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Mayor clarifies statement on town code

by Tom Chillemi

Urbanna Mayor Beatrice Taylor responded with a written response on Monday to a statement she made during a Urbanna Town Council work session on Jan. 16. At the work session, Taylor was responding to a question by town resident Bob Calves and she said the town code is a “guideline.”

Since May 2008, Calves has repeatedly claimed that the town administrator and council are not enforcing the town code to protect Urbanna’s Historic District. Council is divided on what to do about perceived zoning violations. Related article: Is town code ‘the law’ or simply a ‘guideline?’

Town administrator Lewis Filling read Taylor’s statement to council and the audience during Monday’s monthly council meeting. Taylor was not at the meeting because her husband was in the hospital.

“I (Taylor) misunderstood Mr. Calves’ question in that I thought he was questioning whether I used certain portions of the town code as guidance in my decisions in interpreting our laws,” read Taylor’s statement. “I apologize for this misunderstanding and I want everyone to know that I will enforce all of the laws of this town.

“However, Mr. Calves and others must recognize that I will enforce those laws based on my interpretation and the legal advice rendered by the town attorney,” continued Taylor.

“I respect Mr. Calves’ right to interpret the laws of this town and to develop his conclusions. I expect Mr. Calves to respect my right to interpret the laws of this town, even though he may disagree with that interpretation. The fact that his interpretation differs from that of the town council and its mayor cannot be interpreted as a failure on the part of this governing body to enforce its laws,” said Taylor.

posted 01.29.2009

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