Board moves: Supes try to shake Dumler
Supervisor Chris Dumler spent his first weekend in jail– only 14 more to go– March 8-10, while his fellow Albemarle supes are making plans to fill his seat, despite Dumler's insistence that he's not going anywhere.
In the six weeks since Dumler took a plea that reduced a felony forcible sodomy charge to misdemeanor sexual battery, the number of people calling for him to resign has grown to include city and county Democrats and all of his fellow supervisors.
A Scottsville District citizen is collecting signatures to take to court, just about the only way Virginia provides to get rid of elected officials, and says he has more than the 372 required, but is verifying that all signers live in Dumler's district.
On the Wednesday, March 13, day-long agenda are three Dumler-inspired items. First is a notice to limit public comment to 30 minutes at the beginning of the meeting, with the opportunity for the public to speak again at the end of the meeting. That's the result of an angry citizenry lining up to denounce Dumler and call for him to resign at every Board of Supervisors meeting.
"I'm not in favor of that," says Supervisor Ken Boyd, who openly urges Dumler to resign. "That was added by the chair and vice chair. It's not something I can support."
Some board members are concerned about the ability to keep meetings to the published agenda, explains county spokesperson Lee Catlin. "Some people come for specific issues. They take time off work. Board members feel it's important for the public to speak their mind, but the public gets shortchanged when the published agenda goes out of whack," she says.
In a show of bipartisan spirit, Democratic Chair Ann Mallek and Republican Vice-Chair Duane Snow also added to the agenda a closed session motion to remove Dumler from all appointed positions on boards, committees and commissions.
"I was surprised," says Boyd. "The email came from both of them."
Dumler has already stepped down from the jail and police advisory committees, and he currently serves on the audit and the fiscal impact advisory committees, the Rivanna River Basin Commission, the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, and the Village of Rivanna Community Advisory Council.
There's no legal requirement supervisors serve on committees, says Catlin. "Obviously he loses the opportunity to directly engage with the people on them, but it does not in any way reflect on his ability to serve on the board."
"We can't exclude him from voting," agrees Boyd.
Finally, there's item 4 in the March 13 special meeting: "To establish a public process for appointing an interim Board member to hold office until a special election is held if a vacancy occurs on the Board."
Dumler did not return phone calls from the Hook requesting comment about his fellow supes efforts to squeeze him out.
"I don't understand what Mr. Dumler is holding out for and what his ties are here," bemoans Boyd. "Arrogance?"
Well. That should be a cordial meeting. Public comment will be allowed at the 6pm regular meeting.Read more on: Christopher Dumler. albemarle board of supervisors