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Chad M. Ralls seeks a return to Remington Town Council

Sunday, Mar. 16 | By Jonathan Hunley
Chad M. Ralls Courtesy of Kristen Conway Photography
Chad M. Ralls has been serving on the Remington Town Council since 2012, but he took a different kind of path to the office.

Ralls, a policeman at Lord Fairfax Community College, was actually one of two Town Council candidates who lost in 2012. He finished in last place among eight hopefuls for six slots.

But when Councilwoman Linda L. Conrad moved and vacated her spot, the remaining councilors appointed Ralls to her seat. He started serving in September, only two months later than if he had prevailed in the May election.

This year, he's one of seven candidates for six spots on the May 6 ballot. Also running are incumbents Evan H. Ashby III, J. Wilson Clatterbuck, Stanley L. Heaney Sr., and Van M. Loving, and challengers Devada R. Allison Jr. and Randy A. McMillion.

In addition to living in Remington, Ralls grew up in Front Royal, so he's accustomed to small-town life.

He said earlier this week that his vision of Remington is for the municipality to be a destination during the day and quiet at night.

And Ralls wants the town to exude a definite identity, to not just be a "dot on the map."

"This is a great place," he said.

He would like to see Remington's history as a colonial port emphasized, and he said the town should make more of its proximity to the Rappahannock River.

Partnerships with other nearby localities, such as Warrenton, Culpeper and Fredericksburg, could boost Remington, as well, Ralls said.

He also would like to see the town run as efficiently as possible. At a Town Council meeting Monday, he suggested the municipality explore using LED streetlights.

"This is efficient," he said in an interview the next day. "It saves the town money."

Ralls said he has seen the town steadily decline over the past five years. It's an issue that's a topic of discussion in his home, as he lives with Lisa Davis, who's challenging incumbent Gerald A. Billingsley for mayor this year.

One way to move forward would be to increase Remington's footprint through annexation, Ralls said.

The idea is controversial, he acknowledged, because it would mean an additional real-estate tax for residents or businesses in the area being added to the town. Remington property owners pay a town levy on top of the Fauquier County real-estate tax.

"It's kind of like a bad word," Ralls said of annexation.

But he said that he's talked the matter over with Fauquier Board of Supervisors Chairman Chester Stribling, and Stribling was supportive.

Mainly, Ralls said, annexation could bring Remington more revenue for capital projects.

Another way to bring more revenue would be to attract tourist traffic.

Lots of folks talk about taking day trips nowadays, Ralls noted.

"I'd like to be that day they choose," he said.

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