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Last updateSat, 30 Dec 2017 9pm

Colonial Beach takes the plunge

Colonial Beach takes the plunge

The polar plunge on New Year’s Day was hosted by Dockside Restaurant and benefits the Colonial...

Historical Review Grant awarded to Colonial Beach

Colonial Beach is one of three towns to be included in a survey of historic resources conducted by t...

Christmas is special at Westmoreland Rehabilitation

Christmas is special at Westmoreland Rehabilitation

Residents at Westmoreland Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Colonial Beach participated in num...

The future looks bright for CB Schools

The Colonial Beach School system has faced many challenges in the last few years.

F&A Corvettes fulfilling holiday dreams for the young at heart

F&A Corvettes fulfilling holiday dreams for the young at heart

Classic car lovers across the nation with dreams of Corvettes this holiday season are looking to a d...

Festive holiday lights at the marina

Festive holiday lights at the marina

Festively decorated boats light up the Colonial Beach Marina. With the holidays approaching, area ...

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CB mayor calls allegations by Town Council a ‘ruse’

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.”

Read more: CB mayor calls allegations by Town Council a ‘ruse’

Beach property owners dodge real estate tax raise

Colonial Beach property owners narrowly missed paying more in real estate taxes due to Town Council failing to act in a timely manner when presented with increased real estate assessments from a 2009 assessment done in Westmoreland County.
 “It’s illegal to raise peoples’ taxes without a public hearing. That’s wrong,” remarked newly elected town council member Gary Seeber in a telephone interview Monday.  Seeber has spoken up at the August, September and October town council meetings urging council to reduce the current real estate tax rate of .60 per $100 of assessed value by .02 cents in order to avoid a defacto increase in real estate tax revenue to property owners.  
According to Seeber, there is an approximate 2 percent increase in assessed values of land and improvements in Colonial Beach due to a 2009 real estate assessment by Westmoreland County. This approximate 2 percent increase in assessed value causes an approximate 2 percent increase in revenue to the town from real estate taxes.
Virginia State law provides remedies to protect property owners from defacto real estate tax increases that occur when property assessments increase.  Virginia Code Section 58.1-3321 contains very specific language governing the steps localities must take when real estate assessments provide for an increase of 1 percent or more of the total real estate tax levied.  

Read more: Beach property owners dodge real estate tax raise

Mayor wants his office back

Colonial Beach’s new noise ordinance unveiled at Sept. 23 committee meeting
During the Budget Committee meeting, Sept. 23, Mayor Fred Rummage made a “personal request” to the committee to consider rescinding Resolution 27-09 passed by town council unanimously in April of 2009, which states, in part, “the presence of the Mayor at Town Hall on a daily basis is interfering with and obstructing the efficient operations of the Town” and which effectively removed the mayor’s office in town hall.  Committee member Karen Payne, who was chairing the meeting in the absence of Ridgely, noted that committee chair Ridgely was not present and that this item should be placed on the agenda for next month’s committee meeting when the chair is present.
Council member Gary Seeber noted that the town’s budget surplus in an approximate amount of $400,000 should be used to provide substantial bonuses to town employees on a “step” basis according to years of service.  Currently the town employs approximately 50 employees.

Read more: Mayor wants his office back

Beach council adopts Capital Improvement Plan

For the first time in at least six years the town council, on Sept. 9, adopted a Capital Improvement Plan, or CIP.  The CIP is a compilation of items and projects requested by each department in town along with projected costs and a timeline.  Working hand-in-hand with the CIP, the council also adopted a proffer policy, which is the amount of money or in-kind improvement requested by the town in order to mitigate negative impacts from development on public facilities.  Also working hand-in-hand with the CIP, the council adopted Level of Service or LOS standards, which measure the quantity and quality of services provided by the town.

Read more: Beach council adopts Capital Improvement Plan

Committee meetings: Budgets, beautification on the agenda

All members of town council were present at the monthly council committee meetings and a special Town Council meeting held on Thursday, Aug. 26, with the exception of Burkett Lyburn.
Special Town Council meeting
Council met to discuss Resolution 37-10, a budget amendment correcting the 2010-2011 school division’s budget.  At issue is a request from Superintendent Donna Power to add $480,104 to the current school budget. The additional revenue includes VPSA Technology “carry forward,” federal grants, and late notification of Regional Governor’s School flow through. Also listed are deductions in federal stimulus funds and preschool funding. These items total $385,104.

Read more: Committee meetings: Budgets, beautification on the agenda

Few answers found within FOIA request

On Wednesday, June 14, Colonial Beach Town Clerk Barbara Goff notified the Journal that the FOIA documents requested on June 25 were ready.  Goff further informed The Journal that the cost for administrative time spent in filling the FOIA request would be waived as it had reached approximately $200.  The decision to waive the administrative fees came about, according to Goff, from a “commitment by the town staff to serve our citizens.”   
A review of the 45 pages, which included a 10-page employment agreement and a 4-page job description for the Chief of Police position, provided no evidence as to the breakdown of contract negotiations that occurred between former police chief Christopher Hawkins and the town during the timeframe of June 10 through June 24.  

Read more: Few answers found within FOIA request

Citizens speak out loud and clear

Colonial Beach wants Police Chief Hawkins to stay
On Thursday, before a crowd of approximately 80 citizens, and in an orderly fashion, Mayor Fred Rummage led the council through the agenda, presenting service award pins, appreciation plaques and listening to a presentation by School Superintendent Donna Power, on the new middle school.  However, during citizen input, Town Hall vibrated with loud applause and cheers.

Read more: Citizens speak out loud and clear

BREAKING NEWS: Chief Hawkins will remain

After a one and a half hour closed session regarding “the hiring of a police chief,” at 10:15 p.m. on Thursday, June 10, Town Attorney Andrea Erard announced “the council would like to keep the chief.” 

The closed session came at the end of a long town council meeting attended by approximately 80 citizens who came to show their support for Chief Christopher Hawkins.  Hawkins told the Journal earlier today he “would like to stay, but it’s up to the council.”  Once it became known throughout the community that Hawkins wanted to stay on at the beach, rumors had been circulating all day that the town council members were not going to offer him a new contract. 

Read more: BREAKING NEWS: Chief Hawkins will remain

 

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