Will Waynesboro voters be heard?

Will Waynesboro voters be heard?


Story by Chris Graham

A fall referendum on several capital-improvements projects is close to being on the ballot in Waynesboro.
As much rancor as there has been in the River City regarding government spending in recent months, city-council member Lorie Smith thinks the autumnal discussions could be quite beneficial.

“I think the discussion could be quite healthy,” Smith said in an interview on last week’s “Augusta Free Press Show.”
Six capital-improvements projects worth an estimated $14 million are to be included in the referendum. Projects on the list are to include a proposed West End fire station, an expansion at the Waynesboro Public Library, eight stormwater-runoff-system improvements and a new lighted baseball field.

The proposed referendum still needs the approval of the Waynesboro Circuit Court before it can be added to the ballot.

The referendum would be of a nonbinding nature – meaning that the city council would still have to vote to approve bond measures were city voters to give their approval in November.

Smith isn’t worried that council members would disregard the will of the voters if they were to give their assent at the ballot box.

“I do think this time, in my opinion, that the bar is a bit higher – because when the citizens begin to weigh in, and we get projects hopefully approved on the referendum, I think it becomes increasingly difficult for the council to not be responsive to that,” Smith said.

“This may change a bit in terms of us being able to get those four votes. That’s what I hope,” Smith said.

Chris Graham is the executive editor of The Augusta Free Press.



Have a story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected]. Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.

Latest News


Staunton District Traffic Alert: VDOT schedule for week of Sept. 25-29

Op/Eds, Politics

World peace, security require a stronger UN: Looking into how that can be done

Addressing the UN Security Council, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a heartfelt plea “to update the existing security architecture in the world, in particular, to restore the real power of the UN Charter.”

haley van voorhis

Shenandoah University junior Haley Van Voorhis makes NCAA football history

Shenandoah University junior Haley Van Voorhis made history on Saturday, becoming the first woman non-kicker to appear in an NCAA football game.

Police, Virginia

Chesapeake Police Department reports four male juveniles, one adult shot


VMI holds off Wofford in fourth, wins SoCon opener, 17-14, on rainy Saturday in Lexington

uva football

Notebook: Virginia offense struggles, again, in short-yardage situations

baseball norfolk tides

Norfolk defeats Buffalo, 15-10, to get to 90 wins in 2023, clinching best record in IL