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Colonial Beach fills vacancy on council

By Rebecca J. Barnabi

FOR THE FREE LANCE–STAR

The Colonial Beach Town Council has chosen  Linda Brubaker to fill a vacant seat on council.

 Brubaker was selected Thursday night over former Councilman Burkett Lyburn and attorney Cynthia Misicka to fill the seat left vacant when Mike Ham was elected mayor in November.  Each of the three applicants for the two-year term was interviewed by council at a work session that some residents attended.

Brubaker, who grew up in Colonial Beach, said she has considered running for council before. She said she did not do so earlier because her neighbor is Fred Rummage, who was mayor until retiring in November.

 “I believe the overall good we can do is unlimited,” Brubaker said of the council.

 Brubaker, the mother of two grown children, said she supports the town having its own school system. Her grandson is a student in the system.

Brubaker said she has studied the revitalization plan and is concerned with the tax base and the need for the town to be more “business savvy.”   She added that the council should reassess the job descriptions and salaries of town employees.

But she said she believes the perception of the council is the biggest issue facing the town. She said she believes some residents think council members take their responsibilities lightly.

 “It’s not a joke to make the commitment to serve your town in this matter,” Brubaker said.

After a closed session, the council voted 5–1 for Brubaker. Councilman Tommy Edwards cast the opposing vote.

 In other news, the council discussed changing its policy to charge tax-exempt entities such as churches and the Lions Club for water/sewer connections as required by state law. Councilman Gary Seeber said the town would not change its policy if not for the state requirement.

Councilman Jim Chiarello noted that the city of Chicago phased in the charge over three years when it faced a similar situation a few years ago.

 Town Manager Val Foulds said if Colonial Beach chooses that path, the town ordinance must be amended and that would require the council to advertise and hold a public hearing on the matter. Foulds said there is not time before the June 1 deadline.

 The Town Council did not take action on the matter. It will continue its monthly work session at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the Town Center.

 Its next regular council meeting will be Feb. 14.

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