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Colonial Beach students say focus is on staff, students
Date published: 11/2/2012
Sprucing up the boardwalk, bringing more businesses to town and improving infrastructure are some of the important issues for candidates in Tuesday's election for Colonial Beach Town Council and mayor.
Separate candidate forums last week featured the four candidates running for the council--incumbents Tim Curtin, Tommy Edwards and Jim Chiarello and challenger Wanda Goforth--and the three men running for mayor--Councilmen Burkett Lyburn and Mike Ham and former Councilman Steve Kennedy.
Three School Board seats are also up for election. No candidates qualified to be on the ballot, but board member Michelle Payne and Chairman Tim Trivett are running write-in campaigns for re-election.
In the council races, Curtin, Edwards and Goforth are running to fill three four-year terms. Chiarello was appointed in March to fill a vacancy and his is the only name on the ballot in the special election for the final two years of that term.
Curtin, who was appointed to the council 11 months ago to fill another vacancy, said the boardwalk is no better than it was 20 years ago and should be improved, a point Edwards also made.
Chiarello said the town needs more businesses and activities. Goforth said the infrastructure of the town must be strengthened.
All four said they favor keeping the town's school system independent. Edwards said finances may require consolidating with the Westmoreland County system in the future, but not right now.
All candidates also agreed that town residents should be encouraged to attend council committees to provide input.
The candidates mostly agreed that the town manager should oversee the day-to-day operations of the town, but answer to the mayor and council. Goforth, however, added that the council and mayor should also directly supervise positions such as police chief and department managers.
The candidates also agreed that the mayor should have an office in Town Hall again, and that office could also be used by council members when necessary. The council eliminated the mayor's town hall office in 2009 after complaints that Mayor Frederick Rummage was trying to micro-manage town affairs.