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Warrenton Councilman Sam Tarr will not seek re-election in spring

Monday, Jan. 23 | By Staff
Sam Tarr
After serving on the Warrenton Town Council for more than a decade, Sam Tarr has decided not to seek re-election this spring.

“There’s one main thing [that prompted this decision]. Age,” Tarr joked Wednesday.

He’s 76, “and will be 77.” By the time he steps down, he will have represented the fourth ward for 13 years.

Throughout his tenure, the silver-haired, bespectacled councilman has spoken calmly, but frankly from his place at the dais on issues concerning his constituents.

He’s also represented them while serving on the council’s Recreation Committee, Public Safety Committee and Transport - ation Safety Committee.

When it comes time to give the Recreation Committee’s report at the end of each council meeting, he gives a brief but enthusiastic report about the latest activities at the Warrenton Aquatics and Recreation Facility

He credits the entire council for the facility’s success, however.

“All of us have shared in a fairly reasonable tax rate. Even with that, we’ve still been able to [create] the WARF, which is an asset not only to the town but for the whole county,” he said.

As a member of the Transport ation Safety Committee in 2010, he successfully argued for a controversial reduction in the 25 mph speed limit in his neighborhood. The result is a 15mph speed limit on Gold Cup Drive and surrounding streets.

“That goes back to the safety aspect,” he said. “People were zipping through the subdivisions to get off Broadview Avenue. With people going 45 mph on residential streets, there was a chance that a youngster could have gotten hit. We’re lucky that didn’t happen.”

Something needs to be done to improve traffic flow on Broadview Avenue, Tarr said.

The challenge for future councils will be finding a solution that doesn’t have a negative impact on merchants.

Currently, Tarr knows of just one person, Bob Kravetz, who has expressed interest in taking his place.

“I know him from the neighborhood,” Tarr said. “I met him during the 15 mph speed limit discussion phase and mentioned to him that I was tired of fighting the issue. We talked, and I offered him the opportunity to run It’s time for some new ideas.”

Kravetz, 67, and his wife, Sharon, have lived at the corner of Norfolk and Gold Cup drives for the past couple of years.

“We lived in the county for nine years until 2007 when we moved to Arizona,” Kravetz said. “We missed Warrenton and Fauqueir, so we moved back.”

Kravetz, a retired federal government worker, has never held a public office, but agreed to run after speaking with Tarr.

“Sam asked if I would be interested. I took my time, talked to my wife and decided to see what I could do for the citizens of the fourth ward,” Kravetz said. “I think of this as volunteerism and I am all for volunteerism.”

He said his immediate priority, if elected, would be to address traffic safety in the neighborhoods in his district. It’s especially important because more families with young children are moving into what used to be an “older” residential area.

“We’ll need to work closely with the council, the police department and the community [to determine the best solution for traffic concerns,” Kravetz said. “The chore will be to build consensus.”

Kravetz is now in the process of filling out the paperwork necessary to run. He must then get 25 signatures from fourth ward residents on petitions and submit them to the registrar’s office by March 6.

Incumbent council members John “Sparky” Lewis, Yak Lubowsky, Powell Duggan and Joan Williams are all expected to seek re-election this May. Roger Martella and David Norden, who hold the council’s two at-large seats are not up for reelction this year.
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