Political Dynamic of Albemarle Co. Board of Supervisors

June 6, 2013

After Chris Dumler’s sudden resignation from the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors Wednesday, the board has to get used to a new dynamic.

Democrat Dumler calling it quits leaves a five-member board, leaning to the right.

Ann Mallek, now the lone democrat, is outnumbered by three republicans – Ken Boyd, Duane Snow and Rodney Thomas. Dennis Rooker is an independent.

The makeup of the board opens new mathematical realities for Albemarle County, including a majority vote, according to Neil Williamson, president of The Free Enterprise Forum.

"There are several issues that remain highly political and it will be interesting if they see the light of day during this short period of time where there is a five-member board,” said Williamson.

The board will soon grow by one, after supervisors appoint an interim member. Thomas says they will select somebody by mid-July who will not run in the November election. That person will fill the vacancy until a special election in November.

"We want to take the politics out of it completely, and I hope this works to take the politics out. What's going to happen is, it puts the election back in the hands of the Scottsville district,” said Thomas.

Williamson says, while political party is important, it’s not everything.

"Really, we're talking about a locality that's very involved in the rubber meets the road -- the schools, the fire, the police,” said Williamson. “These are issues that don't really fall into partisan.”

Despite their differences, Thomas says the board comes pretty close to agreeing on most issues, and they are looking for someone compatible.

"I wouldn't say we're 100 percent together, but we're very doggone good at arguing, debating -- not arguing, just debating -- and getting through,” said Thomas. “Sometimes we talk about a subject for an hour and a half, but I'm going to tell you what, we wash everything through -- completely."

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