By Dan McDermott
Warren County Report
FRONT ROYAL–Front Royal resident David Silek, whose ancestors founded the town, told members of Town Council tonight that he intends to file a formal request for the town to dissolve and consolidate with Warren County.
Silek told Warren County Report he will present a letter to town officials within days asking that they voluntarily enter into an agreement with the county to consolidate under § 15.2-3502 of the Code of Va.
Silek says that if they fail to do so, he will organize a Petition Requesting Agreement under Virginia Code § 15.2-3503.
“We will tell the town and county to either agree to consolidate or the voters can force the issue. If town and county don’t act, 10% of registered voters in each locality can call for a special election to be put on the ballot,” Silek said.
According to the Virginia State Board of Elections, there are 23,240 registered voters in Warren County of which 8,334 are in the Town of Front Royal.
“The Town Council as it is currently constituted cannot be trusted to make decisions for the town. They cannot be trusted with town finances. They have demonstrated complete ignorance of municipal management,” Silek said.
Silek is an attorney who is representing two people in a $30 million suit against the town.
Silek made his announcement at a packed town council session in which several citizens sharply criticized the body’s recent decision to fire Town Manager J. Michael Graham. Silek opposed Graham’s ouster.
Silek’s move is ironic. He is the 6th great grandson of settler Peter LeHew, for whom the colonial-era LeHewtown was settled in 1738. Silek’s 4th great grandfather Richard Pomeroy was a signer of the original request to the Va. General Assembly to adopt a charter forming Front Royal in the same area in 1788.
§ 15.2-3502 of the Code of Virginia states:
The governing bodies of any two or more adjoining localities desiring to consolidate into a consolidated locality in accordance with this article may enter into an agreement for the consolidation, setting forth in such consolidation agreement:
1. The names of the localities which are proposed to be consolidated;
2. The name of the proposed consolidated locality, which name shall be such as to distinguish it from the name of any other like unit of government in Virginia;
3. The property, real and personal, belonging to each locality and the fair value thereof in current money of the United States;
4. The indebtedness, bonded and otherwise, of each locality;
5. The proposed name and location of the county seat of the consolidated county or the address of the administrative offices of the city or town;
6. If the counties have different forms of county organization and government, the proposed form of county organization and government of the consolidated county, or if the cities or towns are to adopt the charter of one of the cities or towns, the name of the city or town whose charter is adopted; and
7. The other terms of the agreement.
The governing body of each of the localities may appoint an advisory committee composed of three persons to assist in the preparation of such agreement and may pay the members of such advisory committee reasonable compensation, approved by the judge of the circuit court for the locality.
In counties, no consolidation agreement shall become effective unless approved by a referendum. In cities and towns, the consolidation agreement may include a provision requiring approval by referendum.
The original of the consolidation agreement and, if appropriate, a petition on behalf of the several governing bodies asking for a referendum on the question of consolidation shall be filed with the judge or one of the judges of the circuit courts for the localities; there shall be filed with each of the other judges a copy of the consolidation agreement and of the petition.
§ 15.2-3503 of the Code of Virginia states:
“The voters of any locality whose governing body has not taken the initiative under § 15.2-3502 may require the governing body to do so by filing a petition with the governing body. The petition shall be signed by not less than ten percent of the voters of the locality registered as of January 1 of the year in which the petition is filed, which in no case shall be less than 100 voters, and shall ask the governing body to effect, in accordance with § 15.2-3502, a consolidation agreement with the locality named in the petition and to petition the judge for a referendum on the question. A copy of the petition of the voters shall also be filed with the judge of the circuit court for the locality. If the governing body within six months is unable or for any reason fails to perfect such consolidation agreement, then the judge of the circuit court for the locality shall appoint a committee of five representative citizens of the locality to act for and in lieu of the governing body in perfecting the consolidation agreement and in petitioning for a referendum.”
By Dan McDermott
Warren County Report
Manassas, Va. Attorney David Silek says he plans to petition Circuit Court to dissolve the Town of Front Royal, Va.
Silek spoke at a council meeting filled with citizens angry at council’s recent firing of Town Manager J. Michael Graham.
Silek, who said he is descended from one of the town’s founders, is an attorney representing two people in a $30 million suit against the town.
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