:28
- Hits: 1057
Major Blevins tapped for position
Last evening the Colonial Beach Town Council authorized contract negotiations with Major Kenneth Blevins, Sr., to become the new Chief of Police. Town Manager Val Foulds, Town Attorney Andrea Erard and Interim Police Chief Wells have all been asked to work with Major Blevins on a contract that will be ratified by the Town Council, according to a press release sent out by Foulds this afternoon.
Major Blevins, who has more than 30 years experience in law enforcement, joined the Colonial Beach Police Department in the fall of 2002, and became the second in command of the department in October 2008. In September 2009, Major Blevins graduated from the National Criminal Justice Command College offered at the University of Virginia.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 December 2010 19:10
- Published on Wednesday, 08 December 2010 19:10
- Hits: 872
Town council committees discussed raising water and sewer rates in the spring, decreasing water and sewer hook-up fees, reducing the BPOL tax rates, and giving holiday bonuses to town employees.
Council member Karen Payne informed the committee she would meet with Joan Grant, the town’s Chief Financial Officer, and look at the feasibility of reducing the BPOL tax.
“If we do take action on this, after the first of the year we’ll have to move pretty quick,” Payne noted.
Committee Chair Steve Kennedy proposed the town look into expanding the recently passed Enterprise Zone by including an Arts and Humanities District. Kennedy noted that the beach already has a thriving arts community that is good for tourism and by providing incentives to such businesses it would increase tourism dollars.
Committee Chair Sparky Ridgely informed the committee that the town attorney has drafted a resolution that enables council to provide merit increases to town employees. That resolution will come before the full council at its December meeting.
School representative Janet Brown requested the committee consider refunding $431.50 in permit fees incurred by the schools for demolition and installation of a new modpod unit to replace three trailers at the elementary schools; however, permit fees, once paid, are non refundable.
Public Works, Water & Sewer
Committee Chair Gary Seeber noted that the costs of replacing pipes from 3rd Street to 12th Street are higher than expected and would require an increase in water and sewer rates. The town is looking into Rural Development grants to offset the costs, but a rate increase is on the horizon for the spring.
Seeber also noted that other localities offer staggered connection fees for multi-unit developments and he is looking into adoption of a tiered system of connection fees in order to encourage development.
Public Works, Streets & Roads
Committee Chair Karen Payne noted that the town recently hired Jeanne Yeagley as General Services Support Manager. Yeagley’s role will be to act as liaison between citizens and public works, as well as perform the duties of a Town Safety Coordinator.
Payne also shared two recent e-mails from citizens thanking the Public Works Department for prompt and courteous response to complaints.
Committee Chair Shane Buzby welcomed new town police officer David Richardson.
The committee agreed to recommend creation of a Colonial Beach Youth Advisory Council proposed by Jay Jarvis and Tim Curtin. The CBYAC will “serve the interests of the youth in town by supporting the Town Manager and Council by acting as a focal point on all matters relating to youth activities in Colonial Beach” according to proposed by-laws.
The committee also agreed to recommend a lease agreement between the town and Soc(i)al, a youth gaming center to be operated by Cayman Eby on the boardwalk, after scheduling a public hearing.
Council member Payne requested the committee look into forming a “memorial committee” as suggested at last month’s council meeting, to maintain the plaque honoring citizens that hangs in the foyer of the town hall meeting room.
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 November 2010 23:31
- Published on Tuesday, 30 November 2010 23:31
- Hits: 1102
Nancy Miller of Miller Foley Group presented 2010 audit findings for the current fiscal year at a Special Town Council meeting held on Nov. 24 at 9 a.m. Miller noted that improvements in the town’s financial reporting are “the result of two years of effort by the town and the schools” and deemed the town’s financial state to be “pretty clean.” The findings show a major improvement over audits performed in 2008 and 2009, which uncovered 19 serious deficiencies in 2008 and three serious deficiencies in the handling of grant money in 2009.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 November 2010 17:08
- Published on Wednesday, 17 November 2010 17:08
- Hits: 1044
CB town council members came to an agreement, by way of emails and telephone conversations over the last several weeks, to provide Mayor Fred Rummage with office space at 700 Colonial Avenue (where the transit office is located) provided that the Mayor indicate his acceptance by notifying council member Sparky Ridgely by December 1, 2010. In response to council's proposed action, Rummage said "I do object. This is nothing more than an absolute insult." Rummage further stated "to render me a room in the 'outhouse' -- the abandoned public works department? No, thank you." According to Rummage, he was not aware of and did not participate in any conversations or emails that occurred between council members in regard to his request to reinstate the Mayor's office at Town Hall.
Rummage is expected to issue a press release on Friday. For the full story and more news from the November Town Council meeting, please see next week's Journal.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 November 2010 14:40
- Published on Wednesday, 03 November 2010 14:40
- Hits: 778
Before Mayor Fred Rummage was allowed to speak before the Budget and Finance Committee, chair Sparky Ridgely requested that town employees Barbara Goff and Val Foulds leave the room. The issue on the agenda was two controversial 2009 resolutions that evicted the mayor from his town hall office and further barred the mayor from entering town hall without an invitation or appointment. Those resolutions were based on town employee complaints to council members that Rummage was disruptive and created a hostile work environment. The resolutions and the mayor’s subsequent eviction from town hall were spearheaded by council members Steve Kennedy, Ridgely and former council member David Coombes.
According to council member Steve Kennedy there was “constant interference and badgering of town employees” by Rummage. Ridgely noted that “we witnessed what was going on — employees were throwing up and crying.”