Fredericksburg City Beat

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Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or

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Tomzak/Girvan on the radio

Over the past two mornings, the only known candidate for mayor and the current mayor have taken to the airwaves of NewsTalk 1230 AM’s Fredericksburg Today program to talk about the election, Kalahari and a few other topics.

On Girvan’s announcement she’s running for mayor:

Girvan: “In the four years I’ve been on council, the demands have increased. It’s easy to run a City Council when the money is coming in and the coffers are flush, but we’re facing some financial issues like many localities are, and I think it’s going to take more time and focus. I have the time and the ability to commit much of my time to this job.”

Tomzak: “I’m a little bit surprised and taken aback. We have strived to get a working consensus on the council. … We talk, we debate, we sometimes argue. But at the end, most of the votes on these difficult decisions have been 7-0.”

Tomzak on whether he’ll seek another term: “I will take a weekend with my family and make some decisions.”

On the vote, scheduled for Tuesday’s City Council meeting, on the Kalahari letter of intent:

Tomzak: “It is not a binding agreement. It’s to proceed in negotiations. … At this time, I fully support the project. … [After the letter of intent], the next vote is well down the road, after all the studies and due diligence have been done.”

Girvan: “Are we sending the message to the Kalahari owners that this is a done deal? I was told this is a moral obligation, not a legal obligation, that the real vote will take place later. The due diligence should be done before the letter of intent is agreed to, because the letter of intent outlines the incentives package, which is really the issue at hand here…. As it stands, I am waiting for additional information before I can support anything. There’s not enough here.”

The memo from Economic Development Director Kevin Gullette says this about the vote: “By authorizing the City Manager to accept and sign the Letter of Intent, Council will begin the process of moving towards a Performance Agreement with Kalahari Resorts and the City of Fredericksburg.”

On what Kalahari means to Fredericksburg’s identity as a tourist destination:

Girvan: “We are already a destination. We already have the historical sites. Let’s expand and complement those, and we need to do that with a project that’s going to deliver what it promises.”

Tomzak:“We will still be a heritage destination. Is that going to sustain the city’s core services? … It’s plateauing and dropping off.”

Coming this weekend: a nuts-and-bolts look at what Tuesday’s vote on the letter of intent does and does not commit the city to do, what the timeline going forward looks like and what questions this proposed impact study is supposed to answer.


  • URkiddingright

    I’m not sure why she is running. Mayor Tomzack has done an exellent job bringing the board together to make positive decisions for the future of the city. The Previous 4 years (maybe even more than that) were a lesson in vicious standoffs and an inability to get anything done.If her motive is to further her career, its a bad move. She’ll lose her at large seat and in 4 years she’ll be as polictically relevant as Vince Ornato. Kind of makes her look power hungry, as she voted with the Mayor 99% of the time

  • thatguyb

    I have no problem with the city agreeing to the letter of intent. It approves the architecture of what we plan, and sets the ball rolling. Girvan needs to stop dragging her feet. Every day lost on this deal is extra money spent by private business and lost revenue for the city. It’s not like we’re “giving” money to Kalahari, we’re refunding some portion of what the city receives. We still get many chances to make changes – for that matter Kalahari has yet to get site plan approval.


    Ms. Girven is alluding to other sources of income/projects for the City b/c the Cal Ripken Foundation will be announcing soon that they have choosen Fredericksburg for their ballfields. Ms. Girven has been making these references so she can stand up and attempt to take ALL the credit for this. I hear the Ripken committee has grown tired of her Political Grandstanding. She’s been divisive in this way, as her participation appears politically motivated. U can bet she’ll sqeeze upfront @ the announcement.

  • thatguyb

    That is an interesting prospect. Add that to the announcement to run for Mayor. I find it odd that she voted for the VDOT project to explore widening fall hill ave, which will obliterate 2 little league fields at Bragg Hill.

  • dleecitymail

    Well…seems that the Green-Eyed Monster has reared its ugly head! How dare you try to discredit anyones intentions with a charitalbe effort in our city. Especially since the Foundation will choose the site for the ball field based on need. The city kids need this program! Sounds like you’re trying to discredit the whole effort and the Foundation. Not a smart move!

  • ABrokesoccermom

    I’m not trying trying to discredit anyone. I’m just pointing out that Ms. Girven is driven by her political aspirations. Yes look at the citys needs. We are a town full of handouts. Everyone is Jumping on Kalahari.. wondering if it can sustain for 20 years…we opened up the Boys and Girls Club- a babysitting service the city funded with 36 grand last year. That organiztion is NOW being deserted b/c it isnt in Vogue. Now it’s the Cal rip Project, who’s going to keep that a float in a couple years? US!