Letter: Cerphe Colwell, Leesburg

Editor: You recall last year’s King Street fire in historic downtown Leesburg that did extensive damage to Caulkins Jewelers and Leesburg Diner. I was so proud of the firefighters who battled the blaze as smoke and flames shot out of the roof and windows.

My radio station MusicPlanetRadio.com shared a second floor space with musician, singer-songwriter-producer Todd Wright’s business, HalfKing. With our wives in tow, Todd and I arrived and stood alongside then Leesburg Mayor Kristen Umstattd, then Vice Mayor Kelly Burk, Stilson Greene, Helen Kruger and other business men and women, watching in horror.

After watching and worrying for what seemed like hours, Todd and I rushed up the stairs to remove valuable guitars and recording equipment.  To our surprise, Mayor Umstadt and Vice Mayor Burk were right behind us and helped carry items to safety at neighboring Town Hall. I’ll never forget these two brave women carrying drums sets and guitars and so determined to help.

Now, my friend Kelly Burk is a candidate for Mayor of Leesburg. She is devoted to Leesburg and does much to support the music and art community in the town that my wife Susan and I are so proud to call our home. Anyone who walks into a burning building to save musical equipment has my vote.
Cerphe Colwell, Leesburg

2 thoughts on “Letter: Cerphe Colwell, Leesburg

  • 2016-11-02 at 2:48 pm

    Cerphe – perhaps Gwen Pangle and Kelly Burk, who are both close friends with reported Democrat Mr. O’Connor, who owns the Leesburg Diner and other Leesburg restaurants can answer for their repeated support of their friend who will be serving as the venue for Mr. Khan (anti-Trump) on Friday just who recently received a massively expensive span of “sidewalk improvement/widening” adjacent to the area you mention that serves as outdoor dining for the restaurant (on public space). As you are aware, Mr. O’Connor had been marketing them for years and he has been the only one to receive any similar preferential improvements in the downtown area. He recently couldn’t even restore the windows to the expected historical expectation, without being forced by the Mayor and others not to include Kelly Burk (thank you Dave Butler, running for Mayor against Burk). Realizing 99% of Leesburg residents are oblivious to on-goings, relationships and politics within our Town, my biggest issue with the sidewalk project is that it was a hand selected project (exclusively by Gwen Pangle, Kelly Burk and Kristen) aimed directly to benefit a friend of many others within our government at taxpayers expense and the use of the sidewalk has truly added essentially no benefit for pedestrian use, added to the bottom line of the Town from revenue (we’ve lost moderate revenue from parking and only minimally gained food tax), it will cost us more in the long run (there is no ROI) and the space is barely used as the seasonal impact of weather is beneficial to the location (one needs to visit the site to understand what I mean). There may be benefits during the parades. Many people think that having old ties to the “community” are a bonus, but we need honest persons within our ranks and I cannot get into specifics at this time, but fully expect to pursue them after the election, as Kelly will be on the Council for 2 more years. She and Gwen have co-mingled, along with Kristen, and others for far too long. For those who continue down this road, expect more questions, prying eyes and eventually FOIA requests. A word to the wise, and you know who I’m talking to, disclosures about deals should be done in advance……..

  • 2016-11-03 at 1:40 pm

    Wow, LF – a 76 word sentance to start off your rant?

    I completely disagree with your assessment of the expanded sidewalks. On nice days, we see many patrons dining outside all along King Street. The atmosphere has changed in downtown Leesburg and it feels like a welcoming, small town. Having lived in many areas, we much prefer to see people there and street-side dining have been a nice addition.

    You have a beef with the town gov’t. We have read your rants in the past. The value to the town of expanding the sidewalks should not be one of them.

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