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Beach manager defends decision to raze ex-school

Foulds says building was unsafe, and several residents complained
The Colonial Beach town manager sai...

1st Annual Colonial Beach Bike Fest

1st Annual Colonial Beach Bike Fest

1st Annual Colonial Beach Bike Fest

Bike Fest a roaring good time

Bike Fest a roaring good time

About 10,000 attend first annual event in county

Bikers from D.C., Maryland and Virginia and points...

Council puts CB school demolition on hold

The Colonial Beach Town Council put a stop to a demolition notice for the town’s former elementary s...

Old school’s future in doubt

Old school’s future in doubt

A town official has ordered the former Colonial Beach Elementary School to be demolished in about tw...

Council tries to cut taxes, told it can’t

Despite their best efforts and good intentions, the Colonial Beach Town Council was unable to reduce...

 

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Jet ski racing at Colonial Beach

Have a need for speed?
Friday night, August 6, the Colonial Beach Chamber of Commerce will host a kick-off party on town hill welcoming the National Tour Jet Ski Races to town.  The kickoff party will begin at 5 p.m. and is open to all contestants, their crews, and the public.  According to Patrick Mell, the coordinator for the races, “We are very much looking forward to being in Colonial Beach. The Chamber has been fantastic to work with and our crews are excited about the races.”  There is also a racers’ party scheduled at High Tides Saturday night beginning at 7 p.m.

Read more: Jet ski racing at Colonial Beach

Beach’s ‘water wizards’ learn magic of local environment

Four students, all from the Colonial Beach school district, participated in the 4-H Water Wizards Program July 7-9, 2010. The Water Wizards Program was started 5 years ago by Wendy Herdman, Extension Agent for Westmoreland and Richmond Counties.  The purpose of the program is to introduce the concept of water quality in the unique Northern Neck environment and the effect that human activity can have on water quality.  Attendance by students is free – they just have to fill out an application form and submit it to the Extension Office.  The boys — Christian Tinsley, Logan Sandy, R.J. Brann and J.W. Musselman — were treated to three action-packed days filled with information about the ecology of our local land and waterways.  There was a lot of learning taking place, but all in a fun, informal atmosphere.

Read more: Beach’s ‘water wizards’ learn magic of local environment

Burkett Lyburn appointed vice mayor

Burkett Lyburn was appointed under Resolution 27-10 to serve as vice mayor by the Town Council on a split 4-3 vote, with council members Shane Buzby, Gary Seeber and Steve Kennedy casting the nay votes.  As noted by Seeber, two years ago the council departed from years of tradition by re-appointing former council member Trish King to continue to serve as vice mayor based on a recommendation by Mayor Fred Rummage.  Traditionally, the role of vice mayor has been filled by the newest elected councilperson who had the most votes in an election.   

Read more: Burkett Lyburn appointed vice mayor

FOIA request delayed, questions remain unanswered

The Journal submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Town of Colonial Beach for documents pertaining to the negotiation of an employment agreement between the town and Christopher Hawkins on June 25.  
On Friday, July 2, The Journal received a request to extend the deadline by seven days for the FOIA request citing the town had “experienced issues with our server this week delaying the completion of your request.”  The Journal was also informed by Town Clerk Barbara Goff that the costs had risen to more than $200 because of the amount of staff time spent in working on the request.

Read more: FOIA request delayed, questions remain unanswered

Pay-to-Permit noise ordinance still in force

Resident’s emergency injunction denied

Three months ago, on April 22, council approved changes to Ordinance No. 585, Amendment to Town Code of Ordinances, Article III, Noise Ordinance, which were recommended by the Public Safety and Economic Development committee, with the understanding that this was a “temporary measure,” as noted by committee chair Karen Payne.
The amendment deleted Section 15-26, Loud Noises Prohibited or “plainly audible” standards; Section 15-27, Exemptions, such as fire alarms, athletic contests, and school bands; and Section 15-28, Penalty and Enforcement.  
What is left is: Replacement Section 15-26, “Loudspeaker permit required,” which makes it unlawful to make amplified sound without first having received a permit from the town manager; and, replacement section 15-27, “Issuance of loudspeaker permits,” which directs residents and businesses to make application to the town manager accompanied by a fee of $50 for every day the permit is required.
The new pay-to-permit noise ordinance has caused an overwhelming outpouring of comments from citizens and businesses in light of the fact that there are no time restrictions and no measurement of noise language contained in the ordinance.  Also troublesome to citizens is that there is no separation of residential noise and commercial noise in the ordinance.

