Town opts for November election next year  

Future post office site requires tractor-trailer access

With a 4-0 vote at its regular monthly meeting Monday (Nov. 13), the Washington Town Council swiftly adopted an ordinance to change the town election date in May to coincide with the 2018 November general election.

The change was recommended to the council by county Registrar of Voters Kim McKiernan to reduce the cost to the town and bolster voter turnout. McKiernan pointed out that in the last town election on May 6, 2014, 30 residents voted at a cost of $3,420, or $114 per vote. In the public hearing, Judy DeSarno, who serves on the county electoral board, stated that the change will also allow town residents to be eligible for absentee voting.

Council members Patrick O’Connell and Brad Schneider were absent for the vote, but even more apparent was the empty seat occupied by for three years by council member Gary Aichele — who had to step down at the end of October because he moved to a new residence a half mile outside the town’s border. Mayor John Fox Sullivan encouraged town residents interested in joining the council to send a letter of intent to the town clerk by Dec. 8, in time for review at the next council meeting on Dec. 11, so a replacement could be appointed for the new year.

Sullivan also announced that the year-end tradition of the Christmas in Little Washington parade and pedestrian festival will be at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10. This year the U.S. Army Old Guard Fife & Drum Corps are bolstered to 22 performers from last year’s 12, he said.

“This is their favorite parade, that everyone volunteers for,” said Sullivan.

On the day before, he said, the Middle Street Gallery, which had relocated to Sperryville several years ago, returns to its former location — now in the rear of the building on Middle Street, next to the Inn at Little Washington — with an open house reception at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9.

There was long discussion of a new location for one of the town’s idyllic institutions, the post office.

“We all know that the post office no longer really handles first-class mail, for obvious reasons. But because of Amazon, and the relationship of UPS, FedEx and the post office all working together, they now have become into the moving boxes business,” Sullivan pointed out.

Sullivan said Rick Hancock, the postal service’s real estate agent, is actively searching to lease a space of at least 2,500 square feet, up from the current 1,800 — but with better access for trucks to accommodate the increase in transporting parcels.

And, according to Fred Catlin, the town planning commission chair, “in an informal conversation with the postmaster [Tina Brooks], I found out . . . the plan must incorporate having semis . . . that when they do finalize the site, that it’s something that’s accessible to tractor-trailers.”

At this point, as it became clear the decision is ultimately in the post office’s hands, not the town’s, the discussion soon ended.

An unedited video of the 7 p.m. session on Monday, Nov. 13 can be found online at, or on the newspaper’s YouTube channel at

Luke Christopher
About Luke Christopher 102 Articles
Luke is a "Best of D.C." photographer who has been published, in print, in The Washington Post, The Washington Times and Miami New Times. He started his photography career as a reporter for the University of Maryland's daily newspaper and served as the entertainment editor for "City Living " magazine. Website: