- Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:09
- Published on Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:09
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On Nov. 14, after the adjournment of an early morning meeting of the Colonial Beach Town Council to discuss the Colonial Beach Police Department (CBPD), Councilman Tim Curtin left the meeting room, returning about 45 minutes later with his typed resignation.
At that meeting, council members, including Curtin stated they had no intentions of abolishing the Colonial Beach Police Department or merging with the county, despite previous statements by the mayor that they were looking into legal possibilities for abolishing the CBPD.
Curtin did, however, say, “To say there’s been some rumors flashed around by this, is putting it mildly.”
In his opening remarks at the Nov. 14 morning meeting, Curtin stated the council was not looking at eliminating the police department and leaving it up to the Westmoreland County sheriff’s department to figure out a way to cover the town, but did not state specifically what the town’s intentions were; nor did any other council members.
After all members weighed in, and several citizens spoke in favor of the CBPD, Public Safety Point of Contact Tommy Edwards made a motion to pass a resolution which stated; “The Colonial Beach Town Council supports keeping the Colonial Beach Police Department as an integral part of the team.”
Councilman Curtin commented, “I’m struggling to find the words to really…” Curtin paused for a moment, then asked, “Why bother? Ok, from the way that key members of this council have flipped their opinion of even having a discussion with the sheriff, it’s not going to happen. The debate’s been hijacked by rumor mongering and misinformation and outright lies, so why are we even bothering?”
Councilman Edwards replied, “It’s very simple- are you for or are you against it? State your case- yes or no?”
Curtin said, “I will be abstaining, and that is why, because I think it’s a meaningless vote to...for whatever reason it is.”
All members voted in favor of the resolution, and Curtin abstained.
After the vote, the meeting was promptly adjourned, and the council proceeded with plans for a closed meeting to discuss the performance of the town manager.
Before leaving the meeting room, Curtin spoke briefly to The Journal, stating that rumors about his motivation for exploring options were circulating both around town and in social media. He also said that members of the council, who had told him they wanted to explore alternatives to the CBPD, had recanted. Curtin did not say what the rumors were or which members of council had recanted. Curtin then left, returning within the hour to hand over his resignation to the council.
The resignation stated the circumstances under which Curtin decided to run for council, ultimately applying for an appointed position, and later being voted into a four-year term on council. Curtin stated in his resignation that he had joined the council to address grave concerns for the future of the town and the need for hard decisions. Curtin didn’t specifically outline these items, but said when he was voted in, he was hopeful that things would change.
In his resignation, he stated, “Unfortunately, the direction in which the council has been going over that entire period has continued to give me great concern. It has only worsened since the first of the year.”
Curtin feels that the council is not working together towards a common goal. He said in his resignation, “I have tried to be patient and wait for the consensus to emerge on council that would convince me that at least some of my concerns are shared.”
Curtin referenced long hours with little resolutions saying, “I have spent an enormous amount of time in meetings and discussions that would have otherwise have been spent with my family or in the pursuit of my career. I no longer believe that day will come with the current council.”
Curtin summed up his feelings by saying, “I cannot justify continuing to waste my time waiting for a day to come when this town, and its elected leaders face up to hard decisions that will come, no matter what the desires or sentiments exist to maintain the status quo. Therefore, I must resign my seat on the Colonial Beach Town Council effective immediately.”
The council members were just emerging from a closed meeting scheduled to discuss the performance of the town manager when they received Curtin’s resignation. Curtin left the meeting room, wishing the council good luck.
The council later voted to approve his resignation “with regrets” at the regular meeting that evening at 7 p.m.