June 5, 2013
Many residents in Scottsville say they are pleasantly surprised that Albemarle County Supervisor Chris Dumler has decided to resign, but they are surprised about the timing.
"Why did he wait all this time?" said Cenie Sturm, a life-long Scottsville resident who helped distribute the petition to push Dumler out of office. "It was unnecessary. He should have done it to begin with."
On Friday, Sturm was horrified with the judge's ruling, allowing Dumler to stay on the board. On Wednesday, she was in a much more cheerful mood.
"Never in my life did I think he would resign," she said with a laugh.
Sturm accuses Dumler of wasting a lot of time and money by not resigning before the county held a civil trial brought by the petition.
"If he was concerned, as he talked like he was, about taxpayer money," she said. "If he was so worried about that he should have resigned then."
County officials say they have not yet calculated the amount of tax dollars that were spent on Dumler's civil trial.
"He probably did it on purpose," said Steve Finan, who lives near Scottsville. "he liked the attention, knowing he was probably going to step down all along."
Protesters like Jamie Morgan have been demanding this of Dumler since his sexual battery conviction.
"Hopefully he heard us," said Morgan. "I think we presented a lot of really good points."
Morgan says this was a bipartisan effort.
"It was great to see people, you know, Republicans, Democrats, Tea Partiers, people more liberal, anarchists," said Morgan. "Everyone came together for this."
Sturm also denies that there was any political motivation to push Dumler out. She says all types of people signed the petition.
"They were die-hard Democrats," said Sturm, speaking about some of the people who signed. "But they felt he needed to go."
Sturm says she thinks Dumler needs to leave town. But Morgan disagrees.
"If we ran him out of town, then there will just be unknowing people in another place," said Morgan. "I think he should stay here and try to fix the damage he has done to this community."
Sturm says she hopes the county picks someone very different to replace Dumler.
"Somebody mature," she said.
The protesters and residents say they are now focused on getting the state laws changed, so that politicians convicted of sexual battery will automatically be removed from office.