By Sean CW Korsgaard
Heavy rain, on-and-off hail and an active tornado warning did little to prevent a standing room only session of the Bowling Green Town Council, which met for the July meeting in town hall last week.
The meeting opened with presentations from John Sieg, Chairman of the Bowling Green Economic Development Authority, concerning rezoning measures, and VDOT Representative Sean Nelson giving an update on sidewalk construction and the re-striping of East Broaddus Ave.
Another early highlight of the meeting was Kathy Beard and Susan Sili speaking on behalf of Caroline Remembers, the group organizing several events for the ongoing WWI Centennial and other events honoring Caroline County veterans who served in WWI and WWII, as well as announcing several events later this year.
“I’m here not only to show all of you what Caroline Remembers has done so far,” said Susan Sili. “I’m here to show you that our work has only now just begun.”
Sili’s presentation closed with a short film highlighting both many of the individual Caroline County veterans who served in both WWI and WWII, and the work being done to honor them, a film that moved several attendees to tears.
“I’m left in the unenviable position of following up such a moving tribute to Caroline County’s heroes and the sacrifices they made for us all,” said County Administrator Charles Culley. “Sacrifices that, as Susan rightfully put, we must never forget.”
When the meeting opened for public comment, a number of attendees rose to speak in support of the Little Wedding House, a local wedding venue that had some issues with a local ordinance. Speakers ranged from friends of the owners, prospective newlyweds, and even local residents who just wanted more in town, but universally, they took the side of the Little Wedding House.
“I love Bowling Green, but I will be the first to say we need more here, both places to bring people into town, and places for the people who live here to go,” said Tina Gambill. “Whatever the issue was with the Little Wedding House is, are we really in a position where we can thumb our noses at a small business that has invested in our community?”
The outpour of support for the Little Wedding House was not in vain – another discussion over the ordinance issue will be discussed at another town council meeting in the near future.
It was in the closing minutes of the meeting that one of the night’s biggest developments would drop however: that Town Councilman Matt Rowe would be resigning his post, and moving to Fredericksburg. The August town council meeting is to be his last.
Having begun his career locally as a member of the Bowling Green Planning Commission in 2010, Rowe was elected to town council in 2014, and has served as Chairman of the Public Health, Safety & Personal Committee.
His term was previously set to expire on December 31, 2018. There is no word yet on what will be done regarding his soon-to-be vacated seat.