Read more: Pay-to-Permit noise ordinance still in force

CB council names interim police chief

At a special meeting on Monday, June 28 at 10 a.m., which was recessed and reconvened at 6 p.m. Tuesday June 29, the town council named G. “Butch” Wells to serve as Interim Chief of Police. (Click Here to view video from the special meeting.)
Wells previously served as Chief of Police in Staunton, Va., for 17 years, from 1986 to July 2003, at which time he retired. Wells also served as president of Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police from 2000 to 2001. The city of Staunton is located in Augusta County with a population of 23,853 according to the 2000 census and operates under a council-manager form of government.
Major Kenneth Blevins has been in command of the police department as of June 28, which was the last day former police chief Christopher Hawkins served.  Blevins indicated the department is the “best its ever been” and they were ready to handle expected crowds over this weekend’s Fourth of July festivities.  The Virginia State Police, Westmoreland County and Charles County will assist in crowd control.

Kathy Flanagan

BREAKING NEWS: No new contract for Chief Hawkins

The rumors circulating around town apparently are true.  Effective this coming Monday, June 28, Christopher Hawkins will no longer serve as Colonial Beach Police Chief.   

Although no official word was spoken by council members at Thursday night's meeting, Town Manager Val Foulds said "Chief informed me last night he was no longer interested in negotiating the contract."

Negotiations had been taking place between town attorney Andrea Erard, Foulds, Hawkins and council members in e-mails and meetings this past week.

In a telephone interview, Hawkins expressed that the breakdown of negotiations "had nothing to do with money" but in "caveats not in the previous contract."

Only Mayor Fred Rummage was forthcoming in response to a query of what new terms were included in the contract.  He noted that the only additional language he wanted to see added to Hawkins' contract was to "clarify that the police chief answers to the town manager."

Council member Burkett Lyburn said he was "disappointed" and that Hawkins was "a good chief."  Council member Karen Payne referred this reporter to the town attorney.  Members David Coombes and Trish King made early exits, member Sparky Ridgely was not available, and member Steve Kennedy was not in attendance.   

Hawkins further stated "the council has been very good to me; the town manager has been very good to me.  I think everybody was trying to do the right thing, trying to do what they think is right."

Read more: BREAKING NEWS: No new contract for Chief Hawkins

Colonial Beach Briefs - June 23, 2010

Police Chief

This Thursday, June 24 at 4 p.m., at a special meeting, the Colonial Beach town council will present a new contract to Police Chief Christopher Hawkins. The meeting will be held at Town Hall. Because contract terms are still under review by council, it is not clear at press time if Hawkins’ contract will contain changes to salary, benefits or other terms or restrictions.

The current employment agreement provides that Hawkins perform the functions and duties specified in Section 4 of the Colonial Beach Town Code, as amended, which states in part “Section 4(b). The council may establish and maintain a police department which shall be under the supervision of a Chief of Police, who shall serve continuously after appointment by the town council, subject to dismissal by the town council, only because of: inefficiency; malfeasance; misfeasance, and/or nonfeasance in office; other acts unbecoming a Police Officer; poor health or retirement, which dismissal, if any, may be made only after an appropriate investigation and hearing before the town council according to rules and regulations set up by the town council.”

School Board Appointment

At a special meeting on Wednesday, June 16, Colonial Beach School Board unanimously agreed to appoint Michelle “Shelly” Jenkins Payne to fill the remaining two-year term of school board member Anne Congdon who resigned her seat in May. Payne ran in May for School Board and received 23.06 percent of votes, coming in third. Payne will serve on the school board beginning July 1, 2010, through June 2012.

Council approves tax rate

At a special town council meeting on June 16, and in possibly the shortest council meeting on record, members voted to not change the tax rate for fiscal year 2010/2011. The real estate tax rate will remain at 60 cents per $100. The projected revenue from real estate taxes for 2010/2011 is $2,793,597, which shows a $91,864 increase from fiscal year 2009/2010 based on recent real estate assessments.

— Kathy Flanagan

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