Colonial Beach Town Council members continue to be unable to go an entire meeting without angering one another. The August 14 regular meeting started with a very long public comment period, most comments which were about unanswered questions, but bled into another long running issue- Eleanor Holmes Park.
The property, which was left to the town many years ago was originally supposed to be designated as a campground. The town has gone to court and been told that they have the right to sell the property if they so wish.
That’s where the contention comes in. Some of the town and council members believe it should be sold to get the property back on the tax roles, while others believe it should never be sold. In fact, at a candidates’ forum in 2010, council member Wanda Goforth stated the land should remain town property and possibly be used for 55+ activities.
In discussing Resolution #53-14, which authorizes the Town Manager to market the property, the discussion became heated. Council Member Pete Bone, who is the former long-term mayor of Colonial Beach, and the man whom the George “Pete” Bone Town Center is named for, asked the council, “Can any member of council tell what you have done the past eight years?”
Before he could continue, Council Member Jim Chiarello angrily interrupted him with, “Pete, we’ve probably done more than you have since 1999. And the things you’ve tried to do, I can tell you all the marketing studies that were done on the boardwalk, that were done during your time, that were not accomplished. There’s 2000, there’s ‘99, there’s 2001, 2004, I could go on and on. There are things that a lot of people haven’t done. And who are you to say anything about what should be done!”