July 9, 2013
Time is running out for Albemarle County supervisors to choose a replacement on the board for Chris Dumler, who vacated his seat in June, but the process is taking longer than many might have thought.
Ten people made their case at a meeting on July 3 on why they should fill the vacant seat, and the board said they could make a decision by its meeting on July 10.
On Wednesday, supervisor Ken Boyd gave an update.
"No, I'm not confident that will happen," he said. "Not at this point."
Boyd said the board hasn't picked a candidate yet and might not even do that by Wednesday's nighttime meeting.
"We had a very cordial conversation in closed session the other day," Boyd said of the process to choose one of the candidates. "Clearly, there are favorites from different people on the board."
Supervisors admit it's been difficult to narrow down the 10 candidates to just one, and there are questions whether they'll be able to make up their mind by the July 22 deadline.
"I think we had 10 very good applicants," supervisor Dennis Rooker said. "We will definitely be able to find someone who is very capable to fill in the interim position."
For Rooker, it's not necessarily a matter of if, but when.
"It's my hope that tomorrow we will finish this off and be able to make an appointment," Rooker said. "But if we don't, we have some more time."
Supervisors have spent the past week hearing from their constituents.
"We've been getting a lot of emails and calls about the different candidates this week," Boyd said, adding that most were from the Scottsville district.
That information may have helped supervisors individually, but the five-member board hasn't met since last Wednesday as a group. There's no telling if there's a clear front-runner among the 10 candidates right now.
"I think in a way it would be nice if everyone supported the ultimate nominee for the position, but I don't think that's an absolute requirement," Rooker said. "At the end of the day, we have to have someone who at least obtains a majority vote."
If supervisors don't choose by July 22, the decision goes to the courts. A judge can hand-pick a candidate to fill the seat or choose to keep the seat vacant until a special election in November.