Manassas Journal Messenger | Haymarket mayor steps down, new councilmember appointed

Haymarket Mayor John R. “Jack” Kapp announced he will be leaving office, effective Aug. 28, at Monday’s Town Council meeting.

Though Kapp has been mayor for 13 years, his announcement is not entirely surprising since his house has been on the market for more than a month. Kapp said he and his wife Shirley are retiring to Williamsburg.

“I have been accused of stealing $5,000, accused of being on the take from developers, and called a liar. All these things are falsehoods,” Kapp said Monday. “I know this will make my adversaries very happy. … I don’t think anyone out there will be able to devote the time and energy I have done.”

But Kapp’s is not the only position on the Haymarket council which will have to be filled. Councilwoman Linda Farr will be moving to New York within the month. Another councilwoman, Michelle Neal-Heard, resigned in May, and the council voted to elect former council member Pamela Stutz to Neal-Heard’s seat Monday.

Stutz was one of four people who turned in applications to the council Monday night. By town code, the council can either call a special election to fill the positions or seek applications and vote amongst themselves to fill the seat.

Kapp’s resignation speech was lengthy, listing projects in Haymarket he has been proud of, including the streetscape program, the new town hall and conversion of the old town hall into the town’s museum. He also offered suggestions to future councils.

“One thing I caution: never to stop having dialogue with anybody. Dave [Taylor], Sheila [Jarboe] and Linda [Farr] voted to just that [on the] town house project,” Kapp said Monday. “Last month, you all won the battle but you lost the war.”

He unrolled a conception plan he said had been provided by developer Rocky Gorge Homes after a proposal for 43 town houses on two plots in Haymarket town limits was vetoed by town council members and citizens at the July council meeting. Kapp said the new plan, including 30,000 feet of office and retail space and 18 apartments would be four times as intensive a use of the property as the town houses. It is also a by-right use of the business zoned land that the council cannot veto, Kapp said.

It is a discussion that will be left to his successors.

Stutz, 60, is the owner of the Red Rooster, located in Haymarket’s historic Post Office building on Washington Street. She was a member of the town council from 2000 to 2002.

Kapp sought to table the vote on Stutz’s ascension to the council until next week, but council members overrode him to appoint Stutz.

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