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Last updateThu, 19 Nov 2015 8pm

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Former mayor appointed to vacant council seat

Despite having interviewed two applicants, Linda Crandell and Polly Parks, the Colonial Beach Town Council could not reach a consensus on whom to appoint to fill the vacant seat left by Tim Curtin, who resigned on Nov. 14. The council voted five-to-one to appoint George “Pete” Bone to serve until the special election.


Bone previously served as mayor for the Town of Colonial Beach from 1996 to 2008, when he decided not to run for re-election.

Linda Crandell had previously served on council from 2002 to 2008, resigning her position after the 2008 election. Her term was originally set to end in 2010, and Crandell was not up for re-election, but she resigned her seat shortly after the 2008 election.

Polly Parks is new to Colonial Beach, having moved here in 2010, as well as being new to the world of politics. Parks has an impressive list of employment, ranging from environmental work to graphic design and journalism. Parks also has some experience in agricultural services, as well.

During his seven-year tenure, Bone not only refurbished offices upstairs in Town Hall, but also renovated the meeting room next to the library, which now bears his name as the “George ‘Pete’ Bone Room.” He also served as town manager, consecutively, during three years of his tenure.

Mayor Mike Ham said that Bone was not aware of the decision made by council, but in a phone call after the meeting, Ham confirmed that Bone accepted the appointment.

The vote came at the Dec. 12 council meeting, just two days before the council’s deadline to fill the seat.

Former Councilman Tim Curtin resigned his seat shortly after a morning meeting on Nov. 14, held to discuss the Colonial Beach Police Department. Following that meeting, Curtin left the meeting room, returning about 45 minutes later with his typed resignation, stating that he had joined council to address grave concerns for the future of the town and the need for hard decisions. Curtin felt 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 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 summed up his feelings, attacking his constituents 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 exists to maintain the status quo. Therefore, I must resign my seat on the Colonial Beach Town Council effective immediately.”

At the Dec. 12 council meeting, Mayor Ham addressed residents, explaining council’s decision before naming Bone as the appointee. “I want to thank Ms. Crandell and Ms. Parks for coming forward and applying for the position. Unfortunately, we were not able to reach a consensus between Ms. Crandell and Ms. Parks.

We hope that both of them will consider this is a short-term appointment we’re going to be making, and we would like them to consider running in November, when the special election will be held for the remainder of the term for this seat. Since we couldn’t reach a consensus, we discussed the other options, and in the best interest of the town, we proposed electing someone that we were able to reach a consensus on, but feel will be the best choice for the town at this point.”

During the vote, Councilwoman Wanda Goforth abstained from the vote, stating, “I cannot support going outside of our procedure.”

 


— Linda Farneth

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