NEWS RELEASE Contact: David A. Mekarski, AICP, Town Manager
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE firstname.lastname@example.org; 540-751-2316
Truth restored – Town operations moving forward
in a positive direction
PURCELLVILLE, Va., August 7, 2018 — Chief Cynthia McAlister has hit the ground running since resuming her position last Wednesday. “Our Chief is focusing on the implementation of a comprehensive transition plan which is designed to examine all elements of the department to strengthen the delivery of public safety with the highest level of efficiency and effectiveness for our community,” said Mayor Kwasi Fraser. The Chief is committed toward a goal of achieving a full level of community policing for both our residents and our business community. Over the next few months, Chief McAlister will be joined by the Town Manager, David Mekarski to meet with each of our homeowners associations, community groups, business associations and merchant groups.
This evening, the Chief will be leading a caravan of the Purcellville Police Department, Town representatives and our first responders in celebration of National Night Out (NNO) making stops at a shopping district, neighborhoods and finishing at the Loudoun Valley Community Center. NNO is an annual event which promotes police and community partnerships.
Mayor Fraser, the Town Council, and employees are pleased to have Chief McAlister and Officer Fraley back in the line of duty. David Mekarski stated, “It gives me great pride to serve as Town Manager to a Mayor and Town Council who were determined to investigate this matter in the quest of identifying the truth; and through this process, they have fully vindicated the members of our dedicated Town family who were falsely accused. While the administration of justice can be costly, it pales in comparison to the human costs of allowing specious charges to prevail. This cost goes beyond the individual itself and could have impacted the entire organization culturally for years to come. The formal end of this investigation allows the organization not only to heal; but has also strengthened the resolve of all of the Town’s employees to become a unified team, culturally aligned with our community and proud to serve our Mayor, Town Council and citizens.”
It is important to note that while the costs associated with the investigations have been described in the media as exceeding $800,000, the actual cost of the Town Council authorized audit investigation is $398,430. While a number of individuals where placed on administrative leave, many of these positions were not formally backfilled, and all were within the FY2018 budgeted personnel costs requiring no new budget amendments. The interim positions of Town Manager and Town Attorney were funded from salary variances within the approved budget including $108,000 which was saved by not filling the vacant Assistant Town Manager’s position. Notwithstanding the audit and investigative costs, citizens should recognize that the Town Council and Town Management Team are expecting revenue to exceed expenses which is anticipated to result in a general fund operating surplus.
Mayor Fraser and the Town Council, in the spirit of transparency throughout the audit investigations directed our Finance team to publish a monthly expense report of investigations. A copy of this month’s report is attached. The report is also available on the Town website at: https://purcellvilleva.gov/DocumentCenter/View/8106/072718-Investigation-Update-revised-format
The Town of Purcellville, Virginia
Purcellville is an award-winning town of over 9,000 residents located in Loudoun County, approximately 40 miles west of Washington, DC. Having received the prestigious Siemens Sustainability Award for Small Communities, Purcellville continues to be honored for its green initiatives with most recently being the Tree City USA recipient for the 10th year. The Town was reaffirmed as a AAA rated community by S&P Global Ratings, the highest credit rating possible, and is recognized as one of the safest towns in Virginia. Once a stop along the W&OD rail line, Purcellville has maintained its historic old-town feel through the restoration and maintenance of its many downtown structures, reflecting the Victorian architecture popular during the early 1900s. Today, Purcellville is the economic hub of western Loudoun County and a popular weekend destination for antiquing, entertainment, farmer’s markets, wineries, breweries, distilleries and restaurants. More info at www.purcellvilleva.gov.