, 2014


Town unveils sculpture
for council chambers

by Renss Greene

KILMARNOCK—Town manager Tom Saunders and donor Anita Cook unveiled a sculpture for the council chambers at the Kilmarnock Town Council meeting Monday, November 18.

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Saunders gave a brief speech before unveiling the sculpture, which was created by John Latell and donated by Cook in memory of her father, H. R. “Peck” Humphries Jr., mayor of Kilmarnock from 1966 to 1970.

“Thanks to John’s extraordinary talent and Mrs. Cook’s exemplary generosity, this room and this building are immeasurably enhanced,” said Saunders.

He also acknowledged the work of Pam Diehl in creating a “dramatic visual statement” for the room.

“Those of you who know her will not be surprised to learn that it wasn’t long before she let me know that she had not only found an artist to fulfill this vision but a benefactor to make it possible,” said Saunders.

Other business

Upon the suggestion of the streets, sidewalks and playgrounds committee, the council moved to begin engineering and planning to connect the existing walks on South Main Street to the sidewalks recently installed further along on Mary Ball Road.

Councilman Howard Straughan reported the administration and finance committee has a request for proposals under way to find a realtor to sell the old town hall.

Upon recommendation of the same committee, council decided to opt out of the Virginia Retirement System. Saunders has previously said the town will continue to use its Virginia Municipal League insurance plan, which he says costs Kilmarnock about 20% less than the VRS plan.

Mayor Raymond Booth and council member Rebecca Nunn commended the Kilmarnock Museum for the Dr. Morgan E. Norris State Historical Marker dedication on Saturday.

“I thought it was an exceptional event in all respects,” said Booth. “I was glad to be a part of it.”

“It was really well done,” said Nunn. “Three generations of Norrises were there, and Morgan E. Norris IV helped unveil the historical marker, and it was very nicely done. The Kilmarnock Museum deserves a whole lot of credit.”

Sparks flew briefly in the meeting after Nunn commented on the past year’s tax burden for Kilmarnock residents.

“The mayor always refers to the majority of this council as the tax-and-spend group, however the majority decided not to raise your taxes to keep the mill rate the same, and this is a 16.5% reduction to all town citizens in their town taxes this year,” said Nunn.

“The reason that everybody is paying less taxes on their tax bill this year is because the property that they own is genuinely worth less in a bad economy,” responded Booth, calling Nunn’s remarks “disingenuous and dishonest.”


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