This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or email@example.com.
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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.